Building commissioning services could benefit from energy efficient initiatives

November 7, 2012

The increased global growth in energy efficient building technology has ensured that providers of ancillary services, as well as the owners of commercial real estate, are able to take advantage of the green industry.

A recent survey by Pike Research has shown that the market value of commissioning services, which includes energy efficient retrofits on existing structures, is likely to double before 2020. The study, which was conducted as part of a continuous assessment of energy efficient building design, showed that these services could be expected to rise in value from $2.2 billion in 2012, to an estimated $4.4.billion over the next eight years. 

Commercial real estate commissioning services that ensure the equipment installed in a building is working as designed and that performance remains at a peak level over time, have been a part of the industry for decades. With government-backed initiatives such as the Energy Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in Greater Philadelphia revitalizing and renewing older buildings, the demand for these services now spreads across a combination of newer structures and those that have been efficiently retrofitted.

"Commissioning helps building owners achieve the full value of their investments in energy efficiency and green building technology," said Eric Bloom, a senior research analyst at Pike. "Over time, software-as-a-service models that offer continuous commissioning will become a more attractive delivery model, ensuring that green buildings maintain top performance well into the future."

According to a report released by E Source, an independent energy efficient building consultancy, businesses waste $60 billion every year through inefficient energy usage, which is 30 percent of power consumed by U.S. commercial and industrial facilities. The report, which was released on November 1, showed that government buildings use 26 percent more energy than other similar office structures, while data centers allegedly waste a staggering 90 percent of the energy they consume.

Part of the reason for the government waste can be put down to the age of the building, with many offices at least ten years older than private sector structures. However, the study also shows that retrocommissioning can play a large part in reducing energy waste, again a focal point in the work being done by the EEB Hub.

"It should be a non-controversial topic," said Beth Hartman, the author of the E Source study. "Everyone agrees that saving energy is good. We can’t agree where we should get the supply in terms of oil, renewables, or what. But if we are saving energy, that’s a good thing we all agree about."