The Art of Commissioning: A Cost Benefit Analysis of 23 Large-scale Federal Facilities

  • Wesley Stanhope
Keywords: Art of Commissioning, Cost Benefit Analysis, Large-scale Federal Facilities


Energy is being wasted, possibly unrecognizably, on a daily basis when commissioning is not performed. This results in a reduction in profit, equipment lifespan and overall sustainability. Common misconceptions can be that operating systems are already efficient since they work, making commissioning unnecessary, and that there is not much benefit from periodically commissioning a building throughout its lifespan.

This research details pre-commissioning energy consumption versus post-commissioning as well as commissioning costs of three different test groups of facilities which have undertaken various commissioning projects. This article will be a logical argument to motivate building owners to consider commissioning.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Wesley Stanhope

Wes Stanhope is a senior project manager for Conservation Services Group (CSG), which delivers energy, sustainability and commissioning services. Wes is also a lecturer at Mount Wachusett Community College teaching energy auditing and analysis as well as sustainable building O&M. Wes’ experience includes energy auditing of approximately 23 million sq. ft. of hospitals, offices, courts, commercial and multi-family structures. His retro-commissioning experience includes approximately 11 million square feet of 10 hospitals, and third-party commissioning of hospital, commercial and multi-family renovation projects. He holds an MDS degree in sustainable design from Boston Architectural College and a B.Sc. degree in construction management from Limerick Institute of Technology. Wes is also a Certified Energy Manager and Existing Building Commissioning Professional. To contact Wes: WESLEY.STANHOPE@ CSGRP.COM or WLSTANHOPE@YAHOO.COM.


th Congress of the United States of America. Energy Independence and Security Act 2007. Act

of Congress. Washington DC: US Government, 2007.

Akin, Omer. Embedded Commissioning of Building Systems. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 2012.


ASHRAE. Proceduers for Commercial Building Energy Audits; Second Edition. Atlanta: ASHRAE,

—. The Commissioning Process; ASHRAE Guideling 0-2005. Atlanta: ASHRAE, 2005.

—. Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupants. Standard. Atlanta: American Socierty

of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, 2004. PDF.

Bench, Mark. Commissioning, Recommissioning, retrocommissioning and continuous commissioning.

Details on recommissionng and the ability to benchmark easier through retro and continuous

commissioning. 2008. Details on recommissionng and the ability to benchmark easier

through retro and continuous commissioning. (Bench). 15 01 2012. <http://findarticles.


Boll, Sarah. Identifying Energy Conservation Measures. Tailoring Retro-Commissiong to meet your

needs. New York: New York University; FCM. NYUGREeN, n.d.

Camp Dresser & McKee. Final Energy Audit Report. Audit. Hackettstown: Hackettstown Municipal

Utilities Authority, 2009. Document.

Concord Engineering Group. Local Government Energy Audit Program: Energy Audit Report. Audit.

Monmouth Junction: CEG, 2010. Document.

Doty, Steve. Commercial Energy Auditing Reference Handbook; 2nd Edition. Lilburn: The Fairmont

Press, Inc, 2011. book.

Energy Star. “Retrocommissioning; Strategic methodology of the process of planning a retrocommissioning

project.” 2007.

Environarc Design. Level 2 Energy Audit Report. Audit. Parolowie: EnvironArc, 2007. Document.

Federal Energy Management Program. “Maximizing Building Energy Efficiency and Comfort;

Continuous Commissioning Guidebook; Documented casestudy for the benefits of

retro-commissioning published by the DOE.” 2002.

FEMP. “A Case Study on In-House Retro-commissioning at a DOE National Library; Detailed

Fedral measures and plans for continuous commissioning within federal buildings

detailing basics, AHU, Water/Steam, Chillers, Hearing, Thermal Storage and Optimum

Building Pe.” 2004.

Harrell, Steve. Optimize Building Systems with Commissioning; Study and article on the energy consumption

reduction through commissioning. 01 01 2009. 15 01 2012. <http://www.buildings.


Harvard University. Harvard Divinity School—Andover Library; ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit.

Audit. Andover: Facilities Maintenance Operations; Harvard University Office for

Sustainability, 2009. Document.

—. Quincy House New Residence Hall Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Audit. Cambridge: Facilities

Maintenance Operations; Harvard University Office for Sustainability, 2010. Document.

Nadel, Jennifer Thorne & Steven. Retrocommissioning: Program Strategies to Capture Energy Savings

in Existing Buildings. Washington DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient

Economy; Marketing and programme methodology strategy for retrocommissioning

within existing buildings., 2003.

One Hundred and Tenth Congress of the United States of America. Energy Independence and Security

Act 2007. Act of Congress. Washington DC: US Government, 2007.

Oregon Office of Energy. Retrocommissioning Handbook for Facility Managers; Guide detailing the

process of retro-commissioning and the persons involved and effected, with samples of plans and

commissioning. Oregon: Oregon Office of Energy, 2001.

Ravanesi, Bill. The Yawkey Center Rooftop: Capping off Boston’s Green Building; Local casestudy

detailing the results of retro-commissioning an existing and semi-new building and the benefits.

Through continuous commissioning and combining cooling heating and power can i. 01 06

15 01 2012. <


Thurmann, Al, William J Younger and Terry Niehus. Handbook of Energy Audits. Lilburn: The

Fairmont Press, Inc, 2010. Book.

University of Georgia. Driftmier Energy Audit Report. Audit. Athens: Engineering Outreach Service,

University of Georgia, 2006. Document.

Wapner, Mike. Commissionig: Re-, Retro-, Ongoing or Continuous, They All Pay Off; Benefits of continuously

commissioning buildings will far outweigh the professional cost. Commissioning costs

can add approximately up to 1.5% onto the cost of the new construction of b. 17 12 2010. 15 01