Recommissioning Mechanical Systems in Federal Facilities
Published December 18, 2014, by Christine Parrington
Effectively addressing the aging infrastructure of America has been a much discussed topic for decades. With the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Federal facilities are required to be assessed for commissioning purposes to ensure energy efficiency compliance – specifically where energy-consuming mechanical systems are concerned. The type of commissioning varies, however, and several factors come into play. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy O & M Best Practices Guide (Ch. 7), recommissioning (or “retro-commissioning”) seems to be the best, most common, and most cost-effective approach for Federal facilities where funding for upgrades or replacements of expensive mechanical systems (like air handlers) is often scarce and/or deferred.
A good example of effective recommissioning involves a U.S. Navy hospital in Virginia. Built in 1827, a significant number of its air handling units (AHUs) are now decades old. Replacing these air handlers would cost millions and would be an enormous logistical undertaking. Seeking an effective alternative, the hospital hired AQUIS (a GSA contract holder) to refurbish 32 of its air handlers, essentially breathing new life into units that were heavily rusted and corroded, and re-pitching condensate pans that were previously un-pitched and plagued with standing water issues. The end result? AQUIS was instrumental in saving the hospital a remarkable amount of time and money.
With air handlers being one of the largest and oldest pieces of mechanical equipment still operational in many Federal facilities today, it’s no surprise that they are riddled with problems such as leaks, rust, corrosion, and standing water – all of which collectively affect operational equipment efficiency and contribute to the degradation of these important systems. AQUIS, however, has a patented and engineered composite coating system that specifically addresses and eliminates these common problems. By refurbishing units that were otherwise candidates for replacement, saved funds can then be used toward other pressing facilities’ needs, thereby eliminating the downtime, risks and logistical difficulties required to accommodate removal and replacement of air handlers. For this reason, it’s easy to see why the AQUIS customer list continues to grow.