Commissioning is a quality-focused, systematic, and organized process to verify and document that the performance of a facility’s MEP systems perform as the design intended. Essentially it is a “test drive” of the building’s systems to make sure they operate as intended. Training of the facility’s personnel who operate and maintain the building’s equipment also takes place during the commissioning process.
A report prepared for the California Energy Commission, “Public Interest Energy Research Program,” found that “commissioning is arguably the single-most cost-effective strategy for reducing energy, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings today. Energy savings tend to persist well over at least a 3 to 5-year time frame…”
The report goes on to say, “Commissioning is more than ‘just another energy-saving measure.’ It is a risk-management strategy that should be integral to any systematic approach to garnering energy saving or emissions reductions. Commissioning ensures that building owners get what they pay for with construction or retrofitting buildings, it provides insurance for policy makers and program managers that their initiatives meet targets, and it detects and corrects problems that would eventually surface as far more costly maintenance or safety issues.”
Citation: Mills, Evan, Ph.D. “Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-gas Emissions.” (2009): 2. 30 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Properly commissioned buildings have lower energy demand and consumption, which results in extended equipment life and reduced energy usage. For end users such, as tenants and clients, an appropriately commissioned building provides better environmental comfort due to a reduction in temperature discrepancies.
OCI’s Commissioning Team, led by Art Munns, CxA, who offers over 33 years of HVAC design, project management, and commissioning experience, understands how to conduct positive environment collaborative peer reviews so that the project team can get clarification and have a full understanding of the review comments. We work closely with the owner’s representative, facility operations managers, the design team, and the general contractor to ensure everyone is in concert with the owner’s goals of optimal building operational performance.
Types of Commissioning Services that we provide:
Fundamental Commissioning is a requirement for LEED® projects. The process requires a 3rd party Commissioning Authority (CxA) to be involved early in the project and provide services such as design reviews, development of a commissioning plan, and preparing a final commissioning report.
Enhanced Commissioning takes the LEED® requirements for Fundamental Commissioning a step further. The 3rd party CxA’s involvement is more in-depth and extends past substantial completion of the project. In addition to the requirements for Fundamental Commissioning, the CxA must also review contractor submittals, verify facility’s operation staff are trained, perform seasonal testing, and review the building operations ten months after substantial completion.
Retro-commissioning is the systematic process of monitoring and adjusting MEP systems within an existing building. The goal of retro-commissioning is to identify operational issues and provide solutions to bring equipment back into performance standards. The result is a system that performs optimally, extended life of the equipment, lower maintenance cost, and reduced energy usage. For owners, this means a cost saving due to lower overhead operational costs.
Re-commissioning is the process of checking the performance of a building’s systems three to five years after its previous commission (new buildings) or retro-commission (buildings that had MEP renovations). Essentially, it is a systems check-up to ensure they continue to perform as designed. Recommissioning a building every three to five years is ideal for optimal systems performance, and has proved to save energy and maintenance cost.