Commercial Building Maintenance: Commissioning, Recommissioning, Retro-Commissioning – What’s The Difference?

Once upon a time, your commercial property was nothing more than a plan on a blueprint. Architects, engineers, and systems designers all came together to put up your commercial building in the best and most efficient way possible. 

At least, that was the plan. 

Commercial Building Maintenance: Commissioning, Recommissioning, Retro-Commissioning - What’s The Difference?Commissioning is that process, that plan. It’s the process of ensuring the entire building’s operational systems – mechanical, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc – all come together and work at optimal performance. Commissioning ensures things like:

  • All equipment is sized correctly for the building
  • All equipment is installed according to manufacturer’s guidelines
  • All settings are matched according to how the building will be used

Commissioning also takes place whenever a new system is installed to replace outdated equipment. If you have a new build or a major addition, commissioning will ensure your systems are as optimal as possible. 

Recommissioning takes a look at your building’s operations and works to make it more efficient. Every day your systems are in use, equipment begins to wear. Recommissioning comes in at some point in the future, examines the operating equipment, and looks to make repairs that will return your systems to their most efficient status. 

With recommissioning, every system in the building is looked at and examined, with maintenance and clean-up work performed to ensure all systems are reset as if they were new. 

Retro-commissioning works to make a building efficient when it was never properly commissioned in the first place. Retro-commissioning often occurs in industrial buildings, schools or hospitals. If a building was built decades before, it probably has a host of opportunities for cost savings and energy efficiencies. 

What condition is your commercial property in? When was the last time your HVAC, plumbing, or electrical system was audited to determine what impact improvements could make on efficiencies? 

If you can’t remember when, maybe now is the time. 

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