ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 88

commissioning	
of new-construction projects (1.5 years and 10.8 years, respectively). The LBNL review also found high cost-effectiveness for each individual commissioning measure for which data were available. High-tech buildings such as laboratories were particularly cost-effective, and saved greater amounts of energy due to their baseline energy-intensiveness. Cost-effectiveness is often achieved even in smaller buildings. Thanks to energy savings that eclipse the cost of the commissioning process, associated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions come at a decidedly “negative” cost (meaning that it is cheaper to emit less emissions than to emit more). The median cost of conserved carbon is negative: –$110 per metric ton for existing buildings and –$25 per metric ton for new construction. This compares quite well with market prices for high-quality carbon offsets, currently on the order of +$20/metric ton. The persistence of commissioning energy savings is still poorly understood. LBNL acquired data on post-commissioning energy savings over multi-year periods for 36 of the projects. Not all projects exhibit an erosion of savings over time. In fact, the tendency for the sample, as a whole, is for level or even slightly increasing savings over time. This perhaps counterintuitive outcome may be explained by the fact that comprehensive commissioning includes training, and, in some cases, installation of permanent metering and feedback systems (e.g., monitoringbased commissioning). These improvements “live on” after the commissioning providers leave the site, and, if properly used, can maintain and even help deepen savings over time. Many measures implemented in new-construction commissioning tend to be very durable, e.g., properly sizing HVAC equipment. Non-energy benefits are often a more important driver in customers’ initial motivation to perform commissioning and their perceived post-commissioning energy savings. These nonenergy benefits surpass those of most other energy-management practices. In new construction, significant first-cost savings routinely offset some or all commissioning costs. For example, when accounting for these benefits, the net median commissioning cost was reduced by 49% on average, while in many cases the non-energy benefits fully exceeded the direct value of the energy savings. An example of this, when applied to new construction, is the capital cost savings resulting from “rightsizing” heating and cooling equipment. Commissioning is also routinely reported to avert premature equipment failures, avoid construction-defects litigation, improve worker comfort, mitigate indoor air quality problems, increase the competence of in-house staff, and reduce change orders, to name just some of the other non-energy benefits. These findings demonstrate that commissioning is the singlemost cost-effective strategy for reducing energy, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings today. Commissioning also optimizes and maximizes the quality and persistence of savings achieved through other energy-saving technologies and practices. The process ensures that building owners get what they pay for when constructing or retrofitting buildings, and it provides risk-management and “insurance” for policymakers and program managers enabling their initiatives to meet targets.
88	 ASHRAE	Journal	

It also detects and corrects problems that would eventually surface as far more costly maintenance or safety issues. As such, commissioning is more than “just another pretty energysaving measure.” It is a risk-management strategy that should be integral to any systematic effort to garner and maintain energy savings or emissions reductions. Applying the median whole-building energy-savings (certainly far short of best practices) to the U.S. non-residential building stock corresponds to an annual energy-savings potential of $30 billion by 2030, which yields greenhouse gas emissions reductions of about 340 megatons of CO2 each year. How can society capture this potential? The commissioning field is evolving rapidly. The fledgling existing-buildings commissioning industry is about $200 million per year in the United States. Based on a goal of treating each U.S. building every five years, the potential market size is about $4 billion per year in commissioning services, or 20-times the current number. To achieve the goal of keeping the U.S. building stock commissioned would require an increase in the workforce from about 1,500 to 25,000 full-time-equivalent workers, a realistic number when viewed in the context of the existing workforce of related trades. The delivery of commissioning services must be scaled up substantially. A California survey estimated that only 0.03% of existing buildings and 5% of new construction in that state have been commissioned. Reasons for this include a widespread lack of awareness of need and value on the part of prospective customers, insufficient professionalism within the trades, splintered activities, and competition among a growing number of trade groups and certification programs. Numerous emerging technologies are entering the marketplace. Each will bring new risks along with opportunities for energy savings. It is critical that the practice of commissioning keep pace with technology innovation. The energy policy community is also behind the curve. This is evidenced by the absence of commissioning-like requirements in most building codes, and omission or obfuscation of the strategy in most energy-efficiency potentials studies. The longest-standing effort to educate policymakers and others is the California Commissioning Collaborative, which brings together regulators, utilities, practitioners, and other stakeholders with a collective vision of defining and instituting best practices. “Commissioning America” in a decade is an ambitious goal, but doable and consistent with this country’s aspirations to simultaneously address pressing energy and environmental issues while creating jobs and stimulating economic activity. The full study can be read at http://cx.lbl.gov.

Acknowledgments
This work was sponsored by the California Energy Commission, Public Interest Energy Research Program, through the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. Evan Mills, Ph.D., is a staff scientist, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
ashrae.org	 	 February	 2011



ASHRAE Journal - February 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - February 2011

ASHRAE Journal - February 2011
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
Thermal Coupling of Cooling and Heating Systems
10 Common Problems in Energy Audits
Hall of Fame Feature: History of the Changing Concepts in Ventilation Requirements
A Guide to Wireless Technologies
Building Sciences
Solar NZEB Project
Emerging Technologies
People
Special Section
InfoCenter
Commissioning
Products
Washington Report
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - ASHRAE Journal - February 2011
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Thermal Coupling of Cooling and Heating Systems
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 10 Common Problems in Energy Audits
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Hall of Fame Feature: History of the Changing Concepts in Ventilation Requirements
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - A Guide to Wireless Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Building Sciences
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 61
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Solar NZEB Project
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 64
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 65
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 68
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 75
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - People
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - InfoCenter
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 84
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Commissioning
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 88
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Washington Report
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 94
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 95
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover4
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