Building commissioning (Cx) is an intensive quality assurance process that begins during design and continues through construction, occupancy, and operation of new buildings.
Cx verifies that all subsystems – mechanical (HVAC), electrical, plumbing, fire/life safety, building envelopes, interior systems, sustainable systems, lighting, controls, and building security – are properly installed, tested, and balanced to operate initially as the owner intended, as designed by the architects and engineers, and that building staff are prepared to operate and maintain its systems and equipment.
Documenting the Cx process allows for accurately determining the baseline energy usage of the building, as stated by the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Whole Building Design Guide.
Cx Requirements in New Construction
Commissioning is now a requirement for new construction in New York City under Local Law 87, and in California the under Title 24 building and CALGreen energy codes. Cx is also required for LEED certification.
Experienced Cx Authority (CxA)
Partner Energy’s certified commissioning professionals perform as an independent Commissioning Authority (CxA), and in collaboration with the owner, design team, and construction team. An independent CxA contracted to the owner may offer more objectivity and a different perspective than one associated with the design team. For large projects, the CxA must not have other project responsibilities.
As a CxA, Partner Energy manages the development of functional performance test procedures, witness and document testing, prepare systems manual documentation, conduct operator training, and prepare the final report documenting the commissioned systems. Our scope includes testing the system twice.
We conduct both static and dynamic functional testing. Static testing verifies that each individual system component (actuators, valves, sensors) operate independently. Dynamic testing verifies the sequence of operations and that the components work together as the design intended. Our multidisciplinary teams understand that deviating from the sequence of operations can affect system energy consumption. We focus on system reaction instead of forcing function by manual override.
Cx Supports Building Certification
The Cx process also generates qualifying points, or credits, toward green certification programs such as LEED, Green Globes, or ENERGY STAR®. As an example, LEED certification credits can be earned in both design and construction, documented in the design and construction drawings, verified through Cx, and included in the application for certification.
Partner Energy performs fundamental and enhanced commissioning for LEED and CALGreen projects. We also provide commissioning support for state programs such as New Jersey Pay 4 Performance (P4P). Our team of sustainability and green building professionals help clients understand and successfully complete the application and documentation requirements.
Buildings already in service may pursue retro-commissioning to optimize the energy performance of existing systems. Once optimized, continuous commissioning (CCx) applies software to analyze actual building data, interpret trends and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP)
- Certified Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP)
- Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA)