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May 25-26, 2010

Hyatt Regency O’Hare
Chicago, Illinois


Day One

18th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC 2010) agenda.
Time Session Summary & Description
7:30 AM5:00 PM Registration
8:3010:00 AM

Opening Plenary

Welcome by ComEd and Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

Val R. Jensen
Vice President, ComEd

Bob Romo
Senior Program Officer, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation


Looking to the Future: What’s Next for the Commissioning Industry?

Phil Welker
Executive Director, PECI

Presentation of the 11th Annual Benner Award

10:0010:30 AM Morning Break (Exhibit Hall Opens)
10:30 AM12:00 PM

Commissioning Deliverables: What to Expect for Your Money

Gerald J. Kettler, PE, CCP, CxA, CIAQM
Air Engineering & Testing, Inc.

What are the deliverables of the commissioning process for new and existing buildings? This session will explore what purchasers of commissioning services should expect to receive. The process starts with Owner's Project Requirements and Basis of Design documents for new buildings and Current Facility Requirements for existing buildings. An additional 10 to 15 deliverables follow, depending on the Cx goals and the scope of work. This session will provide details of what commissioning clients should expect at each phase.

RCx Insights & Best Practices from Utilities

Ryan Stoianowski, LEED-AP

Brooke Smallwood
Pepco C&I Energy Savings Program

George R. Owens, PE, CEM, LEED-AP
Energy and Engineering Solutions, Inc.

Graham Henderson
BC Hydro

This session will present lessons learned and best practices from a broad representative of programs. Utility staff involved in making these programs work will present the challenges and successes of RCx from the utility perspective.

Is My Building Management System Ready for This? How your BMS Can Help You Achieve LEED Certification

Bernard Keister V, PE
Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers

More and more property owners are looking to certify their buildings under LEED’s Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance (EBOM) program. Many are especially interested in the energy savings they could realize through better building operations. At the same time, it’s more likely than ever before that the HVAC equipment in a building has been tied to some sort of Building Management System (BMS). These systems can be great tools for helping achieve certification, but how can we be sure that the BMS will be ready to perform the functions asked of it?

This session will cover BMS Evaluation & Remediation, Benchmarking & Trending for good operation, Monitoring-Based Commissioning and Automated Functional Testing. Finally, we’ll look at how to ensure the improved operations persist.

12:001:30 PM Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall
1:303:00 PM

The Secret to Successful Commissioning: The Critical Role of the Owner and Operator

David Braslau, CEM, CDSM
Constellation Energy Projects & Services Group

Larry Smith
Harold Washington Social Security Center

Doug Maddox, PE
The Weidt Group

Mark Janco

Without champions from within the building, commissioning projects have a hard time succeeding. This session will present two case studies demonstrating the critical role of the owner and operator.

  • Harold Washington Social Security Administration (SSA) Center, Chicago, IL

    The SSA worked with Constellation Energy Group to install numerous energy-savings measures and conduct continuous building retrocommissioning at its Harold Washington Center in Chicago. Conducting a complex project in a federally owned building required constant initiative by the building operator and energy service company. Initial estimates predicted the measures would save about 4.6 million kWh of electricity annually. The ECMs actually have saved more than 5.1 million kWh of electricity annually and more than $350,000 per year.

  • Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA

    A few months after occupying the new museum in 2006, the board of directors experienced unexpectedly high energy bills. An investigation revealed that several key energy conservation measures had been disabled in response to a preheat coil freeze-up failure. This presentation discusses how a failure of one control measure can cause a cascade of energy waste and how the owner and energy service company worked together to realize the project’s predicted energy savings

RCx Made Easy: New Tools to Select Buildings for RCx and Calculate Energy Savings

Alexandre Monarque
Natural Resources Canada

Mugimin Lukito
Southern California Edison

Dave Moser, PE

Southard Jones

Estimating the energy savings related to retrocommissioning (RCx) measures typically involves custom spreadsheet-based calculations or calibrated whole building energy simulation models that can be time consuming to develop. Based on recommendations from a recent evaluation of utility RCx programs, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) are developing a revolutionary new approach to estimating energy and demand savings for RCx measures.

