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IEA – ECBCS Annex 47

Purpose and Work Program

Commissioning methods and tools are necessary to ensure that buildings reach their technical potential and operate energy-efficiently. However, documented commissioning methods are currently only available for some conventional HVAC systems and do not address the advanced systems and system combinations that are important for low energy buildings. Although the current focus of commissioning practice is to attempt to make buildings work as designed, significant additional energy savings can be achieved by commissioning to optimize building operation based on actual occupancy and use. This approach to “field optimization” of building HVAC systems considers the long-term persistence of savings and benefits achieved during the commissioning process.

The goal of IEA - ECBCS Annex 47 is to enable the cost-effective commissioning of existing and future buildings in order to improve their operating performance. The commissioning techniques developed through this Annex will help transition the industry from the intuitive approach that is currently employed in the operation of buildings to more systematic operation that focuses on achieving significant energy savings. The Annex will also exchange information on commissioning practices in different countries and disseminate relevant information to national practitioners.

Key outputs of IEA - ECBCS Annex 47 include:

  • Methods and tools for commissioning advanced systems and low energy buildings;
  • Methods and tools for field application;
  • Information on the costs and benefits that can be used to promote the wider use of commissioning.

For more information, see the IEA - ECBCS Annex 47 work program (PDF, 99 KB).

Participating Countries

Final Reports

These reports summarize the work of IEA-ECBCS Annex 47 Cost-Effective Commissioning of Existing and Low Energy Buildings. They are based on the research findings from participating countries.

Report 1, Commissioning Overview (PDF, 642 KB), is an introduction to the commissioning process.

Report 2, Commissioning Tools for Existing and Low energy Buildings (6.4 MB), provides general information on the use of tools to enhance the commissioning of low energy and existing buildings, summarizes the specifications for tools developed in the Annex, and presents case studies.

Report 3, Commissioning Cost-Benefit and Persistence of Savings (2.7 MB), presents a collection of data to promote commissioning of new and existing buildings and defines methods for determining costs, benefits, and persistence of commissioning. The report also highlights national differences in the definition of commissioning.

Report 4, Flow Charts and Data Models for Initial Commissioning of Advanced and Low Energy Building Systems (4.1 MB), provides a state-of-the-art description of the use of flow charts and data models in the practice and research of initial commissioning of advanced and low energy building systems.

In many countries, commissioning is still an emerging activity, and in all countries, advances are needed for greater formalization and standardization. We hope that these reports will be useful to promote best practices, to advance its development and to serve as the basis of further research in this growing field.

Natascha Milesi Ferretti and Daniel Choinière
Annex 47 Co-Operating Agents

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