In 1986 George Owens developed his first Preventive Maintenance Manual. In 1988 a formal Commissioning
Process for mechanical and electrical systems was added to the Design Guidelines
Manual, and in 1992 the Energy Task Force (ETF) Program was developed. The ETF
is a low cost/no cost - back to basics O&M Program designed to reduce energy
It has been our experience that an effective O&M Program has real benefits
that are measurable. In 1985 an internal comparison was made between our centers
that had a formalized Preventive Maintenance Program and those that did not
(approximately 50%). The cost of maintaining those buildings not using the formal
program was $0.31 per square foot vs. $0.25 per square foot where the program
had been implemented. This represents a 19.4% savings without even considering
the savings due to longer equipment life. The Energy Task Force was instituted
at 19 locations and resulted in a $1.2 million dollar reduction in utility operating
costs for these buildings, nearly 10%.
The goals of this paper are to:
- To demonstrate the value of quality O&M Programs.
- To show that commissioning can contribute to the success of an O&M
- To discuss the barriers encountered with achieving high quality commissioning
and O&M programs.
First, I must define the goals of Commissioning and O&M Programs. Different
groups have different ideas of these concepts and the definition of a good program
ranges from doing nothing to "Launching a Space Station":
HOW CAN COMMISSIONING SUPPORT AN O&M PROGRAM ::
Ensure that the systems actually work.
Supply manufacturers instruction sheets with Preventative Maintenance Procedures
Develop easy to follow operating instructions that ties all of the systems
Help to develop the requirements for the staffing level and their qualifications
to achieve an effective O&M Program.
- Commissioning is a formal procedure to insure that the new building operates
satisfactorily to the owner's requirements. It includes the following elements
(note that the starred items () are often already included
in most specifications):
- Systems installed per plans and specifications.
- Point by point verification of control systems.
- Electrical testing & cleaning.
- Generation of punchlists.
- Completion of punchlists.
- Written commissioning procedures.
- Verification of air and water balance.
- Review of design after all of the above is completed.
- The Goals of a good O&M Program (in order of importance) from an owner's
standpoint may surprise a few:
As a commercial building owner, the tenant's comfort must take the highest
priority. Without tenants to lease to, the reason for the building is
non-existent. A good O&M Program (primarily through Preventative
Maintenance), will help to maintain comfort, reliably.
A good Preventative Maintenance Program will prolong the life of the
mechanical and electrical systems and reduce the need for future major
capital. For example, the generally accepted standard for roof top HVAC
unit life is 15 years. We routinely receive 25 to 35+ years life before
replacement due to good preventative maintenance.
||Low Operating Costs
Low Operating Costs are achieved by two of the components of an O&M
Program. First of all, Preventative Maintenance contributes to lowering
energy costs due to clean coils, filter changes, etc., as well as reducing
the repair and future capital costs. A program such as the Energy Task
Force will identify all of the operational changes required to reduce
the utility bills.
WHAT COMMISSIONING CANNOT DO ::
Commissioning cannot ensure that an effective O&M Program is implemented.
All commissioning can do is provide the tools at turnover to ease the efforts
of the owner in implementing, maintaining and improving an O&M Program.
The single most important element that will ensure that an O&M Program
will succeed is long term commitment by the owner. Without the commitment,
an O&M Program will be ineffective if it exists at all.
Commissioning will also not necessarily guarantee the highest level of efficiency.
often fine tuning of the building through and O&M Program can further
reduce operating costs based upon actual parameters not design assumptions.
An effective O&M Program results in measurable improvements to tenant comfort,
reliability, reduced future capital costs and reduced operating costs. A well
executed commissioning process provides the tools to allow an O&M Program
to be implemented. However, unless the owner has long-term commitment, the effectiveness
of the O&M Program will suffer, tenant complaints will increase, equipment
will fail prematurely and operating costs will go through the roof.
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