Commissioning for new buildings
Modern buildings combine a variety of sophisticated systems – from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning to water distribution. Commissioning is the ongoing process of tuning and calibrating these systems to make sure buildings are performing as efficiently as possible. Like any sophisticated system, a building must be tuned regularly to ensure optimal performance. Commissioning begins at the design stage and continues through construction and occupancy. A commissioning agent monitors building plans, tests and documents all systems, and arranges training for building occupants on proper operation and maintenance.
Commissioning is good for business
Commissioning provides annual energy savings of 10 to 15 percent on average. Other benefits include longer equipment life, lower maintenance costs, reduced warranty call-backs and complaints, a safer and more comfortable indoor working environment, higher property value, and evidence for building certification such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification.
Following new construction commissioning (NCCx), optimal performance of existing buildings can be maintained through strategies such as ongoing commissioning (OCx), which helps ensure the persistence of benefits after commissioning and between each recommissioning (RCx) cycle.
OCx is a process for continuously testing and/or tuning building systems that seeks to maintain building performance as expected and as previously commissioned. Typically, this process includes the use of technology and/or software solutions, such as Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS), within the building’s automated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control system, which monitor and help optimize operations on a continuous basis.
- ASHRAE Guideline 0-2013: The Commissioning Process, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (2013)
- ecoENERGY Efficiency for Buildings: Building Commissioning and Recommissioning, NRCan (2012)
- Building Recommissioning for Commercial and Institutional Buildings: Opportunities for Owners and Property Investors, NRCan (2011)
- Z320-11 - Building Commissioning Standard, Canadian Standards Association (2011)
- Z5000-18 - Building Commissioning for Energy Using Systems Standard, Canadian Standards Association (2018)
- New Construction Building Commissioning Best Practices, Building Commissioning Association (2016)
- Commissioning Guide for New Buildings, NRCan (2010)
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