Building Commissioning

What is Building Commissioning?

Building Commissioning (cx) is the process of verifying, in new construction, that all the subsystems for Mechanical(HVAC), plumbing, electrical, fire/life safety, building envelopes, interior systems (example laboratory units), cogeneration, utility plants, sustainable systems, lighting, wastewater, controls, and building security achieve the owner's project requirements as intended by the building owner and as designed by the building architects and engineers.

Building commissioning is an important quality assurance service in the building industry. Commissioning is being integrated into the construction process to ensure that owners and investors get good buildings for their investments. It is a method of risk reduction for new construction projects or major capital improvements and it is a comprehensive way to assess and tune up performance of existing buildings.

Commissioning is applicable throughout the lifecycle of a building to assure that the building is built and operates as intended. This assurance is needed not only at the beginning of a buildings life (i.e. design and construction) but also when any renovation work occurs as well as periodically during the on-going operation of a building.

Types of Commissioning

Commissioning – Ideal for new construction or major renovation.

Retro-commissioning – Ideal for older facilities that have never been through a commissioning process.

Re-commissioning – Ideal to tune up buildings that have already been commissioned to bring them back to their original design intent and operating efficiency.

Continuous Commissioning – Ideal for facilities with building automation systems (BAS), advanced metering systems and advanced O&M organizations.

What are the Benefits?

• A fully functional building at first occupancy
• Lower energy and maintenance costs
• Safer and more comfortable buildings
• Fewer disputes between building owner and general contractor
• Fewer change orders where commissioning begins early
• Problems discovered early when they are less expensive to correct

What is the Process?

The commissioning process is governed by ASHRAE Guideline 0-2013 and requires the following specific tasks:

1. Development of Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR)
2. Development of Commissioning Plan
3. Review the Basis of Design (BOD) and compare it to the OPR
4. Conduct a design review at the 60% CD and 90% CD phases
5. Include commissioning requirements in the project specifications
6. Conduct pre-construction meeting
7. Review equipment submittals
8. Develop pre-functional checklists and functional performance tests
9. Conduct commissioning team meetings
10. Witness startup of equipment and TAB
11. Witness functional performance testing of equipment and systems
12. Coordinate and verify training requirements for facility operations staff
13. Provide final commissioning report
14. Assemble systems manual
15. Perform any required seasonal testing
16. Perform warranty review prior to expiration of equipment warranties
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