Retro-commissioning of four Morgan Stanley buildings in New York, managed by Houston-based Hines Property Management, provides an example of how the process works. The project began with the selection of commissioning team members for each building comprised of Hines building engineers and the retro-commissioning agent, Old Saybrook, Conn.-based Strategic Building Solutions. An energy audit was done in conjunction with the retro-commissioning process.
During the discovery phase, the team reviewed building operating procedures, documentation and drawings along with the original design intent of the building, explains Dan Pugliese, director of engineering at New York-based Morgan Stanley. The reviews identified over 150energy conservation measures, or ECMs. Each ECM was listed in a matrix showing the implementation cost and return on investment.
ECMs with paybacks under two years were implemented. They range from simple operation strategies which required no capital expenditures to fan upgrades and other retrofits, Pugliese says. The measurement and verification phase, now in process, is determining if the projects reaped the intended return on investment and expected energy savings.
NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, provided funding for the work under a building performance project opportunity notice (PON) that paid for the retro-commissioning study and offered performance incentives for energy reductions. The project also took advantage of NYSERDA’s FlexTech program that offers a 50/50 cost share for technical assistance.
To date the facilities have reduced electricity usage by 21 percent and fossil fuel consumption by 26 percent. Expected saving are $2.4 million annually. Given the success of the project, the firm is now considering implementation of ECMs with paybacks of 3.7 years or less, Pugliese says.