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10 ways to know if a building should be commissioned

Written by: Michael Kuk

Commissioning will benefit most building construction or renovation projects. Still, by considering specific factors and conditions you can determine when a commissioning, re-commissioning, or building tune-up will begin to return the most value.

Building performance considerations

  1. What is the total mechanical cooling capacity for the building?
    If the capacity is greater than 40 tons, and your total heating and domestic hot water heating capacity is greater than 600,000 BTUh. This is the threshold for requiring commissioning under the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). And probably a good threshold for retro-commissioning as well.
  2. What is the building’s square footage?
    The threshold for requiring commissioning under ASHRAE 90.1 is 50,000 square feet. This could serve as a threshold for retro-commissioning as well. It’s also often the threshold for some utilities offering utility subsidized retro-commissioning studies.
  3. What is your ENERGY STAR score?
    Less than 75? — Maybe
    Less than 50? — Definitely!
  4. Do complaints you’ve heard about temperatures, air quality, air circulation, or other building conditions indicate that HVAC equipment is not working well?
  5. Has your energy use continued to rise?
  6. Will you be installing new HVAC equipment or lighting controls?Commissioning will make sure the controls and equipment work properly.
  7. Has your building automation system been optimized?
    Once optimized, the system will deliver the full value of your investment.
  8. Has it been two years since the building was commissioned?
    Re-commissioning will restore energy efficiency and identify any equipment needing repair or adjustment.
  9. Are you a public school, state facility, or federal facility?
    In many states, commissioning for public schools or state/federal facilities may be required.
  10. In general, how is the energy efficiency and Operations/Maintenance performance of the building?
    If you have observed costs too high…or comfort too low… it may be time for a commissioning, re-commissioning, or building tune-up.

Thank you for your interest. We hope that you will reach out if we can provide a quote or answer any questions.