Commissioning R&D

On this page you'll find information about the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) building commissioning program goals and strategies, as well as links to current projects.

Commissioning of new buildings or retrofits helps to ensure that a building's systems and components are functioning as intended. Although improvements in building design have significantly increased the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings, the full savings potential can only be realized if energy design features are functioning properly.

Building commissioning is the process of ensuring that building systems and equipment are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained according to the owner's operational needs. Buildings that are properly commissioned cost less to operate and provide greater comfort for occupants. DOE R&D activities related to building commissioning focus on development of commissioning and monitoring tools, test procedures, and guidelines.

Program Goals and Strategies

Performance monitoring projects across the U.S. have documented the potential to save 15% to 30% of energy use through improved operations and maintenance. Other research has shown that building owners and operators can obtain additional energy and cost savings through cost-effective investments in correctly-sized, energy-efficient building equipment and controls.

DOE supports the development of diagnostic tools and commissioning procedures needed by building owners and operators to help them test and analyze their building performance, and operate their buildings more efficiently. R&D activities focus on developing reliable best practices for building commissioning, manual tools and test procedures, and advanced diagnostic tools.

Current projects include:

DOE also supports international commissioning activities efforts to improve the energy performance of buildings through the development of global commissioning guidelines and tools such as the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol.