Commissioning is a sophisticated project management process aimed at improving the quality of building design and construction. The process leverages best practices to ensure that building systems function according to criteria set forth in the building commissioning specs to satisfy the owner’s operational needs. Existing buildings can undergo a process called “retro-commissioning.”
Commissioning uncovers opportunities to improve building operations and maintenance and to tune building systems for greater energy efficiency. Commissioning is required for all LEED projects, all New York State government projects, and is recommended for all projects of moderate complexity.
The improvements in indoor air quality and energy efficiency are so significant that more and more projects are making use of the commissioning process even when it’s not mandated.
If you would like to discuss commissioning on your next project, we encourage you to contact us.
How commissioning benefits building owners
- Minimize change orders—as issues are resolved early in design through quality process, HVAC commissioning specifications and HVAC commissioning checklists, clear definition of project criteria and ongoing verification that criteria are being met
- Minimize time-consuming requests for information—as issues are documented early in the process so everyone is informed as a matter of course
- Insure proper system/component selection—a function of thorough, consistent communication of owner requirements
- Optimized performance—in energy, indoor air quality, material durability, and occupant productivity through HVAC commissioning specification and HVAC commissioning checklists
- Operational from Day One—avoid expensive contractor callbacks. It’s estimated that each contractor callback during the first year of operations costs an owner approximately $2,000 in reduced employee productivity and $1,000 in operations and maintenance staff time.
Read more about our capabilities in Sustainable Design.
Saving Money and Energy
Facility commissioning for LEED is a smart way to start a sustainable building project.
“Commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings. While not a panacea, it can play a major and strategically important role in achieving national energy-savings goals. If the results observed across the sample in this study are representative of the practice and potential of commissioning more broadly, significant energy savings could be achieved nationally. Specifically, if the median project performance were to be achieved over the entire commercial-buildings stock (essentially, an economic potential, not adjusted for partial penetration rates), the full cost-effective potential would amount to 15 percent of the $120 billion annual energy bill for the sector (as of 2002). This translates into savings of $18 billion annually among existing commercial buildings. In practice, the fraction of the full stock ultimately reached will depend on the effectiveness of public and private efforts to build the market for this emerging service.”
—from “What Owners Need to Know about Commissioning Buildings,” by Michael English, Building Commissioning Association Past-President, published in Construction Owners of America’s Owner’s Perspective Magazine, Fall 2005.
Access the entire article, plus others, at the Building Commissioning Association Publications Page.