Residential Commissioning: A Review of Related Literature

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The literature review reported here is the first step in a larger 30 month-long project that will lay the groundwork for a residential commissioning industry in California focused on end-use energy and non- energy issues. The intent of the review is to facilitate access to existing literature related to residential commissioning. Emphasis is placed on reviewing documents published over the past 20 years, which represents the period of time over which building commissioning and closely related issues have been actively reported. This report discusses the status of commercial building commissioning and compares it with residential commissioning. Based on an extensive review of 469 readily available documents, it summarizes existing metrics, diagnostics, and norms for all building types that are relevant for evaluating, tuning, and retrofitting various aspects of new and existing houses. The relevant areas of concern for California houses are: Building Envelope, Cooling Equipment and Heat Pumps, Air Distribution Systems, Indoor Air Quality, Combustion Appliances, Controls, and Other Electrical Appliances. There is a substantial amount of useful information in the literature about metrics, diagnostics, and norms that are relevant to residential commissioning. However, there are also some significant gaps. This report concludes by highlighting gaps in existing knowledge that require further research and development. Areas in particular need of work include: metrics, diagnostics, and norms for thermal mass and moisture-damage susceptibility; diagnostics for steady-state capacity and efficiency, as well as refrigerant charge level, for cooling equipment and heat pumps; diagnostics and norms for ventilation effectiveness and efficiency; diagnostics to evaluate the potential for backdrafting and combustion gas spillage; and metrics, diagnostics, and norms for controls and other electrical appliances.

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