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Just as cars require regular tune-ups to ensure that they run smoothly, so do buildings. Nowadays, public sector officials are viewing government buildings in the same way - giving the buildings regular tune-ups to ensure optimal performance.

Public buildings are getting their tune-ups with retro-commissioning. Retro-commissioning is a process that officials gravitate towards because it seeks to improve the operational efficiency of a buildings equipment and infrastructure, such as the HVAC systems and water systems, without major capital investment.

Industries that can benefit most from retro-commissioning projects - Onvia

The Cost Savings and Environmental Impact of Retro-Commissioning Intrigues Officials

With increased focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly operations in all areas of government responsibility, state and local governments use retro-commissioning services as a smart way to become really energy efficient. In fact, the low-cost fixes can reduce energy costs by up to 20%. In “car talk”, officials are excited about improving the “gas-mileage” of public buildings.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, government-owned buildings are nearly 25% more energy-intensive than buildings that are not owned by a government agency.

With energy expenditures averaging greater than $2 per square foot in commercial and government buildings, energy use is a cost worth managing.

U.S. Department of Energy

State and local government officials across the country certainly believe in the value of saving money and stretching each and every dollar that they spend. They also take environmentally-friendly decision-making seriously and are seeking out vendor assistance to retro-commission their various construction projects.

Found in Onvia’s Comprehensive Database:

City of Poway in California
 
Issued a bid for qualified, design-build services to replace the existing automation control system, malfunctioning heating, HVAC devices and underground hydronic piping all with retro-commissions for the City Hall and the  Council chambers.
 
Dane County in Wisconsin
 
Set aside $4.2 million in its 2016-2021 Capital Improvement Plan to “green” their 137-vehicle fleet in staggered plan based on factors such as equipment age, condition, trade-in value and operational needs.
 
Minnesota Department of Administration
 
Requests a design firm to help them with the mechanical and electrical retro-commissioning of the departments of Agriculture and Health Laboratory Building in St. Paul.
 

 

Retro-commissioning Services Improve Energy Efficiency for Utilities

Public officials are not only thinking of ways to make their electrical and HVAC systems more efficient; they are also looking to save money and improve the sustainable performance of their utilities, such as their water systems.

The officials at the Montana State Prison recognized the scope of the facility’s environmental impact by describing itself as a small city. The prison has to manage a complex operation that includes doing laundry, feeding inmates, providing for medical needs and handling ground maintenance and livestock. To help improve the efficiency of their operations the prison asked technology vendors to help replace its legacy computer system and software to better track its water flow throughout the facility. With an updated water telemetry system, officials can gather information about flow rates, such as when it’s at the peak and lowest better track water levels in wells, tanks and various pumps. The system would be able to adjust water flows based on well levels and water demands throughout the day.

The Quest for Sustainability in the Public Sector is Good News for Vendors

This push to retro-commission a public sector building is one that won’t fade away any time soon. Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue for energy efficiency building retrofits will grow from $68.2 billion in 2014 to $127.5 billion in 2023. The public sector knows retro-commissioning is a pathway to increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy demands and new energy production, and distribution facilities.

Government contractors have an opportunity to create long-term revenue for their business by deeply embedding their expertise and experience in retro-commissioning services with influencers at sustainably-focused agencies.