Operation and Maintenance Management
ASHRAE Technical Committee 7.3

Scope of TC 7.3

TC 7.3 is concerned with providing general guidance in the area of operation, maintenance and commissioning of air conditioning, heating, ventilating and refrigeration systems and equipment.


The ASHRAE Handbook is published in a series of four volumes, one of which is revised each year, ensuring that no volume is older than four years.  Handbooks may be purchased from the ASHRAE Bookstore by clicking on this link.

This TC is responsible for the following Chapter in the HVAC Applications Volume:

Operation and Maintenance Management
Effective operation and maintenance is essential for cost-effective provision of the built environment that humankind enjoys today. To derive the greatest return on existing building stock, and to ensure future generations will continue to enjoy these benefits, the built environment must be sustainable. A significant component of the sustainable facility is the way the structure and its systems are operated and preserved for the long term. This chapter presents several strategies, methods, procedures, and techniques for operation and maintenance management programs that minimize asset failure and preserve system function to deliver their intended purpose.

The ASHRAE HVAC APPLICATIONS HANDBOOK may be purchased from the on-line bookstore by clicking on the highlighted text.

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Technical committees develop and sponsor technical sessions at the winter and annual conferences. Information about their future technical program is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Program Subcommittee meeting

ASHRAE publishes papers and transactions from presentations at its conference events. In addition, ASHRAE records most of the seminar sessions from its conferences on DVD. These DVDs are ideal for use at chapter meetings, in university courses, or company lunch and learns. Products available from the most recent conference may be found here.

Programs presented at 2017 Long Beach Annual Conference:

Monday, June 26, 2017, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
SEMINAR 18 Bridging the Information Gaps to Operation Management
Track: Commissioning: Optimizing New and Existing Buildings and their Operation
Sponsors: 7.3 Operation and Maintenance Management, 7.9 Building Commissioning, 7.8 Owning and Operating Costs
Chair: Robyn Ellis, City of Hamilton - Public Works, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This seminar describes innovative approaches to bridging the information gaps that often occur throughout the project cycle, obscuring system intent, critical operating information (set-points, flow rates, etc.), performance history, training materials. Case studies include commissioning with a tablet-based information portal on the owner's cloud, semi-automated data-logging for FDD messaging and searchable information archiving. Impacts include improved energy efficiency and reduced operating costs. This seminar provides diverse perspectives from the owner, the consulting engineer and the researcher.
1. Bridging the Information Gap during Commissioning and Project Turnover to Operations
Chuck Dale-Derks, P.E., Member, McClure Engineering, St. Louis, MO
Participants will gain a better understanding of commissioning deliverables from the CxA and/or construction team to be passed to operations. An effective operation and maintenance program benefits when all relevant deliverables are received at project turnover, bridging a commonly experienced gap in information. It is also important to identify what documentation will benefit the relevant committees in their guidance to professionals in creating and receiving those deliverables. ASHRAE recently issued Guideline 1.4 on the Systems Manual. Is this a good starting point for documentation or just another formalization of process? This speaker examines the consultant's perspective.
2. Commissioning Documentation for Operations Management
John Gibbemeyer, P.E., Member, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Higher education projects are normally required to obtain a LEED certification. Embracing LEED requirements is challenging; but many are now convinced that it can significantly improve operations! LEED projects produce commissioning deliverables that are currently underutilized in bridging the gap to operations management. A higher level of awareness and improved implementation of the Final Commissioning Report and Systems Manual deliverables will greatly improve communication from schematic design through long term operation of the building. Developing an Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) early will ensure that what is proposed in the design and constructed can be maintained well at a low cost.
3. Building Re-Tuning with Automated Data-Logger Networks
Paul Reale, Building Performance Lab, City University of New York, New York, NY
It is often said that improvements in building operations can yield 10 – 20% energy savings. Effective Building Re-tuning (BRT) techniques developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that identify energy efficiency opportunities rely on data from a Building Automation Systems. Unfortunately, many buildings have no such trending abilities. Using loggers, sensors and a methodology, BRT-like measures developed by CUNY Building Performance Laboratory identifies operational improvements across building systems. This seminar describes CUNY BPL’s experience creating and applying solutions to many building systems; it also speaks to the potential for automation to reduce operator effort in acquiring recommendations for operational improvements.

