Our Industry

Why Retro-Commission a Building?

By Abraham Algabyali

Today, decarbonization is becoming increasingly important. One way that facility and property managers can improve their energy efficiency is to retro-commission their buildings. This process analyzes and optimizes existing building systems to improve performance, reduce energy consumption, and lower operating costs. We’ll explore the benefits of retro-commissioning and why it’s a valuable investment for facility and property managers.


The primary benefit of retro-commissioning is improved energy efficiency. Retro-commissioning identifies areas in existing building systems that waste energy and adjustments are make to improve system efficiency. This could include adjusting control sequences, replacing/calibration sensors, replacing/upgrading equipment, and/or optimizing system settings. The result of performing retro-commissioning, on average, is 16% energy savings in existing buildings and an improved ESG score.


Another benefit is an improvement in the comfort of building occupants. Retro-commissioning can ensure a facility maintains a comfortable temperature, humidity, and air quality by optimizing heating, cooling, and ensuring adequate ventilation systems. In commercial buildings, occupant comfort is a key factor in productivity, satisfaction, and retention. For example, doubling the ventilation rate in a building from the ASHRAE minimum (from 20 cfm/person to 40 cfm/person) improves employee performance by about 8%, equivalent to a $6500 increase in employee productivity each year (using 2015 dollars).


Often, building systems that are not properly functioning can lead to increased maintenance costs. For example, an HVAC system that is not properly balanced or has improper setpoints will cause excessive wear and tear on components, leading to more frequent breakdowns and repairs. By retro-commissioning building systems, facility and property managers can identify and correct these issues, reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of building systems.


As energy codes and regulations become more stringent, retro-commissioning can help facility and property managers comply. Our retro-commissioning team can ensure that building systems meet the latest codes and regulations, helping clients avoid costly fines and penalties.

Due to these benefits, the average return on investment on retro-commissioning is 1.1 years. We can retro-commission over 25 different types of equipment to improve energy efficiency, comfort, and maintenance costs, help your building comply with local regulations, and operate more efficiently and sustainably. If you’d like to learn more, please email me at aalgabyali@wbengineering.com or view our commissioning service page.