According to the Building Commissioning Association: "The basic purpose of building commissioning is to provide a quality based process with documented confirmation that building systems are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in compliance with the Owner's Project Requirements." In considering energy efficiency, this method provides greater certainty that a new building, or a retrofit, will meet the proposed energy reductions and financial savings.
Most new buildings are not built with energy efficiency in mind, and most existing buildings have never undergone a commissioning or quality assurance process. Too often, building owners inherit building automation systems (BAS) that are installed and programmed improperly. Building documentation is incomplete and components and equipment are missing or incorrectly installed. Furthermore, common airflow problems result in too much or too little building ventilation. Commissioning is increasingly recognized as an effective process to improve building performance, reduce energy use, and improve indoor air quality, occupant comfort and productivity. A Department of Energy study estimated that more than $40 million in potential energy savings could be gained from commissioning only 1% of existing buildings greater than 25,000 square feet.
Intergy is particularly interested in developing the field for commissioning services and helping building owners understand the value of commissioning.
Energy Design Resources -- Commissioning Assistant (Cx Asst.) is an online tool designed to provide project-specific building commissioning information to design teams.
Building Commissioning Association is non-profit association, with over 400 worldwide members, dedicated to advancing and improving the principals of building commissioning.
O&M Best Practices
According to the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), inadequate maintenance of energy-using systems is a major cause of energy waste in both the Federal government and the private sector. The following websites can provide valuable information to help manage your energy use
Putting The "O" Back in O&M Article by Portland Energy Conservation, Inc, with funding by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
What is O&M? Informational website managed by FEMP.
Overviews and Case Studies
The following links provide access to credible, innovative research into energy efficiency and renewable energy.
California Energy Commission Performs research into energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and handles power plant siting.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy A division of the US Department of Energy, which provides funding for research, performs onsite analysis of building efficiency, and performs research into promising areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Schools and colleges
The primary focus for energy efficiency in colleges and schools are buildings, followed by parking structures, exterior lighting and recreational play areas. For buildings, energy efficiency means using less energy for heating, cooling, and lighting. It also means buying energy-saving appliances and equipment for use in a building more...
City governments have a unique opportunity to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy through their own purchases, regulations and incentives to businesses and residents. ENERGY STAR for GovernmentThis agency provides information and tools on improving efficiency as well as benchmarking government facilities.
Clean Cities Program Provides information on alternative fuels, fleet vehicles, and funding opportunities.
Smart Community Network Provides information on energy, transportation, disaster planning, sustainable busineses, green building, and rural issues.
Here are some important organizations in the energy field:
- Flex your Power - California's resource for energy efficiency and conservation information. Find incentives/rebates, technical assistance, retailers, product guides, case
studies and more.
- Energy Star Program - Energy Star is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
- Pacific Gas and Electric - PG&E is the largest energy supplier in California, with a service area that includes most of Northern California. Training, information about rebates, and other energy efficiency programs are available.
- Southern California Edison - A part of Edison International, which provides energy throughout North America, SCE serves much of the middle portion of California. Training, information about rebates, and other energy efficiency programs are available.
- US Department of Energy - Federal agency providing information and research on energy for consumers, researchers, educators, students.
- San Diego Gas and Electric - A part of Sempra Energy, one of the largest energy providers in the world,SDG&E provides energy for the southern region of California. Training, information about rebates, and other energy efficiency programs are available.
- California Public Utilities Commission - The state authority that regulates privately owned electric, telecommunications, natural gas, water and transportation companies, in addition to household goods movers and rail safety.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - Agency within the Department of Energy that provides research on efficiency and renewable energy.
Heating, Piping, and Air Conditioning This is HPAC's site and it contains archives of articles and columns. Most of the columns can be downloaded for free. Feature articles have a nominal cost associated with them to comply with copyright laws.
Control Engineering Magazine To order a copy of "Reference Guide to PID Tuning" visit www.controleng.com/info and request number 367 for the August 1998 North American Issue of Control Engineering. The site also has a lot of good information on all aspects of control as well as related technologies like variable speed drives. It all can be downloaded for free.
Environmental Design+Construction.An excellent source for information on cutting edge environmental and energy efficient design and products. Many of the articles are provided for free.