Existing Building Commissioning: Exploration of Use and Impacts
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Existing building commissioning (EBCx) is often considered a cost-effective method for reducing the energy consumption of a building while also driving improvements in occupant comfort and cost savings for the owner or operator. The commissioning of buildings can involve a significant number of measures and approaches, many of which depend on the specific systems and condition of each building. Generally, however, both existing building commissioning and new construction commissioning can provide an avenue for significant energy and cost savings in commercial buildings, and when applied at the national level, can have a measurable impact on the overall energy consumption of the commercial sector. Many of the previous studies on building commissioning contain key median project-level and normalized values, such as project costs and cost savings per unit area, annual percent energy savings, and simple payback periods. However, these studies contained data that was often regionally focused and had an emphasis on individual project-level and measure-level savings, trends, and values, rather than a holistic look at the entire building commissioning market in the United States. Thus, the aim of this project is to provide an estimated quantification of the implementation and impact of existing building commissioning, as well as the broader building commissioning, in terms of total cost and energy savings generated based on a selection of 198 Building Commissioning Association (BCxA) member companies and estimated annual revenue values. The calculations performed in this study have successfully generated approximate values that can be useful in understanding the magnitude of both the existing building commissioning and the general building commissioning for the sample of companies. The key calculated estimates for both existing building commissioning and building commissioning can be seen below: - Existing Building Commissioning o Total Estimated Annual Revenue: $270 million per year o Total Estimated Annual Floor Area Commissioned: 780 million ft2 per year o Total Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $290 million per year o Total Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 22 billion kBtu per year iii - Total Building Commissioning (EBCx and NCCx) o Total Estimated Annual Revenue: $1.8 billion per year o Total Estimated Annual Floor Area Commissioned: 2.0 billion ft2 per year o Total Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $540 million per year o Total Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 50 billion kBtu per year These values are based on a portion of the building commissioning market, but adequately approximate the scale of revenue and savings for the sample. The values suggest a sizeable impact from existing building commissioning in terms of general scale, however further updating and refining the methodology, particularly with regard to the commissioning constants and revenue percentages, may lead to improved results, while a more expansive selection of companies may be able to approximate the implementation and impact of the entire U.S. market.
Hallowell, Ryan Alexander (2018). Existing Building Commissioning: Exploration of Use and Impacts. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from