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Continuous Commissioning and EPBD

Introduction
Today, after the certification process is performed according to the national implementation of the EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive), there is usually no continuous evaluation of the building performance in order to reach or to maintain an energy-efficient operation. As a result, the performance of buildings is often poor. An ongoing commissioning process is seen as a prerequisite for the persistence of the high energy performance of buildings.

Why do we need ongoing commissioning?
Users request a comfortable and healthy indoor environment, but they no longer accept the excessive use of natural resources or polluting the outdoor environment.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry seeks solutions to fulfil these higher requirements. We are clearly leaving the time of low efficiency stand alone products and entering a period of high efficiency integrated systems.

Moving from simple products to large systems enables one to develop more efficient and flexible solutions, but it also leads to a higher level of complexity. Ongoing commissioning is one of the new approaches to manage the complexity of today's building and HVAC systems. The primary obstacles that impede the adoption of commissioning as a routine process for all buildings are clearly, lack of awareness, lack of time and high perceived costs. One of the tasks in an  ongoing commissioning process is FDD + optimisation.

FDD + Optimisation
FDD ( Fault Detection and Diagnosis)  in the field of building operation is still in its infancy. The first attempts of systematic FDD in buildings go back to the late 80s. Many different approaches have been tested theoretically or in the lab but the systematisation is missing. Furthermore, the wealth of different models and approaches which have been tested positively by the scientific community has not yet made it to the field. The number of commercial FDD tools that are available on the market is quite low and many of  the tools are still under development.

For BuildingEQ, a 4-step process was developed (see graphic below) for the ongoing commissioning in the demonstration buildings. It is important to notice that the continuous commissioning approach can be introduced right after step 1 as a classification of the building is available already at that stage.

Step 1: Simple Benchmark
gather basic consumption and stock data and first classification / baseline of the building performance

Step 2: Certification + data acquisition
Certification according to national implementation and installating a data acquisition device / system.

Step 3: FDD + Optimisation
Refinement of baseline.
Introduction of energy saving measures:
FDD + Optimisation
Calculate and document energy savings

Step 4: Regular Inspection
introduce a regular inspection to maintain efficient operation.

Outlook
Currently there is a large interest worldwide for continuous commissioning especially for commercial buildings. The most advanced industry exists in the USA, probably because of the high saving potentials in US buildings. Building EQ evaluates existing concepts and adapt them to the European market.

More information can be found in Report WP2.