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State Building Code & LEED Commissioning

• What is Building Commissioning?

Commissioning is "a quality-oriented process for achieving, verifying, and documenting that the performance of facilities, systems, and assemblies meets defined objectives and criteria".

Commissioning is intended to be an all inclusive process for the planning, delivery, verification, and managing risks to critical functions performed in, or by, facilities. Commissioning ensures building quality using peer review and in-field or on-site system performance verification. Commissioning also accomplishes higher energy efficiency, environmental health, occupant safety and improves indoor air quality by verifying that the building components are working correctly and that the Commissioning plan is implemented with the highest efficiency.

Essentially, the commissioning process formalizes the review and integration of all project expectations during planning and design, construction, training and occupancy phases by way of inspections and functional performance testing. This initial commissioning event also becomes the Owner’s “baseline of reference" for system operations and functional model of the building.

• Who Commissions a Building?

Who actually performs commissioning depends on the owner and the project. Typically, the building owner hires an independent third party to perform commissioning. This individual is often referred to as the commissioning agent (CA).

Those involved in the building commissioning field generally believe the CA should work for the owner and represent the owner's interest. However, there are numerous options. The commissioning agent can work under contract to the construction manager. This works well when the construction manager is independent of the contractor's team. There is interest among architecture and engineering firms to include commissioning as part of their services to help ensure they deliver quality buildings to their clients.

• What are the Steps in Commissioning?

The extent of the commissioning process can vary as well as the roles of those involved in the project. Ideally the CA is hired during the predesign phase and is involved through the post-acceptance phase of the construction process. The roles of the CA in each phase of the design and construction process are described below.

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