Why Even Diligent Building Maintenance Benefits From Recommissioning

Paul Chiampa, Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc.

Even if HVAC systems were properly commissioned when built and diligently maintained, system degradation is inevitable. In the lab environment, this creates the potential for significant waste in energy consumption, and it can present serious safety issues. This is why recommissioning is essential and should be part of preventive maintenance plans.

A 414,000 square foot, multi-tenant facility, comprised of 75 percent of laboratory space will serve as a model to demonstrate the recommissioning process and how it supports maintenance programs, energy reduction and safety. The building owner slated the five-year-old building for recommissioning as part of their ongoing preventive maintenance. They partnered with EH&E to perform recommissioning with the goal of preventing small issues from becoming larger, systemic performance issues that could negatively impact tenants.

Even a small issue such as a sensor failure or malfunctioning valve or damper, when left unchecked can create problems such as changes in pressurization that negatively impact laboratory containment and safety.

The case study will teach participants:

  • How even with diligent maintenance degradation of system performance occurs due to facilities staff turnover, system alterations and modifications of controls.
  • The common issues frequently identified during recommissioning of labs that if left unaddressed can present performance and safety issues.
  • How to execute recommissioning in challenging lab environments.

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate the importance of recommissioning as a critical component of a building owner and manager's preventative maintenance plan. Correct common misconceptions such as that relatively new buildings, or ones that were commissioned during construction, do not benefit from recommissioning;
  • Explain how HVAC systems and their performance impact safety in the laboratory;
  • Describe the recommissioning process in detail and how it will affect building and laboratory spaces; and
  • Outline the recommended process to address any identified issues and verify that any corrective measures are effective.


At Environmental Health & Engineering, Paul Chiampa focuses on recommissioning, HVAC troubleshooting, and energy optimization, particularly for sensitive environments such as laboratories and healthcare facilities. Paul has investigated system performance for numerous buildings across the U.S. and coordinated the implementation of improvement measures.


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