Steven Shapiro, P.E. for Mission Critical Practice Lead Morrison Hershfield, spoke at the NFMT Baltimore Conference back in March 2016 and provided an understanding of the need for commissioning for existing, renovated, or newly constructed environments as well as the types of systems that should be included in the process.

Mr. Shapiro focused on three objectives revolving around commissioning:

  1. Definition of commissioning and why facilities need it
  2. Identify infrastructure systems and components that should be included in commissioning
  3. Assessing when commissioning needs to be performed and why

What is Commissioning?

Commissioning is defined as the process of planning, documenting, scheduling, testing, adjusting, verifying, and training to make sure a facility operates as a fully functional system per the owner’s project requirements.Commissioning also ensures building performance, reduces energy use, improves indoor air quality and meet’s occupants needs.

Let’s go through the commissioning process.

  1. Choose building: Use a unique building profile system to identify which buildings provide the greatest opportunity for energy improvements to prioritize efforts and funding.
  2. Analyze and assess building: Document all building information (operations, maintenance, design, construction) and perform field studies to identify use patterns and occupant concerns.
  3. Evaluate systems: Through testing and analysis, determine existing deficiencies that can be fixed and identify opportunities for energy-conservation and more efficient building operation.
  4. Implement changes: Perform energy-conservation measures identified above.
  5. Apply continuous commissioning: Monitor new energy-conservation measures as well as other building equipment for maximum efficiency and savings.

As mentioned above, detailed lists are critical in order to document checklists, status of equipment, and changes made to assets in order to reach peak performance in your facility.

An EAM CMMS system can help in the planning and execution stages by storing documentation of assets and training methods so that workers can refer back to records upon completion of the project.

Continuation of commissioning

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Once a project is completed the job is never really over. Facilities need constant up keep and maintenance in order to maintain the functionality that was set in place during construction.

Maintenance will ensure the complete life-cycle of assets through the continuation of commissioning and using a proper EAM/CMMS for tracking.

Implementing an EAM/CMMS enables property managers to build a data base of work orders and results so that an entire facility’s assets can be reviewed, identify problems, and schedule the appropriate frequency of inspections to minimize repair costs. This is especially important in new buildings to see where most of the energy is going and where it could be saved.

Implementing a proactive maintenance approach in the initial phases of commissioning will protect your facility assets in the long run saving your facility owners time and money.