This session will demonstrate this innovative new method, which employs a savings calculation tool that uses more detailed inputs than those in a traditional “deemed” savings approach, but is far simpler than a custom spreadsheet analysis or whole building energy model.

Technical Stumbling Blocks: What Every Commissioning Agent Should Know About Open Protocol Systems

Carl E. Lundstrom, PE, CCP
EMC Engineers, Inc.

Many building owners are requiring open-protocol data communication for MEP systems connected to the building automation systems. This may also involve the integration of building controls into the facility-wide enterprise-level control system. This presentation will describe the basics of open protocols used in control systems.

We also will identify serious technical issues that can occur with open-protocol installations that commissioning authorities should be aware of when performing design reviews, submittal reviews, functional testing, and as-built and O&M reviews. Finally, we will discuss edits that should be made in Cx specifications to cover open-protocol issues.

3:003:30 PM Afternoon Break
3:305:00 PM

The Value of Commissioning in Energy Performance Contracts

Karl Stum
Summit Building Engineering

To be most successful, energy savings performance contracts (PCs) should incorporate an appropriate quality assurance and quality control component. Measurement and verification protocols call for classic new construction commissioning for new equipment. But it is often unclear who should conduct the commissioning and how to best apply it. PC contractors typically feel less commissioning is warranted because they are guaranteeing the savings and feel they should do the commissioning. In addition, should existing equipment be commissioned prior to or during the PC in order to identify cost-effective energy savings?

There are pros and cons as to when existing building commissioning is best applied. This presentation investigates commissioning and PC issues and provides specific guidance on how to incorporate existing building commissioning and new construction commissioning into various types of PC contracts.

Commissioning Green Buildings

Paul McCown, PE, CEM, LEED-AP, CxA

Wayne Dunn, PE
National Commissioning Services

Paul McCown will discuss a 320,000 square foot institutional building that was constructed in 1999 as a Core and Shell high-rise office building with subsequent build-outs performed until 2001. This session will detail the RCx process for LEED-EB v2.0 and the continuous commissioning process after LEED certification. He will also share findings and implementation strategies for energy savings utilizing both processes.

LEED EBOM (Existing Buildings Operation & Maintenance) utilizes consensus standards to certify existing building performance. Without commissioning, EBOM cannot succeed in its mission of promoting high performance or realizing improved performance. It is a common cliché to state: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. A quote that is reiterated in: Quality Control for Dummies. EBOM prerequisites mandate performance in water, energy, waste, air quality, purchasing and operations and every EBOM credit touches on a metric of one form or another. Wayne Dunn will discuss the expected role and application of EBOM commissioning. He will also present a vision for utilizing electronic data management and quality control as an effective way to manage all metrics required for EBOM certification at every level.

Exhibitor Showcase

In response to popular demand from past conference attendees, the 2010 NCBC will feature a 90-minute “Showcase of Exhibitors.” Key players in the industry will offer an in-depth presentation of their products and services. Attendees will hear from some of the leaders in controls and building services about state-of-the-art products that help find and maintain energy savings. Exhibitors include Pulse Energy, EnerNoc and NorthWrite.

5:007:00 PM Exhibitor’s Reception

Day Two

18th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC 2010) agenda.
Time Session Summary & Description
7:15 AM5:00 PM Registration
7:308:15 AM

Results from the Field: An Analysis of Existing Building Commissioning Measures

Joan Effinger

As more utilities engage in commissioning, they need detailed information about measures that are cost effective and applicable to a variety of situations in order to guide future program design. A research project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) aims to meet this need by providing utilities and program implementers with an analysis of existing building commissioning measures implemented nationwide. This analysis supplements other commissioning studies, including the recent LBNL commissioning cost-benefit study (Mills, 2009).

