The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), which provided original funding to help start the BCxA years ago, and its consultant The Cadmus Group (a BCxA corporate member), conducted its annual commissioning market study of the NW region (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana). The Long Term Monitoring and Tracking (LTMT) survey enables NEEA to track and report on total Cx square footage for the region and by state, identify commissioning trends, report commissioning project costs per square foot, and estimate energy savings.
Market penetration of existing building commissioning for the region is still low but it increased from 0.70% to 1.21% between 2018 and 2019.
Large increases in the volume of existing building commissioning in the region was a new and positive trend in 2019, which will hopefully recur in 2020 and beyond.
Variable code enforcement and awareness/knowledge barriers are the likely culprits for variable rates of Cx in eastern regions.
In 2019, 97 commissioning firms were providing services in the Northwest, 12 more than in 2018. An estimated 165 certified commissioning professionals represent these firms.
For the Northwest as a whole, the percent of new building square footage that was commissioned decreased from 75% in 2018 to 64% in 2019, driven by both an increase in new building square footage and a decrease in commissioning activity. However, Montana saw an increase in new building commissioning.
Cadmus asked firms that commission new and existing buildings about their “typical” project cost range. Each respondent supplied a lower-bound and upper-bound cost for typical projects.
- The average cost per square foot for new buildings was $1.16 (average lower bound of $0.55 and average upper bound of $1.76, n=18).
- The average cost per square foot for existing buildings was $0.73 (average lower bound of $0.36 and average upper bound of $1.10, n=15).
These findings were mostly consistent with findings in 2018, though presented a slight decrease in cost for existing buildings.
Cadmus asked respondents to imagine they were the owner of an existing building and from that perspective, to share the main reasons they would not commission their building. The majority of respondents indicated cost (84%, n=32) as the main barrier. Additionally, almost half said lack of knowledge about the benefits of existing building commissioning was a barrier. Other less commonly mentioned barriers included the fact that equipment may still be functioning (13%), lack of time (6%), lack of qualified providers (6%), lack of code requirements for existing building commissioning (6%), and lack of monetary incentives for owners to conduct existing building commissioning (from entities such as utilities) (3%).
Frequency of Commissioning by Equipment/System Type During NCCx:
Frequency of Commissioning by Equipment/System Type in EBCx: