Skip to main content Skip to main content

Using the Commissioning Process to Improve Energy Efficiency in Existing Laboratories & Vivariums

Dan Frasier, PE, Cornerstone Commissioning, Inc.


Cornerstone Commissioning has worked on existing facilities for which energy was being wasted in some areas of buildings, while other areas were far below environmental control performance requirements. Specific examples of typical problems will be presented. A list of the most typical problems will also be addressed.

Labs21 Connection:

This presentation focuses on the following aspects of the Labs21 Approach:

  • Adopt Energy and Environmental Performance Goals (focuses on energy efficiency)
  • Commission Equipment and Controls in Retrofit Projects
  • Employ a Broad Range of Sustainable Energy and Water Efficiency (all four areas listed: Central Plant, Supply & Exhaust Distribution, Energy Recovery, Lighting Design)

Additional Comments or Materials:

The Commissioning Process for existing buildings goes beyond preventive maintenance items such as repair of slipping belts, worn bearings and severed flex connections. It involves a reevaluation of the needs for the space, an evaluation of the building's systems, and optimum adjustment of system parameters to maximize the building's energy conservation. It can also include the integration of commissioning tasks with facilities management software to verify that energy efficiency goals are being met. Among the topics to be covered are:

  • Evaluating if the laboratory or vivarium meets the owner's requirements.
  • Achieving energy conservation and performance of existing systems.
  • Recommendations for implementing the commissioning process for existing facilities.


Dan Frasier has a diverse, hands-on background in design, installation, service, commissioning, and promotion of HVAC Systems, with a specialization in controls for Scientific Laboratory, Vivarium and Healthcare facilities. He developed skills in the installation, service and operation of plumbing and heating systems during ten years of fieldwork in his family's mechanical contracting company, Frasier's, Inc. After earning his bachelor's degree, Mr. Frasier worked for United McGill Corporation, specializing in duct design methods, acoustics, and sales management. He trained sales assistants and consulting engineers on duct design and managed a direct sales office. He was awarded with the best market penetration nationwide his last two years with McGill, consistently exceeding his sales goals.

After McGill, Mr. Frasier moved to Syracuse and then to Boston as a sales engineer for R.F. Peck Co. and Alfieri-Proctor Associates, Inc., both HVAC manufacturer's representative firms spanning 1991 to 1999. He promoted, specified, designed and commissioned technical products for each of the companies, focusing on custom air handling units, variable frequency drives and environmental control systems for university and pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and large commercial projects. While at R.F. Peck Co., he served on the company's Board of Directors. Notable projects during Mr. Frasier's sales engineering work were Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, Dartmouth College and Medical School, Bowdoin College, Boston University, Cornell University, and SUNY- Binghamton.

In 1999, he joined Phoenix Controls Corporation, the leading manufacturer of airflow control systems for critical environments, serving his first year as Industry Market Manager. He was named Marketing Manager in 2000 and focused on new revenue opportunities for Phoenix in the laboratory animal science market. Mr. Frasier positioned the company well into this market, providing leadership to develop new products and dramatic growth in annual revenues directly related to laboratory animal facility projects. Notable projects during his time at Phoenix include M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, St. Judes Children's Hospital, Northwestern University Medical School, Emory University, and University of Massachusetts Medial Center. While at Phoenix, he authored two editions of the Phoenix Controls Vivarium Sourcebook, the latter of which won an Excellence Award from the Boston Technical Writers Society.

Mr. Frasier's passion for serving owners through construction projects to deliver fully functional buildings and his diverse experience in the HVAC field resulted in the forming of Cornerstone Commissioning, Inc. in 2001.

EPA Home | OARM Home | DOE Home | FEMP Home

This page is no longer updated.
EPA gave I2SL permission to house this page as a historic record of the Labs21 Annual Conference.