The Benefits of Retro-Commissioning for Green Initiatives

Retro-commissioning is a process that analyzes how well building systems are operating together by evaluating an existing building or space and improving its current functions. This provides the opportunity for any problems that were not installed properly during construction or any problems that have manifested during the building’s existence to be eradicated. Many systems operations that have not been updated can cause problems for both the building and occupants, but also for conversation and energy efficiency purposes. Retro-commissioning is a huge step to going green, both for the environment and the budget. There are many benefits to retro-commissioning with the intention of becoming an energy efficient building.

Here some of the top benefits you could reap from having an environmentally friendly and efficient retro-commissioned building:

1. Save Money. One of the top reasons to retro-commission a building is to save money. In a study conducted in 2013, it was found that a newly retro-commissioned building saved 16 percent on energy bills* and received a payback within one year. Between all of the systems and operations that need to properly function within the building, the retro-commissioning process updates any lagging or poorly installed systems to make it run as efficiently as possible. Added benefits to saving money could include the ability to not only retro-commission the building, but also include a re-design for internals efficiency!

2. Environmentally Friendly. It might be an obvious reason to retro-commission with the intention of going green, but it is a top benefit. A company with a Green Business Certification, like HF Planners, LLC with LEED AP’s on staff – a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional, will know how to transform your building to be as efficient as possible. Less emissions and more environmentally friendly systems will create a more efficient building both inside and out.

3. Tax Exemptions and Tax Credits. It goes along with saving money, but as a part of retro-commissioning, there are incentives that each state offers when improving your building functionality to improve its emissions and efficiency. The state of NJ alone has 73 incentives to retro-commission your office building to better the environment**. With a facility management company that will retro-commission your building to code and efficiency standards, a company is able to qualify for tax exemptions and tax credits if they are running most efficiently.

4. Occupant Health. Another important factor in being environmentally friendly while retro-commissioning your building is to consider the occupants and their well-being. Beyond energy savings, there is a definite benefit that comes from a more energy efficient building and more efficient occupants and their health. Identifying potential improvements including indoor air quality as well as operations maintenance comes with savings that could be redirected to improve the health of employees and other occupants. Healthier employees with healthier lifestyles reap so many benefits for a company, and end up having better habits that are aligned with environmentally friendly ideals.

There are many reasons to retro-commission your building for the sake of going green and becoming more environmentally friendly. Not only is there monetary value, but there are employee and environmental values as well. Interested in learning about how your space can be environmentally friendly through retro-commissioning? Contact HF Planners today to speak with our LEED Accredited Professionals today to see how your company can be as efficient as possible.  

 

*Parrish, Granderson, Mercado, Mathew 2013. “Improving Energy Efficiency through Commissioning: Getting Started with Commissioning, Monitoring, and Maintaining Performance” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. https://eta.lbl.gov/publications/improving-energy-efficiency-through

** https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program?fromSir=0&state=NJ

How a Dacility Manager Learns Which Expectations to Manage

As a facility manager, it is imperative to know what expectations you are expected to manage. You are in charge of spearheading the project and ensuring a satisfied finished outcome within time and budget constraints all while keeping the end user happy. Where does a facility manager begin to learn and understand which expectations to manage? Here are four ways to learn how to be the best facility manager possible through managing expectations:

1. Standardization: There are processes that have taken place prior to ensure that each benchmark is completed successfully. Learning the standardization of a facility management process, from design to planning to installation is a useful thing to understand when managing expectations. Familiarizing yourself with the skeleton of a normal workflow behind each project will help set a familiar precedent that will guarantee end user satisfaction because there will be a clear path to completion from the start. The end user will have defined expectations from the start.

2. Networking: A facility manager has to manage the expectations of a project, but of themselves as well. They are expected to have the tools ready and sharp to complete a successful project. Learning how to network will help expedite processes and help the overall project. A facility manager is responsible for procurement and knowing vendors. Networking is a way to building strong relationships and knowledge of competitors, prices, and working styles. This familiarity helps a facility manager understand what expectations need to be managed and how to do so by having the right connections ready for any project they may encounter.

3. Practice Sharing: Naturally, there will always be competition to be the best facility manager, but why not make friends in the process? A mentor, a friend, or simply other colleagues, will have tips and anecdotes from past projects. Learning and sharing is key to understanding what the best practices are for managing expectations. Knowing what went well, and even what might have gone wrong, adds to the knowledge of managing expectations and how a facility manager can better themselves for future opportunities.

4.  Feedback: Learning how to take feedback, both positive and negative, is a crucial learning step to managing expectations. Each end user will have their own reservations about a project, but as a facility manager it is crucial to know what went well and what did not. Learning and growing from past experiences will dictate which expectations need to be addressed from the start. Feedback can be included with networking and practice sharing, because it can include the feedback of all facility managers. This is a vital step to learning how to manage expectations.

Learning how to manage expectations as a facility manager can be difficult, but imperative to become successful. A facility manager gains their knowledge on how to manage expectations through experience, but also through the steps above! At HF Planners, we have experienced facility managers that are skilled in managing expectations. Call us today to ensure that your next project will be managed seamlessly from start to finish.

FM Headache #21 - New Construction

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by: Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED AP-BD+C

"When a company realizes that its existing facility no longer meets the needs of the corporation, it is time for a change. But when should the company decide to construct new space vs. renovate what they are in? There are a multitude of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

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