The Value of Third-Party Building Commissioning

Why Third-Party Commissioning?

Many building owners believe that the quality control of their system should be left to those who design and install them. Mostly designers run out of time during the construction phase of the project and cannot dedicate resources to go through every fine detail of every system. There is no one on the traditional construction team focused on making sure the system is complete and has zero defects. This is where a Third-Party Commissioning services can be of tremendous value. Third-Party Commissioning is applicable to most of the building systems such as HVAC, fire-safety, plumbing, lighting, sustainable systems, wastewater, building security, etc.

The Goals of Third-Party Commissioning

  • Deliver buildings and construction projects that meet the owner’s project requirements.
  • Prevent or eliminate problems inexpensively through proactive quality techniques.
  • Verify systems are installed and working correctly and benchmark that correct operation.
  • Lower overall first costs and life-cycle costs for the owner.
  • Provide documentation and records on the design, construction, and testing to facilitate operation and maintenance of the facility.
  • Implement trend logs, automated and semi-automated commissioning tools to enable O&M staff ongoing commissioning.
  • Maintain facility performance for the building’s entire life cycle.

What are Third-Party Commissioning Benefits?

There are significant benefits to commissioning building projects. It increases the property value, improves system performance, and saves money. In fact, data from the U.S Building Owners and Managers Association indicate that commissioning buildings can result in energy savings of 20–50% and maintenance savings of 15-35%. The benefits resulting from commissioning process include:

Pre-Design and Design Benefits

  • Develop a clearer understanding of what the owner wants by completing OPR questionnaire
  • Reduce risk for Designers by documenting Basis of Design (BOD) and discuss with owner.
  • Resolves potential issues more cost effectively before construction phase.
  • Improvement in specifications and drawings through feedback

Construction Benefits

  • Provides contractors with tools to perform installations that meet project requirements
  • Performance accountability through construction observation, issue management, and testing
  • Documents verification of system and assembly performance
  • Verifies training completion

Occupancy and Operations Benefits

  • Enhances Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), comfort levels, and energy savings
  • Reduces the amount of troubleshooting when occupied, maximizes initial utility of the building
  • Has fewer contractor call backs
  • Documentation is there for maintenance