Building enclosure commissioning, a quality-assurance process intended to ensure a building meets the owner’s requirements, offers benefits including cost savings. The process fosters the ability to catch and eliminate problems early and inexpensively, resulting in reduced project costs and fewer change orders.
ASHRAE Guideline 0-2013 and NIBS Guideline 3 both address building enclosure commissioning. The process begins in the predesign phase with the formation of a commissioning team.
The key document established by the commissioning team in the predesign phase is the owner’s project requirements, which means the owner’s representatives are an invaluable part of the commissioning team for making the owner’s needs known and understood.
After design and construction, the commissioning process should address ongoing operation, maintenance and modification of the project throughout its life. Commissioning guidelines also cover responsibilities for the team and commissioning authority, expectations for the schedule, and documentation. Other practices found within the guidelines include documenting training requirements, verifying training, and the creation of a systems manual for understanding how to operate and maintain all the systems and assemblies within a project.