Commissioning

Commissioning the professional practice that ensures buildings are delivered according to the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR). Buildings that are properly commissioned typically have fewer later changes, tend to be more energy efficient, and have lower operation and maintenance costs. The documentation of the commissioning process provides the foundation for correctly benchmarking the baseline of the facility.

According to Ashrae, it can be defined as follows:

ASHRAE Standard 202-2013, The Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, and ASHRAE Guideline 0, The Commissioning Process define commissioning as:

"A quality-focused process for enhancing the delivery of a project. The process focuses upon verifying and documenting that all of the commissioned systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the Owner's Project Requirements."

Commissioning is an all-inclusive, quality assurance-based process for working with project teams and documenting the planning, delivery, verification, and managing risks to functions performed in, or by, facilities. Commissioning ensures building quality using design review, and in-field or on-site verification. Commissioning also helps to maximize energy efficiency, environmental health and occupant safety. The process improves indoor air quality by making sure the building components are working correctly and that the plans are implemented efficiently and effectively. Commissioning delivers preventive and predictive maintenance plans, tailored operating manuals and training procedures for all users to follow. Essentially, the commissioning process formalizes review and integration of all project expectations during planning, design, construction, and occupancy phases by inspection and functional and performance testing, and oversight of operator training and record documentation.

Benefits

Commissioning assists in the delivery of a project that provides an efficient, safe and healthy facility; optimizes energy use; reduces operating costs; ensures adequate O&M staff orientation and training; and improves installed building systems documentation.

Commissioning benefits owners through improved energy efficiency, improved workplace performance due to higher quality environments, and prevention of business losses. The cost of not commissioning is equal to the costs of correcting deficiencies plus the costs of inefficient operations. For example, in mission critical facilities, the cost of not commissioning can be measured by the cost of downtime and lack of appropriate facility use.

The main drivers for owners to use commissioning include:

  • A properly performing building
  • Energy efficiency
  • Building performance rating systems
  • Efficient and cost-effective maintenance
  • Legal compliance
  • Internal sustainability programs

 

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