Third-Party or Independent Building Commissioning

Each project and project team is unique, and as such, requires special attention to maximize Owner benefits during the commissioning process. What is this process?

“New construction commissioning is the process of ensuring that systems are designed, installed, functionally tested, and performing in conformity with the design intent. Existing building commissioning, or retrocommissioning, applies a systematic process for improving and optimizing a building’s operations and supporting those improvements with enhanced documentation and operator training.”- ANSI accredited, Building Commissioning Association

Ideally the commissioning provider contract comes directly from the Owner. The commissioning provider works as its own entity, separate of the design team and contractor team, reporting directly to the Owner. In this scenario the building commissioning provider is able to provide objectivity, facility know how and engineering expertise while implementing the commissioning process from beginning to end. This is known as third-party or independent building commissioning.

Hiring outside of the design and contractor teams eliminates conflict of interest challenges that inevitably occur. As noted previously, the commissioning process requires special attention to maximize the Owner’s benefits. Third-party firms are in the position to add previous project knowledge learned separately from the rest of the project team. Fresh eyes on pre-construction items such as Owner Project Requirements, design documents, equipment submittals, controls integration strategy and training approach (among others) increases the likelihood of non-biased, beneficial commissioning team input. Early input saves later $$$. During construction, the third-party commissioning provider can identify all deficiencies and resolve them in the manner most beneficial to the Owner. Objectivity during the commissioning process is essential.

We’re not the only ones who think so! Leading building commissioning organizations and energy programs agree that third-party commissioning is the bees-knees. BCxA, ACG, USGBC, ASHRAE and individual state energy programs all recommend or require third-party or independent building commissioning be implemented.