Tuning Up Older Business Facilities

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The design and construction of a facility is a difficult task. Within a few years, a building can be outdated for a number of reasons: owners/tenants turnover, changes in workplace habits, new technologies and more. Simply put, not every business facility is being used the way it was designed. That can mean higher utility costs, especially when it comes to energy.

An example? That old fast food joint in town that now houses an insurance agency. It was designed for massive burger grills and fry cookers, and to serve customers via two drive-thru windows. Now it needs to be a comfortable office environment for agents and their customers.

This kind of transformation can result in inefficient use of the space and its infrastructure, which in turn results in higher operating costs. But just like an older vehicle, a tune up of older facilities can extend the building’s use, lower utility costs and increase occupant comfort. This tune up is called a retro-commissioning (RCx) audit.

During an RCx audit, the core systems of the building – HVAC, electrical, plumbing and the enclosure itself (doors, windows, walls, roof and foundation) – are reviewed and optimized for current use and occupancy. How much outdoor air is seeping in and out of the building? How is the water pumped throughout the facility? Does the HVAC system regulate air flow and temperature correctly, based on the new physical layout.

The answers to those questions often lead to improvements that lower the cost of operating the building. And combined with an energy audit, your facility’s energy efficiency is maximized, making for lower bills.

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