Commissioning - 2019 Update
Very few things work exactly as you want them right out of the box, and this includes all of the complex systems that make a building work including lighting, electrical, controls, audio/video, and the additional behind the scenes components. The same light fixture can be installed in different sized rooms and the light level is then dimmed and customized for that specific room and its end users.
Commissioning is the process that ensures these systems are performing as intended, meet the specific needs of the owner, and use only the energy that’s required. This verification is often performed towards the end of a project. This was previously an optional step, and it is now becoming required in more places.
Melina Moser, EI, IALD, LEED Green Associate, CxA was able to attend CxEnergy 2019 in Orlando, FL, and shared a few updates with the office.
Commissioning facilitates communication, coordination, testing and verification for systems so the delivery of the building includes system performance as it was intended. Design, Construction, Installation teams are well intentioned, but often without verification, systems don’t always end up performing as intended when it’s all said and done. Commissioning services provide the verification of performance requirements piece, and meet the needs of the owner requirements.
Is it required?
It is being required by more and more jurisdictions and owners. Although the enforcement and requested deliverables across those varies at this time, there is anticipated development of requirements in code updates coming down the line.
Check the jurisdiction requirements! Here are a few we know require it!
City of Denver
City of Parker
National Park Service
LEED (currently exceeds typical code minimums)
What sort of updates?
Additional Clarification of the Requirements and Definitions of Terminology
Additional Specifics for Documentation and examples of documentation for reference
Additional Scope Clarification/Expectations for testing for different systems (previously, resources were geared toward mechanical, but any/all systems may be commissioned – electrical, lighting, life safety, envelope, etc.).
For Lighting Controls, Doesn’t the Lighting Controls Manufacturer Provide Commissioning?
“Commissioning” is actually a very commonly used term by manufacturers for what would more be considered ‘programming’ from this standpoint. It is in the intent that those manufacturers or the contractors are providing a level of programming that can then be commissioned or verified by a separate party.
Can my engineer provide this?
DEPENDS! We sure can!