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Whether required by code or desired by a building owner, the HVAC commissioning process is an important tool used to verify that building systems are designed, specified, and constructed to the standards of the owner. These systems can include boilers, pumps, mechanical piping, air handling units, VAVs, and fans. Each one of these systems are critical in the proper functionality of a HVAC system.

A commissioning agent is often selected at the beginning of design and participates in the project through the end of construction. During design, the commissioning agent reviews drawings and specifications in order to check for acceptance with the owner’s requirements for the project. In addition, the project design is checked for applicable code compliances. During this time, a commissioning plan is also generated that describes the responsibilities and tasks each project team member will have throughout construction. The design phase portion of the process requires extensive communication between the designers, construction contractors, commissioning agent, and the owner’s representative. Once the design is accepted and proper building permits are obtained, the commissioning process moves towards construction.

During construction, the commissioning agent generates pre-functional checklists for installing contractors to complete upon installation of each system component. The commissioning agent also participates in site visits to observe equipment start-ups, testing and balancing (TAB) activities, and to check for any issues with equipment installations. Upon completion of construction and installation of the direct digital controls (DDC) system, the commissioning agent oversees the functional performance testing of the entire HVAC system to verify that the system operates properly under a variety of conditions. Once the system has been tested and approved, the commissioning agent puts together a final report to compile all the appropriate documentation completed throughout the process. This report normally contains site visit reports, completed installation checklists, TAB reports, equipment O&M manuals, and training material for operating the DDC system.

If your building or project requires a commissioning agent, contact Director of Engineering Design Thomas Gilmartin, PE, PMP, LEED AP at (716) 592-3980 ext. 124 or