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The Four Phases of Retro-Commissioning

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

The way your building currently consumes energy may not match the way your building operates. Over time the efficiency of your building’s energy consuming systems slowly deteriorates. Similar to your car needing a tune-up to run optimally so does your building. Retro-commissioning is a detailed study that works to enhance the efficiency of an existing building’s equipment and processes through the identification of low to no cost operational improvements. These operational improvements will reduce the amount of energy consumed by your building and reduce its overall carbon footprint. The process of retro-commissioning can be easily broken down into four main phases: planning, investigation, implementation, and benchmarking.

Planning: As with any successful project, there is a certain level of planning involved before the study can begin. Part of the planning process will include an initial site visit to determine which of your buildings are a good fit for retro-commissioning. Our engineers will then begin documenting and understanding your current operations to find the retro-commissioning study that suites your energy needs.

Investigation: The investigation phase makes up the bulk of the study. Throughout this phase, our engineers will monitor and analyze your building’s energy data to further understand the facility’s operations and to determine where there are cost effective opportunities to improve energy performance. The engineer will begin compiling the energy saving measures into a report to be shared with the building owner or facility manager at the end of the study. Some examples of retro-commissioning measures may include scheduling opportunities, sensor calibration, or temperature setbacks/resets.

Implementation: Once the investigation phase is complete, the engineer will present the compiled report to the building managers. By outlining each identified measure and its associated energy savings, the building managers can determine which measures are most beneficial for building energy performance and begin putting those processes into place.

Benchmarking: The benchmarking phase, often referred to as the “hands off” phase, will monitor your energy consumption after implementation. By looking at your energy consumption before and after implementation, we can identify actual energy savings and confirm the success of the retro-commissioning study.

Your building isn’t running like it used to and whether it’s resetting your operating schedules or resetting your supply air temperatures, there is always room for improvement. See what you can do operationally to improve the efficiency of your building systems with retro-commissioning. Contact our Senior Program Manager, Ryan Curry, at 312-267-2864 or


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