Federal Government Services – Retro-Commissioning Medical Center Campuses for the Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contracted with SCS Engineers and our team to provide retro-commissioning (RCx) services in three of its Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs): Region 1 (New England), Region 3 (New York and New Jersey), and Region 12 (Upper Midwest). The VA’s goals for these RCx projects were to achieve improved indoor air quality, comfort and controls, extended systems life, improved and more efficient operation and maintenance, energy and resource efficiency, and reduced energy costs.

federal government services
VA Medical Campus in the Upper Midwest.

SCS was awarded these major projects under an Energy Services Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with the General Services Administration (GSA). The SCS Team included RetroCom Energy Strategies, Inc., a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB); EMC Engineers, Inc., a subsidiary of Eaton Corporation; and Alares, LLC, an SDVOSB.

These large, complex projects entailed providing RCx for 24 medical center campuses in several states (Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin), involving hundreds of buildings comprising some 21 million square feet.

The RCx projects on existing buildings entailed evaluating existing building systems to ensure they operate and interact optimally. The process included investigation of building heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, their control systems, hot water, chilled water, and boiler systems.

SCS and our subcontractors monitored and tested the equipment, adjusted operations, made simple repairs, and identified low-cost operational and maintenance improvements to enhance infection control, occupant comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency in the VA’s existing buildings and minimize the need for major equipment replacement. Additionally, larger repairs, capital intensive corrective actions, energy savings measures, and other improvements were identified and their costs estimated.

These projects required extensive field work at the campuses, including obtaining security clearances for all personnel performing field work. The scope required preparing numerous reports (14 to 21 reports per campus), including:

  • Site-Specific Safety Plans
  • Retro-Commissioning Plans
  • Facility Information Documents
  • Equipment Inventories
  • Digital Photographs & IR Camera Scans
  • Building Occupant Interviews and Goals
  • Facility Performance Analyses and Benchmarking
  • Design Calculations
  • System Diagnostic Monitoring Plans
  • System Diagnostic Monitoring Reports
  • System Test Procedures & Testing Plans
  • System Testing Reports
  • TAB Reports
  • Recommended Corrective Actions and Simple Repairs Reports
  • CO2 Monitoring Reports
  • Air Compressor Reports
  • Updated CFR & Certified RCx Reports
  • Out-briefings of our investigative findings

Highlights of the RCx projects included:

  • Comprehensive RCx investigation with the goals of improved infection control, occupant comfort, and air quality
  • Reduced energy consumption and costs
  • Improved and more efficient operation and maintenance
  • Extended HVAC system life
  • Identifying needed repairs and making simple repairs
  • Identifying capital intensive improvements