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 Chillers by John A. Herbert

energy audit expert

Every energy audit is the same but different, the goal, searching for cost and energy savings is the same. whether its factory or office. And we follow the same published process, yet every energy audit guide attempts to detail how to identify those cost savings, and that is where the document evolves from its clinical, prescriptive list of requirements into vague generalizations because examining data, sometimes imperfect data, to find cost savings is more art than science. 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

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.

John. A Herbert attended World Green Building Council Congress 2015 Hong Kong

Kelcroft is patron sponsor for Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) so naturally our director Mr John A. Herbert, attended the World Green Building Council ( Congress 2015, this year held in Hong Kong.

John a. Herbert attended world gbc congress kelcroft-wgbc-2015

The bonus, this event was attended by member of the World GBC, members from around the planet joined the conference in Hong Kong, over the two day event. John A. Herbert met members from Malaysia GBC, Philippines GBC, Qatar GBC, Germany GBC, and South Africa’s GBC amongst others.

Herbert said “the 2015 congress was truly a global event, with fantastic speakers from different countries”.


Living City

Hong Kong has a public bicycle rental service too!


These photographs were taken in the (temporary) West Kowloon Cultural District area, there is a cycle path too. Unfortunately, you first need to register to obtain the necessary smart card to rent these bicycles.


BEAM 5th year Anniversary Dinner 25 September 2015 by John A. Herbert

BEAM Society Limited (BSL) celebrated its 5th year of incorporation with anniversary dinner on 25 Sept 2015 at the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong. This celebration belies the real age of BEAM, which commenced in 1996, progressed from a committee, into the BEAM society, becoming incorporated as BEAM Society Limited in 2010, and the #greenbuilding movement has steadily grown every year. Perhaps needless to say, but Kelcroft was a table sponsor! with a fantastic group of green building enthusiasts to help support the evening.

John A Herbert

Our own director Mr John A. Herbert was honoured to receive a BEAM award, in fact our table had three award winners! with both Mr Michael Arnold, Mr Kevin Edmunds collecting honours.

John A Herbert, BEAM, 2015

And of course the group shot to end the festivities:

John A. Herbert