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Retro-Commissioning a Performing Arts Center using HVAC-Cx



Natascha S. Milesi-Ferretti, Michael A. Galler, Steven T. Bushby, Robert Leader, J. M. Whitcomb, David W. Rush


This paper presents the use of a semi-automated commissioning tool for the energy retro-commissioning of the Performing Arts Center at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Researchers and field practitioners collaborated to implement the HVAC-Cx commissioning software tool in its first full-scale field test. HVAC-Cx aids building operators in decision-making by analyzing data using a set of expert rules governing the operation of the mechanical equipment. This publically-available software program has the capability to communicate with BACnet controllers to command the systems under test into their various modes of operation and to record system responses to facilitate some of the labor-intensive activities of retro-commissioning. These activities included monitoring building data under normal operation (operation monitoring) and active testing using a library of prefunctional tests and functional performance tests developed to evaluate the performance of both air-side and water-side systems. This report documents the traditional energy retro-commissioning process implemented at Montgomery College along with the results, examining the effectiveness of HVAC-Cx.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2027
Report Number


Milesi-Ferretti, N. , Galler, M. , Bushby, S. , Leader, R. , Whitcomb, J. and Rush, D. (2019), Retro-Commissioning a Performing Arts Center using HVAC-Cx, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created February 21, 2019