Marco De Zan, CEM, CBCP, EBCP, CMVP, presenter in the session entitled “Cx + OM = Success” discusses the human element of Cx.
At NCBC we’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to the commissioning of both new and existing buildings. There will be many topics, ranging from technical to finances to certification, but I will focus on an often misunderstood critical element of the commissioning process: the human element.
It’s time to start having a new kind of conversation when we consider commissioning (Cx) services.
We know that Cx is impressive and delivers impressive results. We know every architect and engineer should request Cx for their projects. We have the data. We have the proof. We see payback from Cx services as soon as four days and up to four years after the efforts. There are energy and non-energy benefits to the work we do each day. It is widely accepted that Cx is a valuable process.
Now, it’s time to evolve the conversation and focus on this: How do we make
the benefits for which our clients have invested good money last? And, how
can we, as a firm, help them accomplish this? Essentially, we need to start
answering the question of what exactly happens after we leave.
We’re seeing that Cx seems to have more permanent effects if it is involved
early in the building process. Corrections and adjustments made during those
initial phases are life-long and can create permanent advantages.
The story with retro-commissioning (RCx also referred to as EBCx) is different. We continue to see that energy savings are not consistent after a few years. The benefit remains, but it is not as impressive. There are various sources of information, but we tend to see that 65-75% of the peak RCx savings last beyond four years. That is good, but not great.
We need to help our customers strive to maintain 100% or even increase the savings through time and we believe it can be done. The difference can be found in how facility personnel are trained and involved in the process. The data proves that sites with high levels of training have strong energy savings and persistence in those savings. Conversely, sites with less training have less persistent savings.
We also need to educate owners on the idea that RCx is a one-time event and
nothing else. It’s simply not true. This notion could not be more wrong.
RCx services need to extend beyond physical energy saving implementation.
We need to guide the building owner and maintenance personnel on how to
maintain those savings if we want projects to operate at full efficiencies.
It won’t be an easy task – but this slight change to broaden our goals will be worth the rewards. When RCx focuses on education, ownership and long-term, consistent performance, then it delivers building owners and staff with the tools they need to make right decisions moving forward.
It is imperative that igniting this desire for improvement in the Cx and RCx
community and our customers be part of our focus. A change in mindset can
enable us to see greater short-term and long-term energy savings and
stronger built environments all together.
I look forward to meeting with as many of you as I can in Nashville.