Over the last couple months, this column has been about retrocommissioning, commissioning existing building systems that have never been commis-sioned before. There is no question that there is great potential to be realized through a retrocommissioning process, primarily in terms of improved system performance and decreased energy consumption. However, successful retrocommissioning is not something can be accomplished in a vacuum by a commissioning professional; it depends heavily on the building’s O&M staff.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.