Building Recommissioning: Reduce Energy Use & Improve Comfort

  • Building recommissioning (RCx) is a quick and inexpensive way of reducing energy consumption by 5-15%
  • Typical measure payback period under 3 years
  • RCx uses diagnostic monitoring & testing to identify system inefficiencies
  • BC Hydro & FortisBC offer Continuous Optimization incentive funding

What is Recommissioning & Retrocommissioning?

Recommissioning (RCx) is a process used to optimize performance in existing buildings that have already been either commissioned or retrocommissioned (a term used when commissioning never occurred with original construction).

RCx ensures building equipment and systems are working together optimally to meet current occupant needs.

The primary focus of RCx is on identifying “low cost/no cost” operational improvements compared to the study building’s current energy usage and comfort levels. On site diagnostic monitoring, typically using the building management system (BMS), is leveraged to trouble shoot performance issues and to propose remedial actions.

The Importance of Recommissioning

Over time, with changes in occupancy patterns, space usage and adjustments to equipment controls logic, a building may operate with reduced energy efficiency and with diminished occupant comfort.

Just as a vehicle requires servicing once it reaches a certain mileage, so a building requires recommissioning at intermittent points in its lifecycle (typically every five years).

The RCx process benefits the building owner & occupants through:

  • Improved energy efficiency and reduced operating costs
  • Supporting a robust operation and maintenance strategy, by identifying failed (or failing) equipment
  • Documentation of occupant comfort issues, and revisions to equipment operation to alleviate these issues

The RCx process ensures that building staff have the knowledge and documentation needed to operate and maintain the building to the highest standards.

The Process

Natural Resources Canada have developed a Recommissioning Guide, which identifies a roadmap for the recommissioning process:

Impact Engineering Case Study

Check out the recent Impact Engineering Case Study which profiled our Sunset Towers Project. The recommissioning effort achieved a measured 25% reduction in natural gas consumption, and two-year payback.

Continuous Optimization Program & Incentive Funding

BC Hydro & FortisBC have recently announced the reinstatement of the Continuous Optimization, Building Recommissioning Program.

The program provides customer assistance to save energy and improve operations in large commercial buildings without having to undertake a major capital investment.

If you would like to learn more about the Building Recommissioning process, and how to secure funding to recommission your own facility, please reach out to our team.


Building Operation Optimization: Recommissioning Guide for Building Owners and Managers (1st Edition), Natural Resources Canada