In this session, we will present findings from this new analysis, including costs and savings of measures by building type, size, age and climate zone. We also rank the measures by frequency and discuss potential barriers to implementation. We conclude with recommendations for applying the research findings to design cost-effective existing building commissioning programs.

Commissioning in the Federal Sector

Ab Ream
U.S. Department of Energy, FEMP

The government’s landlord, the General Services Administration, now requires all GSA capital improvement projects to employ total commissioning practices and all new construction to employ commissioning, beginning with the project planning phase and concluding with the post-occupancy evaluation phase. The cost for commissioning is included as a line item in the construction project budget. This session will provide an overview of commissioning in the federal sector and insights from how the government is training contractors and staff through a comprehensive guidebook developed by the Department of Energy, as well as an e-learning program.

8:3010:00 AM

Chilled Water System Commissioning: Variable Primary Pumping

John Villani, PE, CEM, LEED-AP, QCxP
Grumman/Butkus Associates

Variable primary chilled water plants are becoming commonplace, and these systems need to be commissioned. Even though these systems have fewer pumps than their predecessors, they are no less complicated to get working properly and commissioned, especially when integrating constant and variable speed chillers.

The session will review some history on the switch from primary/secondary pumping to variable primary pumping as well as the switch from constant speed to variable speed chillers and case studies of several chilled water plant projects. We will discuss the design details necessary for these systems to operate efficiently, and point out issues to consider when commissioning variable primary pumping of chilled water plants.

Energy Performance Tracking: Tools and Best Practices

Hannah Friedman, PE

Mark Effinger

Dave Moser, PE

More and more building owners are interested in tracking the energy performance of their buildings — even those who have not gone through commissioning. At the same time, new technologies for tracking energy performance are proliferating, and no clear guidelines exist for how and what to measure.

This session will cover the capabilities of different platforms for tracking energy performance, from simple home-grown solutions using the existing EMCS to Energy Information Systems (EIS), and automated fault detection and diagnostic tools. We will consider the pros and cons of the various approaches and examine available technologies — with tips to help building owners and others find their way. Finally, we will consider case studies from three building owners who have reduced energy use through energy performance tracking and describe how they achieved successful outcomes.

Reviewing Electrical Systems at the Design Phase: Adding VALUE for Your Customer

Donald Zerrip
Commissioning and Green Building Solutions

Reviewing a building’s electrical system during the design phase can uncover issues to be fixed before the building is constructed. Once systems are installed and operating, making changes can be costly and time-consuming — especially when the systems are designed to last for decades. Commissioning agents are not code enforcers, but they can ensure a building functions optimally and meets the owner’s needs by identifying designed-in barriers, offering solutions, and providing value-added engineering. Electrical design reviews bring a great opportunity to reduce costs, eliminate costs before they occur, improve safety, and provide the owner value. We will discuss the process of electrical design reviewing, clues to identifying common issues, and how electrical design review can enhance project delivery.

10:0010:30 AM Morning Break
10:30 AM12:00 PM

Retrocommissioning: Saving the Planet One Building at a Time™

Karl Helmink
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Damon E. McFall
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Dan Reese

Michelle Lichtenfels

Leaders in large-scale retrocommissioning projects will present case studies of successes and lessons learned. Included are: a retrocommissioning program on the UIUC campus that has completed work on five buildings and estimates a 20% reduction of overall energy usage and building utility costs; a Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) project to retrocommission the 720,000 square-foot commercial office building in Sacramento, which is estimated to save 1.8 million kWh of electricity. This session will also provide an overview of achievements and lessons learned from 120 retrocommissioning projects in California from 2006 through 2009, which were administered through some of the largest utility-sponsored retrocommissioning programs in the nation.

Constant Commissioning: Technology Solutions for Establishing Baselines and Maintaining Building Performance

Douglas R. Chamberlin, PE
EnerNOC, Inc.

