Energy Commissioning: New Buildings

Authored by: Janey Kaster

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120042217

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Abstract

Commissioning is the methodology for bringing to light design errors, equipment malfunctions, and improper control strategies at the most cost-effective time to implement corrective action. The primary goal of commissioning is to achieve optimal building systems performance. There are two types of commissioning: acceptance-based and process-based. Process-based commissioning is a comprehensive process that begins in the predesign phase and continues through postacceptance, while acceptance-based commissioning, which is perceived to be the cheaper method, basically examines whether an installation is compliant with the design and accordingly achieves more limited results. Commissioning originated in the early 1980s in response to a large increase in construction litigation. Commissioning was the result of owners seeking other means to gain assurance that they were receiving systems compliant with the design intent and with the performance characteristics and quality specified. Learn how commissioning has evolved and the major initiatives that are driving its growing acceptance. The general rule for including a system in the commissioning process is: the more complicated the system is, the more compelling is the need to include it in the commissioning process. Other criteria for determining which systems should be included are discussed. Discover the many benefits of commissioning, such as improved quality assurance, dispute avoidance, and contract compliance. Selection of the commissioning agent is key to the success of the commissioning plan. Learn what traits are necessary and what approaches to use for the selection process. The commissioning process occurs over a variety of clearly delineated phases. The phases of the commissioning process as defined below are discussed in detail: predesign, design, construction/installation, acceptance, and postacceptance. Extensive studies analyzing the cost/benefit of commissioning justify its application. One study defines the median commissioning cost for new construction as 1 dollar per square foot or 0.6% of the total construction cost. The median simple payback for new construction projects utilizing commissioning is 4.8 years. Understand how to achieve the benefits of commissioning, including optimization of building performance, reduction of facility life-cycle cost, and increased occupant satisfaction.

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