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What is Retro-Commissioning (RCX)?

Retro-Commissioning is the process of investigating, analyzing, and optimizing building systems performance for an existing building or campus. The Retro-Commissioning process analyzes a building breaking the performance of its systems in its entirety to ensure their interactive performance meet both client, tenant, and legislative requirements or in other words the Current Facility Requirements (CFR). Retro-commissioning also addresses problems that have developed throughout the building’s lifespan as existing equipment has aged or as building usage has changed. The Retro Commissioning process provides systematic evaluations of opportunities to improve energy-using systems in order to reduce day-to-day facilities running costs. Our goal is to cut running costs, save our clients’ money and ultimately increase their return on investment.

All buildings can experience performance degradation over time, through changes in usage, catering to differing and more demanding tenant needs and overall aging of a building’s equipment. Hence, it is imperative to constantly monitor the equipment and fix the errors that are hindering optimal building performance and as a result are eating into building owners’ profit margins.

Benefits of Retro-Commissioning (RCX):

  • Local Law 87 Compliance which requires retro-commissioning report as part of building energy audit.
  • Improved building systems efficiency and productivity
  • Improved indoor environmental comfort and quality and reduced associated liability.
  • Improved marketability and competitiveness to clients
  • Extended equipment lifespan and reduction in day-to-day maintenance costs
  • Enhanced building operation
  • Identification of building deficiencies and strategic solution for improvements
  • A tailored road map for capital improvements
  • Minimize operational risk and increase asset value
  • Ultimately – Reduction in running costs, Increase in profit margin.

Some of the areas that our Retro-Commissioning Service Encompasses:

  • Mechanical Heating, Cooling, and Refrigeration Systems
  • Air Handling and Distribution, Ventilation and Exhaust Systems
  • Building Controls on Energy Using Systems (temperature, lighting controls etc.)
  • Elevator Machine Rooms
  • Plumbing, Heating, Lighting systems
  • Water Heating Systems
  • Renewable Energy, Energy Storage Systems and Energy Recovery Systems

Energy Auditing is the process of identifying, surveying, and analyzing the Energy usage of a building. Our goal is identifying areas to optimize energy usage efficiency and eliminate waste. The intent is to maximize the assets output the same while reducing the energy consumption prioritizing the energy uses according to the most cost-effective technique. The benefit of performing an energy audit is the energy and cost savings which are generated while also reducing the overall carbon footprint.

The ASHRAE Commercial Buildings Energy Audits Reference defines the best practices for energy survey and analysis for purchasers and providers of energy audit services.

Execution Strategy

  • The energy auditing process can be separated into two main steps shown below:

Walk-Through Analysis:  Energy Auditor Inspection and Interview

  • Our auditors will perform multiple tests throughout the building, take measurements, interview building owners and occupants, and locate energy-saving opportunities.

Energy Survey and Analysis:  Report and Implementation

  • Our team of engineers and surveyors will develop a full Energy Masterplan for building campus highlighting areas of energy inefficiency and provide a comprehensive report intended for property owners and management. Our report will serve as a guide towards decarbonization by recommending various projects that may alleviate wastefulness and areas exposure to Local Law 97 penalties.

Benefits Of Energy Audits

  • Local Law 97 Compliance which requires an energy audit to be performed and resultant report to be submitted.
  • Proactively address Local Law Compliance building road map for capital improvements and reducing fine exposure
  • Improved building systems efficiency and productivity
  • Improved indoor environmental comfort and quality and reduced associated liability.
  • Improved marketability and competitiveness to clients
  • Enhanced building operation
  • Identification of building deficiencies and strategic solution for improvements
  • Greater Building Resilience –ensure building longevity and durability. Our audits identify duct leaks, moisture levels, ventilation, to maintain the buildings’ health and extend equipment lifespan and reduction in day-to-day maintenance costs.
  • Higher Resale Value – In an ever-increasing competitive real estate market, the demand for and increased market value of energy efficient buildings gives you the edge over your counterparts.

Energy Modeling is a simulation software that analyzes a building’s energy performance. Our software program compiles numerous building characteristics including envelope construction materials, lighting systems, HVAC distribution, water heating, and renewable generation systems and constructs a virtual replica of your building. We also input various building data including schedule for occupancy, customer foot traffic, plug-loads, and control system settings, thermostats, airflow, and cooling requirements.

Energy Modeling is the most effective tool to determine prudent Capital Expenditure (CapEx) in order to optimize energy usage and generate low carbon emissions. Our Energy Models allow us to devise project specific energy masterplans for implementation of energy- detailed energy conservation measures that can save thousands of dollars. Our models also allow us to project the payoff horizon and return on investment for future capital improvement investments the building ownership may be considering for the future. Energy Modeling is an extremely useful tool setting Energy benchmarks in retrofitting projects.

