Home » Checking a Building’s ‘Facts’ Through Monitoring-Based Commissioning
The term commissioning comes from shipbuilding. This quote, from the California Commissioning Collaborative, expands on that definition: “A commissioned ship is one deemed ready for service. Before being awarded this title, however, a ship must pass several milestones. Equipment is installed and tested, problems are identified and corrected, and the prospective crew is extensively trained. A commissioned ship is one whose materials, systems, and staff have successfully completed a thorough quality assurance process.”
Similar to how ships are commissioned before setting sail for the first time, owners often elect to have their buildings commissioned before being turned over to operations. This process ensures a facility’s systems operate as they should, and the building is set to perform at peak efficiency. A building can be commissioned as part of the construction process or after operations, which is also known as existing building commissioning (EBCx). This article will discuss the different types of existing building commissioning, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and why owners should invest in MBCx/CC, even if their buildings were initially commissioned.
First, it’s important to understand the definitions associated with commissioning and existing building commissioning.
New construction commissioning, or simply commissioning (Cx), occurs on new construction projects and should be performed by experienced commissioning authorities/agents (CxA). Commissioning generally occurs in the following order: design, construction, and operations. Commissioning activities start early in the project planning stages and are maintained throughout the design, construction, and final acceptance of the project at a minimum. The commissioning team’s primary goal is to authenticate proper equipment installations, systems operations, and performance according to the project basis of design (BOD) and owner’s project requirements (OPR). The commissioning process provides confirmation, identifies system issues and discrepancies, ensures quality assurance, and verifies if the building is designed and constructed properly, ultimately optimizing the HVAC system’s energy efficiency, system controls, operation performance, and occupancy comfort level as well as increasing the equipment’s useful life and durability. The last step is training, which ensures building staff are prepared to operate and maintain a building’s systems and equipment.