Salas O'Brien News

What is commissioning? Is it really a must-have?

Posted by Salas O'Brien on Jan 20, 2017 10:58:08 AM

Buildings operating at less than peak efficiency cost building owners money—lots of money in many cases. The EPA estimates that commercial buildings waste 30% or more in energy. And this doesn't even begin to include costs associated with lost employee productivity.

A service called commissioning can change this. A commissioning team independently represents the interests of the owner in the construction process, ensuring that a building is designed, documented, and built in a way that meets the owner’s ultimate objectives and will last well into the future.

Is commissioning really a must-have?

In some cases, commissioning is actually required by law or project goals. For example, owners seeking LEED or Green Globes certification are required to obtain independent, third-party commissioning. Commissioning is also required by California's CALGreen/Title 24, as well as in any jurisdiction governed by the 2012 or 2015 International Energy Code. (As of December 2016, over 21 states require commissioning per code.)

But what if a project is not bound by law or project requirements to use a third-party commissioning agent? Is commissioning still a must-have?

Yes. Aside from any project incentives or legal requirements, commissioning contributes a number of other benefits for any building owner hoping to maintain a cost-efficient, well-functioning facility:

  • Energy savings through lower operating costs
  • Better bid documents and reduced change orders
  • Shorter building transition period
  • Less post-occupancy corrective work
  • Better indoor environment for occupants
  • More knowledgeable O&M staff

In other words, a small upfront investment in commissioning is often quickly repaid in energy savings, reduced final construction cost, and occupant satisfaction.

More about commissioning

Want to take a deeper look at this important topic? Salas O'Brien just released a white paper from Tim Gilbert, one of our nationally recognized commissioning experts. If you're interested, click below for an immediate download.

Download white paper

Topics: Commissioning, Energy savings, LEED

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