Nathan F. Rothman, BEP, CSDP
Optimum Energy

It is critical to determine building energy use baselines before commissioning so that energy reductions can be estimated and verified post-installation. However, obtaining, storing and evaluating energy use data can be complex. This presentation discusses the findings and lessons learned from a monitoring-based commissioning (MCBx) project that obtained baseline and trend data for 20 large university buildings on five campuses throughout California. We will emphasize technology solutions we developed and discuss how this infrastructure can be used to facilitate Smart Grid technologies such as Demand Response and ongoing commissioning.

A commonly understood—but rarely discussed—fact about commercial buildings is the difficulty in maintaining heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for optimal energy efficiency. These systems tend to “drift” or degrade in performance because of ill-functioning mechanical and control systems. One way to mitigate performance drift is through ongoing commissioning via software-based solutions. This presentation will explore how standard software solutions are changing the way the commercial HVAC industry operates and maintains energy efficient systems.

Commissioning the Building Envelope

H. Jay Enck
Commissioning and Green Building Solutions, Inc.

Fiona Aldous
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

The presentation will focus on the complexities of exterior enclosure commissioning, specifically examining the differences and interactions between typical MEP and exterior enclosure commissioning from pre-design through post occupancy, and existing building commissioning. Various commissioning techniques and testing procedures utilized by the presenters will be discussed.

12:001:00 PM Networking Lunch
1:002:30 PM

RCx Success Three Ways: Retail, Commercial Office and Industrial

Michael Kuk
Sieben Energy Associates

RCx is applied to three different user types in this case study. This utility sponsored RCx program identified multiple user types to participate in uncovering low-cost and short payback energy saving opportunities. The report follows each project through the process and explores savings, costs of measures and costs for the retrocommissioning service providers. The study will also investigate how to keep measures on track towards implementation, measure persistence, and conclude with sizing the customer up for monitoring-based commissioning.

What Does a Successful Turn-over to the Building Operator look like?

Bryan Welsh, PE, CCP
Welsh Commissioning Group

During the turn-over phase, providers need to ensure three things: that all necessary documentation, knowledge and systems are provided to the O&M personnel, that the O&M personnel demonstrate the effective use of these tools and that the implemented improvements become a part of the standard operating practice to ensure the persistence of the commissioning efforts. This session will explore the best practices for a successful turn-over phase in either a new or existing building and will discuss deliverables crucial to the building operator's success. Topics include: customized building operation plan, O&M manuals, training videos, equipment manuals, and how operators can use smart alarms to help keep their building on track.

Commissioning Systems That Are Often Overlooked: Refrigeration & Compressed Air Systems

Scott Moore

Noel Corral

Supermarkets spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to operate refrigeration systems, most of which have never been optimized for performance and efficiency. Scott Moore commissioned 1,000 refrigeration systems as the director of engineering and energy management for Albertson’s nationwide grocery chain. Now a senior engineer for PECI, Moore will talk about how operation and control algorithms for refrigeration systems differ from traditional HVAC systems. He will use specific project examples to discuss best practices in setting up and commissioning these systems to reduce costs and energy use.

Air is always free, right? Not always. Although it is often used this way, compressed air is expensive and often considered the fourth utility, right behind electricity, natural gas and water. Why is it so often overlooked in commissioning services? This presentation will explore the compressed air system, how it works and what can be done to make it energy efficient, from low- or no-cost measures to full capital improvements that will positively impact the bottom line and help your compressed air system breathe a little easier.

2:303:00 PM Afternoon Break
3:004:30 PM

Town Hall Meeting

It’s been two years since NCBC participants addressed the challenges affecting our growing industry. A lot has changed in this short amount of time: an economic downturn, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an increase in existing building commissioning and continuing questions regarding certification and standardization.

This year, NCBC will again be facilitating a discussion of the industry in a “town hall” format. Based on responses of an upcoming survey, attendees will drill down key themes and address the variables crucial to industry development. Join us and make your voice heard!