Monday, June 26, 2017, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
WORKSHOP 8 Opaque OPRs Produce Obscure Objectives
Track: Commissioning: Optimizing New and Existing Buildings and their Operation
Sponsor: 7.3 Operation and Maintenance Management, 1.7 Business, Management & General Legal Education
Chair: E. Mitchell Swann, P.E., Virtual Construction/BIM Manager, Paoli, PA
To have a successful project it is essential to bridge the communication gap among owner, designer and commissioning provider. This workshop focuses on the elements of an effective Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR). Attendees, working in small groups, will craft a section of an OPR in response to a demanding yet visionary owner. The groups will then come together, compare their OPRs, and engage in an interactive discussion designed to meld the best ideas into a single high-quality document.
1. Owner's Perspective of an OPR
Wayne Webster, Member, Princess Towers, Inc., Kingston, ON, Canada
This workshop includes the building owner's perspective on the definition of OPR, why the OPR is important and summarizes their responsibilities in developing the OPR. Key points to be discussed are: The communication gap between Owner, Designer and Cx provider; Who takes (or should take) the lead? The audience will break into small groups and provide an opaque OPR. The Owner and Cx provider will have a pre-written script and play the role of an Owner of a commercial office building. The groups will interview the Owner and rewrite the section of the OPR to reflect the actual needs of the Owner. The Cx provider will then present an example of an effective OPR, stimulate open discussion and questions and compare the example OPR against a selected group's document.
2. Cx Provider's Perspective of an OPR
Mina Agarabi, P.E., CPMP, Member, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY
An experienced commissioning (Cx) provider shares their perspective on the definition of OPR, why the OPR is important and summarizes the essential components. Key points to be discussed are: A clear definition of the Owner's expectations reduces the risk of unclear intent, unfulfilled expectations and unnecessary disputes; An OPR that reflects the actual needs of the Owner, the users or occupants, and facility staff is needed for Cx to be successful.

Programs presented at 2017 Las Vegas Winter Conference:

SEMINAR 13 Yes, It Is Your Fault: How Faults Affect Your System’s Performance and How to Model the Faults’ Effects in Advance
Chair: David P. Yuill, Ph.D., P.E., University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
Faults happen. They can occur in unitary air-conditioning equipment and cause it to perform below its expected, rated or designed value, leaving owners/operators disappointed. Examples of faults include coil fouling, loss of refrigerant charge, excessive duct flow resistance, economizer faults, etc. This seminar shows results of recent groundbreaking research projects focusing on the effects of faults on unitary equipment, and presents new methods for modeling the effects of those faults. Attendees of the seminar will be prepared to account for these effects when designing, planning maintenance, or predicting building energy performance.
1. Effect of Heat Pump Commissioning Faults on Annual Energy Use
Piotr Domanski, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
2. Modeling the Effect of Vapor Compression Cycle Faults Using Gray-Box Models
Alireza Behfar, Student Member, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE
3. Effect of Economizer Faults on Expected Whole-Building Energy Savings
Brianna Brass, Associate Member, Davis Design, Lincoln, NE
4. Generalized Models of Fault Effects on Air Conditioners in Heating and Cooling Mode
Mehdi Mehrabi, Student Member, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

SEMINAR 17 Energy Management: A Crucial Component of Operations and Maintenance
Chair: John Constantinide, Alpha MRC Architects Engineers, Merritt Island, FL
In the overall facility operations and maintenance (O&M) picture, energy management plays an integral role in proper facility management. This role is increasingly valued with a push in the public and private sectors for reduced energy consumption, leading to reduced facility costs and, in the case of equipment replacement, reduced payback periods. Effective energy management in O&M requires calculated and focused strategies with a proper investment of time, funding, and personnel. These strategies and their energy-saving impacts will be discussed by seminar speakers who have worked in institutional settings, providing perspectives from the United States and in an international setting.
1. The OMMP Annual Program and the Impact on Energy Conservation
Terrence Rollins, RHC Global Energy Solutions, Corpus Christi, TX
2. Energy Management in Operations and Maintenance
David Norvell, P.E., Member, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
3. Energy and Resources Conservation through O&M
Mohammad Baig, Member, President of ASHRAE NPC, Islamabad, Pakistan
3:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Walking the Walk: Delivering a Truly High Performance Building
Track: Building Operation and Performance
Sponsors: 7.3 Operation and Maintenance Management, 7.9 Building Commissioning
Chair: Alyse Falconer, P.E., Interface Engineering, San Francisco, CA
The lifecycle of a new construction can last several years. Initial goals are set by the team with high aspirations but are often deviated from as the process continues. Tracking and monitoring the project’s energy goals through design deliverables, energy analysis and commissioning reports is crucial for adhering to objectives. However, what happens when unforeseen issues occur? Does the team achieve the owner’s aspirations? This session reviews achieving client goals while working through obstacles, from design inception through occupied building. Working together as a high performance team, performance goals can be achieved and confirmed through post-occupancy measurement and verification.
1. Architect and Engineer: An Evolving Relationship Required for Synergy within Sustainable Design
Evan Jacob, AIA, Interface Engineering, San Francisco, CA
2. HVAC Design Options: Navigating Owners and Architects through HVAC Systems to Provide Client Specific Solutions
Alyse Falconer, P.E., Member, Interface Engineering, San Francisco, CA
3. Commissioning: Why Designers, Owners and Operators Should Care
Michael Flemming, P.E., Associate Member, Interface Engineering, San Francisco, CA
4. Integrating Energy Analysis into Design: How to Ensure Predicted Energy Utilization Index Values Are Achieved
Anna Brannon, P.E., BEMP, Interface Engineering, San Francisco, CA

