retro commissioning by John A. Herbert

The principal is sound, if not the name. If you are old enough to remember the adverts for a crypton tune-up, you’ll understand the gist.

Due to mechanical wear and tear the engineering systems in our buildings inevitably need attention, and some twenty years ago, the phrase re-commissioning entered our vocabulary to brand the process of tuning the often forgotten ACMV systems.

But it is not really commissioning, not even close. Commissioning occurs after a new system is installed and those static systems are set into operation for the first time, complete with the countless startup and shutdown checklists.

Here in Hong Kong, T&C (Testing and Commissioning) is commonly used for starting new systems. To fix old buildings, the term “commissioning” is a misnomer in my view, it simply doesn’t apply to an existing system already operating.  Building tuning, my preferred term, is apter. We want to check and adjust, not start from scratch. For example, for the chilled water circuit, the point of re-commisisoning, as it is called, would be to check the flow rates and pressures satisfy the design intent, Because pumps and motors may have changed, the control valves need checking, what’s the value authority, etc. From experience, flow direction labels installed backward are confusing.

John A. Herbert energy expert

Indeed, a key target for undertaking re-commissioning is the same as an energy audit, to find cost saving opportunities and lower operating costs. Particularly for air conditioning systems, warmer weather over the last three years has caused increased energy costs, and the Observatory is predicting that this season will be another record.  Yet, some buildings are still operating today where the set points were checked at Practical Completion.

Yet, some buildings operating today have set points last checked at Practical Completion. Although buildings appear to be static, internally the mechanical and electricity systems need attention.

For advice regarding re-commissioning contact the experts today!

secret life of Variable Speed Drives by John A. Herbert

Following the success of the secret life of chillers, the secret life of Variable Speed Drives (VSD) might be equally important.
John Herbert hong kong energy efficiency expert

Variable Speed Drives (VSD), also known as Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) can replace motor starters and lower energy costs, but this graph above (real data) shows the motor speed remains pretty constant all day long.  Continue reading

No excuse to delay energy upgrades on HK Island by John A. Herbert

Funding Energy Upgrades

John Herbert - Green Building Seminar 2011
Cost is always the key issue for energy upgrading projects right? Yet dollar matched funding, upto HKD 200,000 is available for residential projects on Hong Kong Island. For example, for Incorporated Owners (IO) where the total cost of your energy saving project is for example HKD150,000, HKD 75,000 is refunded!

Kelcroft is a Qualified Service Provider (QSP) with practical expert advice to lower your costs, and energy consumption, call the experts today!

For commerical buildings you might be interested to view our Hong Kong Building Energy Consumption Mapping Project (beta) web page.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran energy expert with more than 30 years construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for two decades for international and local companies. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and BEAM Professional.

Improving Hong Kong’s Green Buildings looking forward by John A. Herbert

by John A. Herbert
green building, john herbert is green building expert

In the 2017 Policy Address by CE C.Y. Leung there is just hint that the present loophole that allows non-green buildings to obtain GFA concessions will be tightened. Continue reading

Leaking Ducts by John A. Herbert

leaking air ducts, air conditioning, waste energy

Air Conditioning is expensive and it is the highest portion of your energy, so after buying the central chiller plant, and the cost of energy to provide chilled water to air conditioning units, your precious and expensive conditioned air leaks out, through poor maintenance, wasting energy, and also causing condensation. It is the same as throwing the hundred dollar bills of the roof every day. In energy auditing, as in life, details matter.

Every fire damper in Hong Kong must be inspected annually, in air conditioned ductwork after a few years the access panel (shown in the photo above) is no longer air tight, allowing leakage of expensive cold air, and energy losses. Alone, each energy loss is not significant, across the Hong Kong millions are lost every year.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran engineer with more than 30 years construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for the last two decades engaged by international and local companies. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and BEAM Professional.

Green but not the colour for cooling towers by John A. Herbert

The world is catching on, the Green Building concept, where Green equates with Good, but not for cooling towers. Cooling towers need to be audited every year in Hong Kong, here is an example of a very poor Hong Kong cooling tower, with algae covering the entire floor of the cooling tower cell1 and cell2 … Legionella risk: severe

Kelcroft conducts the annual EMSD cooling tower audits in accordance with EMSD code for annual audit requirements, call the experts today.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran professional with more than 30 years solid construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for the last two decades, serving international, and local companies. And involved with the development of Hong Kong Green Building for more than a decade. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and a BEAM Professional.

