Mind the Gap Between Construction and Occupancy to Preserve Efficiency
In the pursuit of a high-performance building, LEED certification or net-zero design, there is no guarantee that the resulting performance will persist for more than a short period of time. Something happens between the end of a facility’s construction and the beginning of its operations. Even if the teams have miraculously bundled forward-thinking mechanical and electrical design, commissioning, energy modeling, measurement and verification strategies and renewable energy production, an artificial gap or “substantial transition” period exists where most (if not all) of the professionals involved in designing, installing and verifying the initial conditions of a building’s performance are no longer involved in that building’s operations — a phase in the building’s life with far greater costs and environmental impacts.
A bridge through this substantial transition period from design and construction to operations must be established in order to preserve the early efforts in a building’s design and life as well as to combat performance decay and the ever-increasing costs of operation. This bridge, in conjunction with a comprehensive ongoing commissioning program, can preserve much of the potential energy efficiency opportunity that exists in most buildings without a primary focus on future retrofits, upgrades or replacements.View Article