SEMINAR 39 HVAC Maintenance: Using Field Test Data to Benchmark and Improve System Performance
Chair: Robyn Ellis, City of Hamilton - Public Works, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The typical HVAC system operates 40% below specified capacity and efficiency once it is installed in a building. During routine maintenance visits, changes in the performance of an HVAC system can be diagnosed in less than seven minutes by recording and comparing seven simple airside field measurements. This test method compares benchmarked data to pinpoint the causes of deterioration in system airflow, economizer performance and duct system functionality and enables detection and surgical correction of the uncovered and often invisible system defects.
1. Performance Perspective
Rob Falke, Member, National Comfort Institute, Avon Lake, OH
2. Utilities Perspective
Mel Johnson, DEO Consulting, Los Angeles, CA
3. Engineering Perspective
Ben Lipscomb, P.E., Associate Member, NCI, Sheffield Lake, OH

SEMINAR 41 Addressing Information Incompatibilities in Building Performance Monitoring
Chair: Michael Bobker, CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, New York, NY
This session examines challenges in coordinating data extracted from building automation systems with predictions from building energy models. With BEM increasingly informing design decisions, comparison to post-construction performance at the system level becomes key to troubleshooting and tuning. Discrepancies often first noted in whole-building energy use must be traced back to system level sources. Such comparison between BAS and BEM data is hindered by inconsistencies in data organization, naming, grouping and parameters. This issue is examined as a use-case for ASHRAE Guideline 20-2010, Documenting HVAC&R Work Processes and Data Exchange Requirements.
1. Real-Time Energy Simulation for Whole Building Performance Monitoring
Zheng ONeill, P.E., Member, University of Alabama, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Tuscaloosa, AL
2. BEM-BAS Data Exchange
Robert Hitchcock, Ph.D., Member, Hitchcock Consulting, Kelsey, CA
3. BIM-Based Energy Model Calibration for Evaluating Building Retrofit Opportunities
Krishnan Gowri, Ph.D., Member, Autodesk, Bothell, WA

TECHNICAL PAPER SESSION 1 BIM-Enabled Operations and Maintenance Work Processes (1609-RP)
Poster Session
Robert Hitchcock, Ph.D., Member, Hitchcock Consulting, Kelsey, CA
John Butterfield, Elizabeth Ford-Wilkins, Hallam ICS, South Burlington, VT
Francisco Forns-Samso, Granlund Oy, Helsinki, Finland


TC SEMINAR A Better Writer is a Better Engineer
Chair: Mina Agarabi, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY
Successful engineers require many communication skills. This workshop focuses on the value and importance of good writing skills for both experienced engineers and YEA, the requirement as engineers to communicate technical ideas and data, and how to achieve improved writing. Sample writings will be used to demonstrate writing techniques.
1. Tom Sahagian, New York, NY

Programs presented at 2016 St. Louis Conference: 

SEMINAR 1 (BASIC) A Better Writer is a Better Engineer: TC 7.3 O&M Management Perspective on Good Communication
Chair: Mina Agarabi, P.E., CPMP, Member, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY
Successful engineers require many communication skills. This seminar focuses on the value and importance of good writing skills for both experienced engineers and YEA, the requirement as engineers to communicate technical ideas and data to non-technical people, ASHRAE O&M Management perspective on good communication and how to achieve improved communication.
1. Effective Communication Skills for Success as an Engineer
Tom Sahagian, Retired, New York, NY
2. ASHRAE Operations & Maintenance Management Perspective
Mina Agarabi, P.E., CPMP, Member, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY

SEMINAR 27 (INTERMEDIATE) Energy Savings via ASHRAE Level III Auditing, Retrofit and Recommissioning: A Case Study at Hameetman Science Center, Occidental College I
Chair: Robyn Ellis, Associate Member, City of Hamilton - Public Works, Hamilton, ON, Canada
An HVAC systems assessment and HVAC retrofit was required and completed on a science building just 10 years old. Using ASHRAE Level III Auditing combined with a unique test method of installed HVAC system approach assessing the building generating a unique and surgical approach to improving building efficiency. The project was supported through the efforts of the Occidental maintenance professionals as well as the local LADWP utility. Past ASHRAE fellow Bob Baker contributed guidance for this project. This data was then used to diagnose the systems and create a scope of work for the project.
1. Utilities Perspective
Mel Johnson, Associate Director, Los Angeles, CA
2. Energy Perspective
Rob Falke, Member, National Comfort Institute, Avon Lake, OH

Energy Savings via ASHRAE Level III Auditing, Retrofit and Recommissioning: A Case Study at Hameetman Science Center, Occidental College II
Chair: Robyn Ellis, Associate Member, City of Hamilton - Public Works, Hamilton, ON, Canada
A previous related session was presented about the initial assessment and the creation of the scope of work of this project. This session focuses on the actual work completed and the obstacles and opportunities encountered. Data is presented detailing the deterioration effect of distribution systems on equipment rated capacity and efficiency. An analysis of the impact of the completed scope of work on the energy, comfort and increased reliability of the buildings is offered in this segment of the seminar. The bearing of the improvements on peak load are also discussed.
1. Occidental College Hameetman Science Building HVAC Retrofit and Recommissioning
Rob Falke, Member, National Comfort Institute, Avon Lake, OH
2. Increases to Energy Efficiency, Reliability and Comfort
Ben Lipscomb, P.E., Associate Member, NCI, Sheffield Lake, OH

Programs presented at 2016 Orlando Winter Conference:

SEMINAR 12 (INTERMEDIATE)  Operations and Maintenance for Optimal Performance of Efficient HVAC&R
Chair: Mina Agarabi, P.E., CPMP, Member, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY
Energy efficiency measures (EEMs) have been shown to reduce energy costs significantly, but the impact of operations & maintenance (O&M) on EEM energy savings is not well understood. An investment in advanced technology that ignores O&M and staff training can end up as a costly mistake and cause new problems. This seminar's purpose is to present O&M methods for optimal performance of advanced technologies in HVAC&R. Case studies are presented of successful and unsuccessful O&M for efficient HVAC&R.
1. Operating Practices to Maximize the Energy Savings Potential of VFDs
Tristan Schwartzman, Goldman Copeland Associates, New York City, NY
2. Advanced Technologies Alone Are Insufficient to Deliver Energy Savings
Tom Sahagian, Enterprise Community Partners, New York, NY
3. Case Study: Lessons Learned after Advanced Technology Project Implementation
Mina Agarabi, P.E., CPMP, Member, Agarabi Engineering PLLC, New York, NY

SEMINAR 35 (INTERMEDIATE) The Internet of Everything: How Smart and Connected Sensors Will Transform the HVAC Service Industry
Chair: Stephen Roth, P.E., Member, Carmel Software Corp., San Rafael, CA
This seminar will discuss how the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been popularized by consumer devices such as fitness trackers, can be applied to HVAC maintenance and operations. Specifically, this seminar will focus on how light-weight sensors can easily be installed inside HVAC rooftop units to measure a wide variety of conditions and how these sensors can better aid in fault detection and diagnose equipment issues. This seminar will also focus on how much of the data from these sensors is being collected by remote, “cloud-based” databases so it can be further analyzed by mobile-based applications.
1. Using Simple Internet-Connected Sensors to Monitor HVAC Equipment
Janet Peterson, Associate Member, XCSpec, Larkspur, CA
2. Using Mobile Apps to Conduct HVAC Maintenance and Operations
Stephen Roth, P.E., Member, Carmel Software Corp., San Rafael, CA

SEMINAR 62 (INTERMEDIATE) Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems: Best Practices for System Efficiency and Longevity
Chair: Mike Gallagher, P.E., Member, Western Allied Corp., Santa Fe Springs, CA
This seminar covers best practices in variable refrigerant flow (VRF) from the perspective of the manufacturer (OEM), facility manager and service contractor. Installation, operation and maintenance of VRF systems are discussed, including: skill requirements for VRF systems compared to conventional systems, installation best practices, manufacturer specific training, utilizing manufacturer service tools for ongoing maintenance and commissioning. A case study is presented from the owner's perspective at a hotel where VRF systems were recently installed to replace conventional systems.
1. VRF Training: Perspective from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
Bill Artis, Daikin Applied, New York, NY
2. VRF Maintenance: Perspective from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
Paul Doppel, Mitsubishi Electric, Suwanee, GA
3. VRF Operatiions and Maintenance (O&M): Perspective from the Facility Manager (Owner)
John Caracciola, Concorde Hotel, New York, NY
4. VRF Maintenance: Perspective from the Service Contractor
Mike Gallagher, P.E., Member, Western Allied Corp., Santa Fe Springs, CA



Technical Committees are responsible for identifying research topics, proposing research projects, selecting bidders, and monitoring research projects funded by ASHRAE. Information about their specific research program is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Research Subcommittee meeting.

Sponsors: TC 7.3 Operation and Maintenance Management. Co-sponsors: TC 2.8 Building Environmental Impacts and Sustainability, TC 7.6 Building Energy Performance, TC 7.8 Owning and Operating Costs

The rapid advancement of building technology, codes, and performance expectations has created a gap in knowledge for the operation and maintenance of high performance buildings. The goals of this research are to identify the specific areas of operating staff training needed for high performance buildings, to assess the extent to which they are addressed by existing training tools, and to provide the foundation for training in those areas not currently addressed by existing products. Results of the project will contribute to ASHRAE’s ability to impact the actual operation of advanced designs and, for the broader society, to achieve buildings that operate with lower carbon footprints and higher indoor environmental qualities.


 ASHRAE writes standards for the purpose of establishing consensus for: 1) methods of test for use in commerce and 2) performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry. ASHRAE publishes the following three types of voluntary consensus standards: Method of Measurement or Test (MOT), Standard Design and Standard Practice. ASHRAE does not write rating standards unless a suitable rating standard will not otherwise be available. ASHRAE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows ANSI's requirements for due process and standards development. Standards may be purchased at the ASHRAE Bookstore.

This TC is responsible for the following Standards:

Guideline 4: Preparation of Operating and Maintenance Documentation for HVAC&R Systems

Guideline: GPC 1.3: Building Operation and Maintenance Training for the HVAC&R Commissioning Process  (TC 7.3 is Co-cognizant Committee, with TC 7.9 as lead Cognizant Committee)

Guideline 32: Sustainable, High Performance Operations & Maintenance

ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Std. 180: Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial-Building HVAC Systems  (TC 7.3 is lead Cognizant Committee, with TC 2.4 and TC 9.8 as Co-cognizant Committees)

Standard 221: Test Method to Measure and Score the Operating Performance of an Installed Constant Volume Unitary HVAC System

Other Activities

TIP: If MTG involvement add here otherwise leave blank.

This TC is a member of the following MTGs:

Building Information Modeling
MTG.BIM will coordinate the activities of multiple TC/TG in the area of standards and approaches to support the implementation of BIM within ASHRAE products and within the industry workplace.  MTG-BIM will also represent ASHRAE interests within the BIM marketplace outside of ASHRAE and provide a conduit for funneling information about the BIM industry to ASHRAE members.

Operation and Maintenance Activities that Impact Energy Efficiency
MTG.O&MEE will coordinate TC/TG/TRG activities to help support the application of ASHRAE guidelines, Standards and other technical resources to support regulatory bodies, utilities, building owners and others who are attempting to enhance efficiency of existing buildings. Responsibilities include suggestions for research, development and presentation of technical programs of all types on maintenance and its impact on energy consumption and efficiency. It will be especially involved with interactions with those who are introducing and evaluating strategies for building efficiency enhancements.


ASHRAE Technical FAQs are provided as a service to ASHRAE members, users of ASHRAE publications, and the general public. While every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy and reliability, they are advisory and provided for informational purposes only, and in many cases represent only one person’s view. They are not intended and should not be relied on as an official statement of ASHRAE. Technical questions not addressed may be submitted to the ASHRAE Technical Services department at tse@ashrae.net.

The TC is responsible for the following FAQs:

Does ASHRAE have recommendations for equipment maintenance procedures and maintenance frequency?
Is there an economic justification for HVAC equipment maintenance?