Monitoring-based HVAC Commissioning of an Existing Office Building for Energy Efficiency

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The performance of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems may fail to satisfy design expectations due to improper equipment installation, equipment degradation, sensor failures, or incorrect control sequences. Commissioning identifies and implements cost-effective operational and maintenance measures in buildings to bring them up to the design intent or optimum operation. An existing office building is used as a case study to demonstrate the process of commissioning. Building energy benchmarking tools are applied to evaluate the energy performance for screening opportunities at the whole building level. A large natural gas saving potential was indicated by the building benchmarking results. Faulty operations in the HVAC systems, such as improper operations of air-side economizers, simultaneous heating and cooling, and ineffective optimal start, were identified through trend data analyses and functional testing. The energy saving potential for each commissioning measure is quantified with a calibrated building simulation model. An actual energy saving of 10% was realized after the implementations of cost-effective measures.

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