Despite the challenges of working with increasing economic restraints, little changes in maintenance and operations can significantly impact the efficiency of a facility. While such energy savings can result from capital planning and proactive maintenance, a large portion of savings can be maximized through occupant engagement, sustainable practices and ensuring components perform at optimum level.

Taking all these factors into account, there is a potential 30 per cent minimum cost savings in older buildings (30 plus years) and up to 15 per cent savings in newer facilities.

“Once you start deferring repairs and maintenance, you’re going to end up increasing your cost and will be faced with worse challenges,” says Peter Leong, associate Vice President of Building Sciences, WSP Canada.

Leong highlighted three basic maintenance strategies: corrective, preventative, and condition-based.  Look at major capital items and when they are due for repairs. Identify both significant and insignificant items, the maintenance strategy appropriate for each, what kind of regular intervals are needed and when condition will be assessed and activities performed. The key is to optimize a strategy according to when components will be maintained over their lifetimes and be as proactive as possible.

Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)

Save energy


Payback is less than a year with incentives


Payback is 3-8 years 


Payback in 4-12 years 

Air Handlers

Payback is almost instant

Energy Audit

A perfect time to conduct an energy audit is when a facility is reaching 25-30 years old and various systems need replaced.

ASHRAE Level 1 - Offers list of measures but may not offer a financial analysis.

ASHRAE Level 2 - Delivers great value with incentives to help you pay for the study.

ASHRAE Level 3 - Focuses on capital-intensive projects identified in Level 2, but with more detailed data.


Retrocommissioning involves looking at how a system is operating and what low and no-cost measures can be implemented.  If every measure is implemented, the average energy savings is 16% with a 1-year payback.

by Rebecca Melnyk | Original Article

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