COMcheck is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s commercial energy compliance tool that informs a user on whether a building satisfies the requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1, as well as state-specific codes. The COMcheck software product group makes it easy for architects, builders, designers, and contractors to determine whether new commercial or multifamily buildings, additions, and alterations meet the prerequisite efficiency requirements as well as state-specific codes. The Energy Analysis is conducted on the entire project, including a building’s envelope, HVAC, service water heating, lighting and electrical power systems as applicable to the scope of the project work.

COMcheck can be used by real estate developers to demonstrate compliance with local building and efficiency codes when carrying out feasibility analysis for a new building.

The following efficiency values from building components detailed in the design documentation will be required for COMcheck compliance calculations:

  • SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient)
  • U Factors
  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating)
  • EEF (Energy Efficiency Factor) used in the building components.

Building Energy benchmarking is the first step to identifying opportunities to reduce energy use and save on utility bills. Under Local Law 133 and Local Law 84 all covered buildings with a footprint of 25,000 square feet upwards must benchmark energy and water use by May 1st annually. Building owners are required to register their property and submit their benchmarking report to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. At EirCo our experience in building energy performance standards and helping building owners comply with local laws requirement, reduce Local Law fine exposure and ensures a comprehensive and hassle-free process from the start to the finish.

Why Is Benchmarking Your Energy Usage Important?

Benchmarking not only ensures compliance with Local Law Requirements, but it is also critical in developing an understanding of how energy efficient your building is compared to others in the same occupancy group.

  • It plays a significant role for building owners by furnishing necessary information to enable data driven decision-making.
  • Identifying opportunities for efficiency improvements
  • Allows building owners to evaluate the performance of their real estate with that of similar buildings or against the portfolio average.
  • Lowering your Energy usage and increasing your ENERGY STAR score has been proven to increase your property value, improved occupancy rates and it certainly helps you in compliance with your benchmarking Laws.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. The LEED framework informs all building types including new construction, interiors, operations and maintenance, and core and shell.

While there are many different definitions of green building out there, it is generally accepted as the planning, design, construction and operations of buildings with several central, foremost considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material selection, site, and location within the surrounding community. These elements make up the basic parameters for the different credit categories within the LEED green building rating system. LEED acts as a framework for decision-making for project teams in all these areas, rewarding best practices and innovation and recognizing exemplary projects with different levels of LEED certification.


The benefits of LEED to your organization:

  • Reenergize existing assets to maximize return on investment through reduction of energy costs.
  • Increase asset market value marketability to an informed customer base.
  • Development of an energy masterplan to reduce exposure to Local Law 97 Fines which are to be introduced as of 2024.
  • Reduce organization’s exposure to volatile energy market pricing.
  • Channel economic savings from improved performance towards growth and expansion of your portfolio.
  • Utilize state and federal financial incentives and tax breaks for capital improvements while they are still available.
  • Improved Systems Efficiency and Extended Equipment Use Lifetime.
  • Improved Occupant Comfort and Productivity
  • Identify Building Condition and Deficiencies which contribute to prudent capital improvements planning.
  • Address corporate social responsibility concerns of shareholders and investors.
  • Avail of expert education, design, engineering, and construction solutions.
  • Pathway to a zero-carbon future.
  • Reduce your organizations environmental impact.

The ENERGY STAR score compares your building’s energy performance to similar buildings nationwide, normalized for weather and operating characteristics. A score of 50 represents median performance. A higher score is better than average; lower is worse. The ENERGY STAR program encourages Real Estate owners and developers across the U.S. to adopt energy-saving practices, upgrade to high efficiency appliances and equipment, and ultimately reduce environmental pollution as we also reduce utility costs. Existing commercial buildings that perform better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR, while new residential projects are required to meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR Reference Design. The EPA also recognizes exceptional performance by awarding ENERGY STAR Partner or Leader designation, or the coveted Partner of the Year Award.

The benefits of Energy Star certification to your organization:

  • Identify underperforming buildings to target for efficiency improvements. As long as your building systems are running, it might seem wasteful to repair or replace working systems. But benchmarking can reveal if your building is using a lot more energy than similar buildings—and wasting energy and money in the process.
  • Identify best practices from efficient buildings. Benchmark to find out which buildings in your portfolio are the most efficient, and then work with the teams at those buildings to replicate energy-saving practices at underperforming buildings.
  • Set investment priorities. The built-in financial tool within Portfolio Manager allows you to compare cost savings across buildings in your portfolio. Use it to help decide how to allocate capital and maximize financial returns in energy efficiency.
  • Verify savings and prevent snapback. As you continue to track energy use over time, you can verify that your efforts are actually resulting in reduced energy use and monitor usage to prevent snapback in savings.
  • Share and report performance. You can use Portfolio Manager to generate ENERGY STAR performance documents for each building, share your performance data with others, and run custom reports to get insights on your performance.
  • Earn recognition. If your building receives an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.
  • Benchmark more than energy. You can also measure and track water use, waste and materials, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Implement a comprehensive management program. You’ve heard it before: What gets measured gets managed. Saving energy isn’t a one-and-done checklist. Most importantly, you can use Portfolio Manager to implement every step of your energy management program, which is the proven path to sustained, deep energy savings.

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