Seasonal commissioning and ‘soft landings’

28th June 2023

Facilities managers and maintenance teams are often judged by occupant comfort, the ‘soft landings’ that are the front-facing arm of FM. To ensure buildings are heated and cooled correctly in an energy efficient manner, it is crucial that the equipment responsible for temperature control are working at their optimum.

Seasonal commissioning is a key part of this jigsaw puzzle, observing building services when run at their full load and at occupied optimum status to ensure they perform as intended. Seasonal commissioning is carried out:

  • At the design stage
  • Within first 12 months after the building is occupied, during:
    • ‘full-load’ conditions – cooling/ventilation in the summer months, heating in winter
    • ‘part-load’ conditions – spring and autumn.

Real-time monitoring for soft landings can be used in this context to measure the effectives of works and back-up supporting recommendations. The data-based approach facilitated by monitoring in this way leads to a far more dynamic response to water system management with a true and accurate picture of closed-system condition – definitive proof of the HVAC systems capacity to meet its design requirements and give guidance for future operational changes that can be implemented to achieve enhanced energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

The information provided by real time monitoring can complement SFG20 software used for asset maintenance.

Crucial information

At the seasonal commissioning stage, real time monitoring can provide crucial information about hydraulic integrity alongside traditional BMS information, delivering clues that indicate whether commercial equipment is likely to fail and disrupt the building operations and occupant comfort or if perceived problems are only local operational issues and not system wide integrity failures. Without this technology, there is often no warning that there’s a problem until someone physically checks the plant.

Long-term, continuous monitoring leads to a far superior understanding of system condition when compared with sampling and laboratory analysis and assists the FM team with their maintenance plans, countering a raft of common issues seen in the management of closed-loop water systems:

  • Costly knee-jerk reactions
  • Misdiagnosis of samples
  • Sampling error
  • Misunderstanding of system operations
  • Misdirected maintenance regimes

All of these problems can lead to a greatly increased risk of equipment failure. Capital expenditure on the latest real-time monitoring technology will save future down the line, extending life and reducing operational expense, while improving maintenance strategies. HVAC systems are essential, costly assets that need to be protected.

Digital support

Guardian Water Treatment’s BG50i Intelligent Water Monitoring & Treatment package, is the ideal support to building owners, FMs and maintenance teams responsible for the continued and efficient running of HVAC plant. It includes the latest 24/7 real-time monitoring technology that enhances the effectiveness of seasonal commissioning and the consequent ‘soft landings’, by providing peace of mind that closed systems are operating as they should.

Without real-time monitoring, all commissioning and maintenance practices related to closed-system HVAC have an element of uncertainty. Sampling and laboratory analysis, the historical way to test system condition, can be inaccurate. A sample only represents a snapshot in time and laboratory analysis is open to interpretation, certainly if there is a delay between sampling and testing (CSCA Technical Committee Discussion 05-21)

The real-time monitoring technology we use checks a range of parameters that can be indicative of corrosive conditions (such as dissolved oxygen, pressure and corrosion rates), digitally and continuously.

For more information about BG50i, click here.