Investing in Recommissioning Ensures that University Buildings Stay Good as New

Facilities employees performing in-house commissioning within the Watts Building.

Facilities employees Scott Feagan (left) and Steve Fisher performing in-house commissioning within the Watts Building.

Every year Clemson University invests thousands of dollars in Commissioning (Cx) on new construction and Retro-Commissioning (Retro-CX) on existing buildings.  In addition to proper building performance, University Facilities’ Utility Services has realized extensive energy saving and cost benefits through our Cx efforts.  Similar studies conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory indicate Cx ensures that buildings meet and exceed performance and energy savings promised by their design.

Cx efforts are important because commercial buildings frequently undergo operational and occupancy changes that challenge existing mechanical, electrical and controls systems, hindering optimal performance. Additionally, today’s buildings are more complex with smart technologies. In many cases, small problems have big effects on performance. This is why new building Cx and Retro-Cx are very important processes of predictive and preventive maintenance. Commissioning improves a building’s operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures to enhance overall building performance.

New LEED standards require every LEED building to be Re-Commissioned (ReCx) after 5 years in operation. During Cx, commissioning agents typically encompass a 20% sampling of a new building’s automated systems.  A year ago, Utility Services & Energy Management along with University Facilities’ Maintenance Services Department formed an internal commissioning team consisting of Matt Holbrooks, Steve Fisher and Scott Feagan as its founding members.   To date, the team has completed Watt Innovation Center 100% Cx, Freeman Hall Addition 100% Cx and have substantially completed BRC and Godley-Snell Retro-Cx.

If you feel your building would benefit from a check-up by our Cx Team, feel free to contact the Director of Utilities, Tony Putnam to discuss your ideas. With your help, we can ensure our buildings are energy efficient and operate properly for many years to come!