Why is retro-commissioning an important part of facility management?

HVAC systems can be complicated and there’s a need for them to be carefully adjusted as well as regularly maintained if they’re to continue working at maximum capacity. Commissioning in relation to HVAC is the process through which it’s ensured that commercial HVAC systems work as intended.


There are three types of commissioning. These are the initial commissioning, retro-commissioning, and re-commissioning. Here we’ll be taking a look at retro-commissioning, what it is and why it’s such an important part of facility management.

What is retro-commissioning?

Retro-commissioning applies to an existing HVAC system in a building. It seeks to improve how building equipment and systems function together. Retro-commissioning can resolve problems that might have occurred during the initial design and/or construction. It can also address any issues that have developed throughout the life of the building. Overall, it helps to improve the operations and maintenance procedure, and can enhance the performance of the building.

In regard to HVAC systems, retro-commissioning can bring HVAC systems back to an ‘as commissioned’ mode of operation. Checks are carried out on the system controls, air and water flow rates, alongside fan and pump performance. This can help to ensure optimum energy efficiency and performance.

Why is retro-commissioning an important part of facility management?

Retro-commissioning has a range of benefits when it comes to facility management. It can help to increase energy efficiency, address any shifts in climate as well as government regulations and building codes. Problems can be detected early and then rectified in good time, preventing them from becoming more substantial and costly issues.

Retro-commissioning can be used to tackle a number of building issues. These might include defective belts and valves, poor air balancing, faulty controls, systems that cool and heat at the same time and wrongly calibrated sensors and thermostats.

As HVAC systems have highly sophisticated controls, even small issues can ultimately impact the entire system causing performance issues for the whole building. Minor defects can still impair the system’s performance and decrease energy efficiency overall. Retro-commissioning can ultimately save a building owner money over the medium to long-term.

What does retro-commissioning include?

The re-commissioning process goes beyond the regular day-to-day building maintenance. It begins with meeting the owner and others who use the building to help develop objectives. The HVAC system will be examined, verified and tested to assess its current efficiency. The equipment and materials used at the installation will be verified to assess whether or not they’re correct, and the installation meets the manufacturer’s guidelines.

 After evaluating the current system, an energy plan will be developed that can increase the building’s energy efficiency over the long-term. Any necessary calibrations and repairs will be carried out, replacing defective systems or parts to help improve performance. System settings can also be fine-tuned.

After any ineffective operating equipment has been tested, adjusted and balanced (TAB) to ensure maximum energy efficiency, your retro-commissioning provider may then discuss what else might improve the building operation.


Finally, a final report will be prepared and then handed over to the building owner. This will document the inspection, verification and TAB of the HVAC system. It might also include recommendations for better building efficiency. This can be applied to any ongoing operator training.

Retro-commissioning services from ECS

Retro-commissioning keeps buildings running more efficiently for longer, creates a healthier environment for occupants, and can save more money on energy costs. Any problems that occurred during design or construction can be addressed. As too can any issues that have developed throughout the lifetime of a building as equipment has aged, or as a building’s use has been modified or changed.

ECS provides an industry leading re-commissioning and retro-commissioning service. To find out more about how we work and what our retro-commissioning service includes call 01535 600688 or email info@ecs-yorkshire.co.uk

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