Commissioning Systems includes a variety of topics in both Whole Building Systems Commissioning for New Construction and Retro-Commissioning of Existing Buildings. Commissioning is a important task, especially with the complexity of new construction in today's market. Buildings become more and more complex and systems need to handshake between the various components and systems. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is not just about the Mechanical Systems. IAQ is interdependent with the building system, insulation in the space, quality and quantity of outside air brought into the building, level of Carbon Dioxide, processes performed inside the building, etc.
Control systems are an important part of the building infrastructure, but are very dependent on HVAC systems. If HVAC systems are not properly installed, tested and balanced, then the building automation system will not perform correctly. Of course none of these systems can perform without the electrical systems. So ensuring the electrical systems are performing correctly is also an important task.
Ok, so what is Commissioning?
The Commissioning Process as defined by the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) is:
A quality focused process for enhancing the delivery of a project. The process focuses upon verifying and documenting that the facility and all of its systems, components, and assemblies are planned, designed, isntalled, tested, can be operated, and maintained to meet the Owner's Project Requirements.
What systems are commissioned in Whole Building Commissioning:
Commissioning the Whole Building Systems begins when the project concepts are being developed. During the Pre-design phase is when the commissioning agent can lend their experience to provide the best result in the end. The scope of work of a commissioning agent is typically defined by agreement between the building owner and the commissioning agent. So the early the commissioning agent is brought in, the more input the commissioning agent can provide particularly on systems that have worked the best in previous projects.
Retro-commissioning of existing buildings is also an extremely important task. Retro-Commissioning can be an integral part of improving building performance. Typically most buildings will go through cycles and default settings are changed, but with no knowledge of the impacts the building systems can become improperly used. Energy management of existing buildings is a vital function, because the older an building becomes, the inefficiences become higher and sometimes slight improvements can be made to decrease inefficiency. Energy consumption in older buildings can be extreme, so building management needs to pay particular attention to energy consumption.
Commissioning of New Construction can be broken into the following phases:
Owners and Commissioning agents can define by contract the phases the commissioning agent will be involved, however the commissioning agent is most beneficial throughout the entire project. Systems can be refined the best before the drawings are finalized. It is expensive to change out systems after they have been installed, so the best result is having input during the programming and design phase.
Also remember a 3rd party commissioning agent independent of your design and construction team is the most beneficial to the owner. Commissioning a building will provide assurance to the owner that the building meets or exceeds the owner's requirements for the use of the building. Commissioning ensures the systems handshake and perform to meet the owner's needs. Commissioning also shakes out potentially problematic equipment before the owner has to accept the equipment, thusly reducing warranty claims.
Digital Air Control can provide our services to develop a whole building commissioning program for new construction or Retro-Commissioning of Existing Buildings. Digital Air Control's staff is intimately familiar with building systems and can assist building owners in providing commissioning services for both new construction and retro-commissioning of existing buildings.