Servidyne’s Brian Lovingood on Retro commissioning

Brain Lovingood in addition to being a master of the hvac secret handshake ( that is Brian on the left) is also one of Servidyne‘s control gurus and a expert on retro commissioning.
As we all know commissioning the building automation controls in a new building is critical to assure that the control system is working properly. Most building owners don’t think in terms of a retro commissioning of the building. Companies like Servidyne can come into an existing building an re commission the building assuring that the building is operating at optimal performance. This process is critical to reducing your carbon footprint and saving energy.
Think about your car, if you want to get optimal performance you take your car in for tune ups and oil changes. So you can think of guys like Brian as tuning your building.

The following is a blog Brian sent me on Retro Commissioning.

Teach an Old Dog New Tricks:

Many existing buildings are operating well below new energy efficiency standards and energy codes. While many think that is “normal” due to the fact they were built before such stringent codes and efficiencies were in place. This may be partially correct but most have hurdles to overcome in their daily operations that would help them overcome such obstacles. Most have limited documentation, such as drawings, written sequences, and original specifications. Many were never commissioned or at best not commissioned for how they are being utilized today.

So it is time to break out the “NEW” Unused Tools. Many of these buildings have an operational EMS (Energy Management System) or BAS (Building Automation System) that is hanging on some secluded wall somewhere in the confines of the building. Occasionally someone visits it and dusts off the keyboard, or turns it back on, to possibly play a little Solitaire to pass time until quitting time on a Friday afternoon. Most of these systems are still very robust and can be programmed to do advanced control sequences which would help with energy efficiency standards.

One of the major issues is the staff or retro commissioning agent would need to periodically go thru the system and calibrate sensors and verify sequences to assure the energy efficiencies are still in place. Many times with a year of advanced control implementation, system programs and schedules are overridden and the energy efficiency is lost, the cost to implement seems like money thrown away.

Building operators and contractors must have the opportunity to get continual training on the existing system so they have a chance to fully understand the system and the advanced control strategies. They should insist on new control sequence documentation, and drawings to re-build the library of resources and update actual O&M practices.

Most poorly designed buildings with “good” O&M practices will very often outperform “well” designed buildings with poor O&M practices. Start looking around your building today for those “NEW” unused tools, and see if you can “Teach and Old Dog, a couple of New Tricks.”

Thanks Brian. For more information on Brain and Servidyne check out their website at
Servidyne is a very reliable retro commissioning and automation controls company. Another very good retro commissioning company in Florida is System Tech Services

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