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Multifamily Commissioning 101

By: Toni Culley, MaGrann Associates

October 18, 2019

Building Commissioning

Building Commissioning (Cx) provides assurance that the building’s owners achieve their goals for their buildings. The purpose of commissioning in a nutshell is to verify that system installation has been done correctly and is operating “according to the Owner Project Requirements”.

Types of Commissioning

There are three types of commissioning. Initial Commissioning that is performed during design and construction of a new building or when a new system has been installed. Retro-commissioning is performed on an existing system that has not been commissioned previously. And, Re-commissioning is performed on a system that has been commissioned previously but is being commissioned again.

When Commissioning is Performed

Ideally, the Commissioning Agent should be engaged very early in the project’s design stages. The Commissioning Agent can assist in developing the Owner Project Requirements, identify the systems to be commissioned, define the scope that he will be performing and propose an estimated timeline.

Throughout the construction phase, the Cx Agent updates the plan, reviews submittals, conducts meetings, develops system specific checklists and maintains an Issue Log. He develops functional testing procedures and oversees the equipment testing in the field.

During the Operations Phase, the Cx Agent will complete training for the Operations and Maintenance staff of the building. He will perform periodic site visits to verify equipment is functioning over time and in different seasons. He will complete the final Commissioning Report and provide it to the owner.

Why Commissioning should be Performed

Building systems are becoming more complex. Commissioning ensures that equipment is installed correctly and is adjusted to the correct settings. The building owner can have confidence that his commissioned systems will run as they were designed to function with optimal output and consumption. He will also have full documentation for his equipment. The building occupants will enjoy higher air quality and comfort. The maintenance staff will have clearly defined operating procedures and settings.

Who performs Commissioning

The Commissioning Provider is a highly trained and credentialed individual. He is an objective, independent advocate for the Owner. He has engineering knowledge and extensive hands-on field experience regarding building systems, the operation and maintenance procedures for building systems, and the building design and construction process.

MaGrann Associates has training and experienced Certified Building Commissioning Professionals. With over thirty years of working on new construction multifamily building, renovations and new system installations, MaGrann brings a depth of experience and knowledge to the project.

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