How Often Should a Building Be Recommissioned?

Commissioning is a vital step in the building process. It ensures all systems are working at their best and functioning well in conjunction with each other. The process is usually performed during the new construction phase. As years go by, the building’s systems will start to break down due to damage and normal wear and tear. At this point, it’s advisable to get the building recommissioned. Commissioning Agents at 5D’s will identify problem areas, the root cause of those problems and make recommendations for improvement.

But how often should you get your building recommissioned? And what are the signs that recommissioning is necessary? This article will provide you with the information you need.

How Often Should a Building Be Recommissioned?

Recommissioning should be performed every 5 to 7 years as part of the recurring maintenance program. Even if the building was thoroughly commissioned when it was first constructed, problems can develop and worsen over time. Many times, the problems are traced back to a series of errors and failures rather than just one.

Things that started out as a small issue can have a ripple effect making for large negative consequences in the overall performance of the facility and making it very difficult to trace the issue back to the root cause. Getting the building commissioned every 5 or 7 years will help owners identify and deal with these problems before they get out of hand.

What are Some Signs Your Building Needs to Be Recommissioned?

While sticking to the 5-to-7-year schedule is advisable, there are also signs that will tell you your building needs to be recommissioned. These include the following:

  • Cold drafts
  • Condensation on the windows, doors and/or walls
  • Equipment operating more often to deal with imbalances
  • Rising energy bills
  • Complaints from occupants regarding the building being too hot or too cold
  • Poor air quality
  • The air in the building smelling strange or stale
  • Lights in the area being too bright or too dim
  • Workers feeling sluggish or unproductive in the middle of the day
  • Equipment with dampers propped open or held shut

Basically, any time the system has to be continuously adjusted (manually) it is an indication something is not working right. That is why it is crucial to ensure the commissioning firm you hire for recommissioning are mechanical system experts with experience in troubleshooting complex systems.

What’s Involved in the Recommissioning Process?

Here are some steps that may be included in the recommissioning process.

  • Building problem analysis which involves the diagnosing of problems and providing recommendations for the best solutions.
  • Measurement and data analysis and verification is the gathering of metrics to assist with diagnosing problems and finding opportunities to increase savings and efficiency.
  • Functional performance testing verifies that all systems are operating in accordance with their original design.

Recommissioning vs. Retro-commissioning

The terms recommissioning and retro-commissioning are often confused. Re-commissioning is performed on a building’s systems that have been previously commissioned. It ensures systems are still running efficiently and up to code.

Retro-commissioning is performed on a building that has not previously been commissioned. It can be performed at any point in the building’s life, but the earlier the better. After an initial retro-commissioning is performed, it’s advisable to continue scheduling recommissioning every 5-7 years.

5D’s is recommended for all your commissioning needs. We can be there from the start to ensure your building is running smoothly and we will continue providing recommissioning services over time. Contact us to find out how we can keep your building operating efficiently for years to come.

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