What is Commissioning?
Commissioning is a systematic process of ensuring, through documented verification, that all building systems perform fundamentally and interactively according to the contract documents, that facility staff are properly trained, and that system documentation has been adequately provided. The commissioning process typically starts in the early stages of design and extends through the construction and warranty period. Although commissioning has historically been applied to dynamic systems (HVAC, controls, etc.), the process can also be used to address the more static features associated with sustainable building design.
Commissioning, especially when applied early in the design process, can mitigate problems related to building systems and materials and ensure that the design and the final product meet owner expectations for sustainability.
Sustainable design and construction concepts are relatively new to most building owners, designers, contractors and suppliers. The importance of the sustainable components and their integration into the whole building (as with most other new or emerging technologies) is often not communicated adequately to those responsible for installing and using the components. Sustainable products, procedures and operating principles are core elements to many of today’s high efficiency and high performance building projects. Commissioning helps owners, designers and constructors maintain the integrity of those core elements throughout the entire project delivery process.
Commissioning for Dynamic Systems
The objective of commissioning is to confirm and document that a facility fulfills the functional and performance requirements of the building owner, occupants, and operators. To reach this goal, it is necessary for the commissioning process to establish and document the owner’s criteria for system function, performance, and maintainability; as well as, to verify and document compliance with these criteria throughout design, construction, start-up, and the initial period of operation. In addition, complete operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals, as well as training on system operation, should be provided to the building operators to ensure the building continues to operate as intended.
To properly commission the systems and equipment, you need to understand design principles, installation issues, construction processes and functional testing procedures. Industrial Technology Group can assist with all your project commissioning needs.
Types of Typical Systems to Commission
- HVAC central systems and terminal equipment
- Chilled water, steam and hot water systems
- Plumbing systems
- HVAC control system
- Integrated building automation systems
- Security system
- Fire protection and fire alarm system
- Primary electrical power front end equipment
- Electrical distribution system and lighting system
- Emergency power equipment
- Other life safety systems (i.e. stair pressurization, exhaust, etc. as appropriate)