What is Commissioning?
Encorus Group offers construction and commissioning services with a wide range of support.
Commissioning is the process of ensuring that all of the operational components of a project are functioning as they should. From planning and design to the actual construction, implementation, or installation, these need to be functioning as required. This involves an integrated application of engineering techniques to inspect, document, and verify that a project’s progress is up to speed with the project owner’s requirements and specifications. Commissioning also provides the opportunity to correct any oversights in the project.
If a building is to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, commissioning is essential. Commissioning can be provided for whole buildings, building systems, and building sub-systems. Typically, there are 8 steps in the commissioning process. These include preparation, design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning of services, pre-handover, initial occupancy, and post-occupancy care. Commissioning services can be adapted to fit the needs of the specific project and client.
What circumstances require commissioning?
Building commissioning is code-driven. New York State and International Building Code each include it within their Energy Conservation Construction Codes (ECCC). In addition, many government clients have similar requirements. All new-build commercial projects should be commissioned, as well as major renovations. In the industrial and process world, it is client-driven. Depending on the complexity and/or level or importance of the project, the client may want specific commissioning services to establish that their equipment is working properly.
Benefits of Commissioning:
While commissioning provides benefits such as compliance with codes and standards, increased reliability and longevity, and minimized need for rework, there are also benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily consider when thinking about commissioning. For example, improved energy efficiency, enhanced indoor air quality, and optimized occupant comfort and productivity are also benefits that have a significant impact. Overall, commissioning yields numerous benefits, not only for the building and building owners, but for the occupants as well.
The benefit to commissioning planning during the design phase is that risk is reduced for the project team. The commissioning team will evaluate the design in real-time for potential problems with the system. These problems can be identified and remediated to prevent any need for rework. This in turn saves valuable time and money due to change orders that require additional re-design and construction rework.
Building Envelope Commissioning:
Building Envelope (or Enclosure) Commissioning, often referred to as BECx, is a process that ensures the building’s envelope and assembly functionality, durability, constructability, and design work as intended and meets the owner’s requirements. The “envelope” is considered the physical separator between the interior and exterior. The components that make up the “envelope” include the walls, roof, windows, doors, insulation, etc.
The benefit to BECx planning during the design phase is that risk is reduced for the project team. The BECx team will evaluate the design in real-time for potential problems within the building enclosure system. These problems can be identified and remediated to prevent any need for rework. This in turn saves valuable time and money due to change orders that require additional re-design and construction rework.
The scope of system commissioning involves ensuring that the building’s systems, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical, are performing according to the owner’s operational needs. During this process, the owner’s project requirements for each system are defined, system designs and plans are reviewed, and on-site inspections and functional tests are performed. There are several benefits associated with system commissioning, similar to building commissioning. This process offers increased energy efficiency and operational performance, reduced likelihood of system failures, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
What commissioning projects have Encorus worked on?
Encorus team members have provided commissioning services for a variety of projects. On the building systems side, we assisted Mott MacDonald and acted as the Commissioning Authority for the Buffalo Amtrak Station project. We have also assisted Erdmann Anthony on commissioning activities at the Collins Correctional Facility, Dunkirk Armory, and the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility. Encorus engineers have provided industrial commissioning services at a variety of chemical, manufacturing, process, and power facilities. These industrial systems included fans, pumps, heat exchangers, electrical power equipment, instrumentation and controls, and the overall process operation.