HVAC systems can do amazing things these days — things that were unthinkable even 20 years ago. Computer technology, communications technology, integration with the worldwide web, and the emphasis on smart buildings as a means to reducing our consumption of natural resources have led to the ability to do just about anything we can think of.
It has been a fun time to be in the commissioning business because we get to see many of these new ideas and technologies applied in real facilities and participate in the process of troubleshooting them and making them work. We have seen an uptick in very complex HVAC systems that are clearly intended to squeeze as much energy out of building operations as possible. These are not particularly difficult systems to envision or design, but we have seen great challenges in their implementation and long-term sustainability.