ASHRAE 0-2005, Total Building Commissioning, defines commissioning as "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.
BR+A approaches the process of commissioning from a proactive, logical and efficiency standpoint. We employ proactive steps and methodology from the very beginning where we begin to search out “common thread” issues and where they are most likely to occur. We then align the building systems in a logical, progressive manner towards installation, verification, start-up and commissioning… a best path or road map to the end of the project.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view), we continue to discover recurring patterns from project to project. So much so, that we have identified a “point of change” for coordinating systems, installation, start-up and commissioning. In other words, we are utilizing these common threads as a primary driver for all of our commissioning endeavors in an attempt to correct an industry-wide course of divergence, with a new point of convergence for correction. Quite simply, we look at the building systems and infrastructure to determine the best logic for installation, start-up and commissioning and seek opportunities where efficiencies can be gained in the process. More often than not, we find opportunities where systems can be commissioned early on, allowing time for evaluation and resolution of operational issues well before occupancy.