What is it?
Building commissioning is an integrated, systematic process to ensure, through documented verification, that building systems perform interactively according to the design intent. Or in other words, commissioning is the practice that ensures your building is delivered according to specific project requirements and anticipated operational performance.
Key participants in the process include the Owner, Architect, Engineers, Contractors, Testing and Commissioning Agents, Facility Personnel, and End Users. Collectively, the team participates in the evaluation, verification, and documentation of the design, construction, testing, operation, and maintenance programs of the systems within the building.
Commissioned Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing systems generally consist of HVAC Equipment and associated Energy Management Control Systems, Primary and Back-up Power, Lighting and Controls, Fire Alarm, Water Heating, and Fire Suppression. Additional systems and building constructs can be included to meet specific project requirements.
What is the process?
The goal of commissioning is to confirm system functionality and to maintain buildings at optimal operational conditions. This is accomplished by testing system performance and comparing actual building operations with a series of predefined metrics, then making corrections in areas that need improvement.
Naturally, to make commissioning work, you first need to establish a performance baseline to gain metrics for comparison. It is crucial that your team define performance goals and how they are intended to be achieved and reported.
What are the benefits?
Building commissioning provides you with a tremendous amount of value. The benefits are vast:
- Assurance the building meets specific project requirements.
- Optimization of systems resulting in lower operating costs.
- Prevention of problems before they happen through proactive quality techniques.
- Identification and Correction of problems while contractors are still on-site, resulting in less effort from your operations and maintenance staff.
As you can clearly see, building commissioning is an extremely worthwhile investment. In fact, it pays for itself. To learn more about building commissioning, or to see if your property is subject to mandatory commissioning according to state laws, give one of our engineering consultants a call. This post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the facts and benefits of commissioning and we’d love to tell you more!