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In the November issue of Cannabis Business Times, RII’s Technical Director Gretchen Schimelpfenig shared the benefits of commissioning for cannabis production facilities in A Shipbuilding Concept that Can Save You Money. She shared the results of a 2018 study showing that existing industrial buildings can achieve energy savings between 3% and 12% when systems are commissioned via an extensive quality assurance process to ensure system performance and reduce manufacturing defects and installation issues that affect operations down the line to encourages cultivators and business owners to save OpEx with Cx and add a commissioning agent to the team on their next project.

Commissioning (Cx) is a concept born out of shipbuilding; after equipment is installed and tested, issues are identified and corrected, the crew is trained, and the parts, system, and staff of the ship complete a quality assurance process, a ship can be deemed ready for service. A commissioned ship ensured to be in working order is more reliable than an untested ship. Similarly, commissioned equipment that has gone through an extensive quality assurance process is less likely to have manufacturing defects or installation issues that affect operations down the line.

With improved system performance, your HVAC and dehumidification (HVACD) and lighting systems are tuned to provide optimal indoor environmental conditions for plant growth and health and can function as efficiently as possible.

Cx activities verify your new equipment is ready before moving plants into your growing spaces. Some functional performance tests for cultivation spaces could include overriding actual temperature or relative humidity readings from sensors and observing whether your HVACD equipment responds appropriately to bring conditions back into target ranges. Other tests can include: ensuring sensors are calibrated, running equipment in lights on and lights off conditions, and checking that generators come online during power outages.

Commissioning continues to assist operators once you move your plants in, especially if you use a building automation system to control your HVACD, lighting, and other cultivation processes. During design and construction, your Cx agent can work with you to choose which points are important for you to monitor, which ones to trend and for how long. With the right data stored for useful amounts of time, you can catch problems before they get bigger. Put historical data to good use by benchmarking resource use and corresponding production to track how yield corresponds to facility efficiency.

Read more at Cannabis Business Times.