Commissioning Process

The commissioning process for Federal facilities generally follows a four-step process. This process holds true across all forms of commissioning and for both new and existing buildings.

Step 1: Planning

The planning step includes developing and agreeing upon the overall commissioning objectives and strategies, assembling the project team, and compiling and perusing building and equipment documentation. Objectives for this step include:

  • Optimizing building operations to reduce operating costs.
  • Addressing complaints from occupants regarding air quality or comforts.
  • Creating a model facility.
  • Improving facility operations and maintenance (O&M) and reducing emergency calls.

When forming the commissioning team, considerations could include contracted or in-house staff, level of effort required, desired and necessary qualifications, availability and use of resident knowledge, and available funding resources.

Step 2: Investigation

The investigation step includes conducting a site assessment, developing functional test and monitoring plans, analyzing test results, compiling a master list of deficiencies, and recommending improvements. Each of these are generated and presented for consideration, including estimates of energy and cost savings.

Step 3: Implementation

In the implementation step, accepted recommendations from the investigation step are put into place. Actions include making repairs and improvements, retesting and re-monitoring for results, fine-tuning improvements as needed, and revising estimated energy and cost savings.

Step 4: Hand-Off and Integration

The final step is hand-off and integration. In this step, final documentation of the commissioning effort is presented. This documentation describes the process, individuals, systems information, and actions taken throughout the entire process.

A plan for future commissioning efforts is also developed and presented. The plan should include recommended procedures for specific building equipment, frequency of testing, analysis of results, periodic reporting, identification of key players, and budget requirements.