Condition Survey, Air conditioning Issues…

by John A. Herbert

chiller motor oil leak Hong Kong

There is a saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, the photo illustrates how to ignore that, we have a 900 Kw 3 phase electric motor, an oil leak, and newspaper stuffed underneath catching dripping oil, that should send alarm bells ringing in every office across the land. Perhaps we need a fire triangle refresher course?

On the topic of condition surveys, I am often asked does the Kelcroft energy audit include condition survey? Yes, is always the answer, it is not an optional extra ASHRAE and other energy auditing standards call for it, an energy audit requires examination of the condition of the plant and equipment as part of the energy assessment to understand its efficiency, in tropical Hong Kong, that will include the central air conditioning plant, including the chillers, the automatic controls, differential bypass valves, variable speed drives, chilled water and condenser water pumps, cooling towers and the like.

In the energy audit report, it will identify any defects, or deferred maintenance issues discovered.

So back the high risk oil leak, literally one stray spark from disaster, the building owner does not know, the building management seem equally oblivious and never reported it, yet we know an ounce of prevention is far far cheaper than the cure.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran professional with more than 30 years solid construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for the last two decades, serving international, and local companies. And involved with the development of Hong Kong Green Building for more than a decade. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and a BEAM Professional.

Hong Kong outperformed Shanghai and Beijing in green building performance by John A. Herbert

Hong Kong was the highest ranked Chinese city for green building beating out Beijing and Shanghai in study by Solidance funded by Singapore Government.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong was ranked 6th, the leading Chinese city, ahead of Beijing and Shanghai, a vindication of Hong Kong’s own independent BEAM green rating rating tool.

BEAM has operating for twenty years, since the first rating tool was issued in 1996, and today, behind the scenes, countless volunteers give up their free time to support Hong Kong community, with little credit and no reward Herbert said. John A. Herbert is a recognised green building expert, a BEAM Professional, and chairman of BEAM Technical Review Panel.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran professional with more than 30 years solid construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for the last two decades, serving international, and local companies. And involved with the development of Hong Kong Green Building for a decade. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and a BEAM Professional.

#greenbuilding #hongkong #BEAMPLUS

thermal revelations with infra-red by John A. Herbert

thermal scan hong kong, china, asia, Kelcroft

thermal scan hong kong, kelcroft

predicting spalling infra-red condition survey

Infra-red scanning tool is the latest high technology tool for surveying the condition of M&E services and buildings. the condition may appear normal to the naked eye, but infra-red imaging reveals subtle details not normally visible to humans and presents a false colour image for easy review.

#energyaudit #building #survey

EMSD Cooling Tower Audit

emsd cooling tower audit, hong kong

In Hong Kong EMSD (www.emsd.gov.hk) requires an independent audit of cooling tower system every year, and still in 2016 it is needed. In the photo above the cooling tower basin is contaminated with dirty, and algae grow has started.

emsd cooling tower audit

Model air conditioning condenser side water schematic  credit: Prevention of Legionnaires’ Disease Code of Practice

The EMSD Code of Practice part 2 is the standard to assess the cooling tower system operation, and the annually conducted audit requires document review of the procedures and a physical inspection of the towers inside and out, then adjudicate compliance.

cooling tower audit hong kong

cooling-tower-hongkong-600w

Cooling Tower FAQ

Q. Who can conduct EMSD cooling tower audit in Hong Kong?
A. Kelcroft conducts independent EMSD cooling tower audit for Government, and private sector organsations.

Q. Is on-site checking of the cooling tower system required?
A. Yes, site inspection of the cooling tower system and operating records is required.

Q. What cooling tower system records will be checked?
A. The cooling tower operation check include the records for maintenance, water treatment, and laboratory results shall be reviewed.

Q. When is EMSD Cooling tower audit required?
A. Annually and after any major renovation work is recommended.

Q. What standard is used for the cooling tower audit?
A. The cooling tower audit standard is the latest version of EMSD Code of Practice for Water Cooled Air Conditioning Systems Part 2: Operation and Maintenance of Cooling Towers [link]

CLICK HERE for information about Kelcroft’s EMSD cooling tower inspection