Building commissioning is often misinterpreted to focus solely on testing during the end of the construction phase. But commissioning is actually a collaborative process for planning, delivering, and operating buildings that work as intended, and helps to ensure optimal long-term building performance.

Systems typically tested during commissioning include HVAC, lighting, electricty, security, fire and safety systems, but other systems may be tested as well, depending upon the specific needs of the project. Whether your building is new or existing, the comprehensive testing performed during the commissioning process can yield energy savings, fewer system and equipment malfunctions and increased occupant satisfaction.

 

Total (or Whole) Building Commissioning (Cx) on new construction combines the old-fashioned checking of doors and windows with the high-tech monitoring of building systems. Total building commissioning often includes additional essential buildings systems such as the building's exterior wall, plumbing, acoustical and roofing systems. Commissioning these additional systems can reduce moisture penetration, infiltration and noise problems, and contribute to the building's energy and resource efficiency and occupant comfort.

Successful Cx results in optimal energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, reduced change orders during construction, extended systems life and reduced operation and maintenance costs, often paying for itself before construction is completed. To be most effective, building commissioning begins in the planning phase and continues through design, construction, startup, acceptance, training and the warranty period, and continues throughout a building's life cycle.

 

Commissioning for Existing Buildings also called Retro-Commissioning (RCx) is a systematic process for investigating, analyzing, and optimizing the performance of existing building systems. RCx identifies low-cost operational and maintenance improvements in existing buildings and brings the buildings up to the design intentions of its current usage. It generally focuses on energy-using equipment such as mechanical equipment, lighting and related controls and usually optimizes existing system performance, rather than relying on major equipment replacement. The results are improved indoor air quality, comfort, controls, energy and resource efficiency.

RCx typically includes an audit of the entire building including a study of past utility bills, interviews with facility personnel. Then diagnostic monitoring and functional tests of building systems are executed and analyzed. Building systems are retested and remonitored to fine-tune improvements. This process helps find and repair operational problems. The identification of more complex problems are presented to the owner as well. A final report, recommissioning plan and schedule are then given to the owner.

 

Spring CondoThe Delphi Green Team is a member of the the Building Commissioning Association (BCxA). BCxA provides Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) certification and Best Practice guidelines for the commissioning process.