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  • Alex Mathers

Why Commission?

Why Commission?

Commissioning creates value through proactive quality assurance. It ensures the project meets expectations and works as intended. But why should I commission my project?

Increasing Complex Buildings and Systems

Buildings are increasingly complex due to a confluence of factors shaping the modern world. Technological advancements and innovative construction techniques have provided architects and engineers with unprecedented possibilities, allowing them to push the boundaries of design and create structures that were once deemed unimaginable. Moreover, the ever-growing global population and urbanization have necessitated the development of high-rise buildings and mixed-use spaces to accommodate more people and optimize land usage. Simultaneously, the rising emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency has driven the incorporation of intricate systems such as onsite power generation, heat recovery, and smart building technologies. As society evolves, buildings must adapt to cater to diverse and dynamic needs, leading to the relentless pursuit of complexity to redefine the built environment for the future.

Commissioning plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of complex buildings because it systematically verifies and optimizes the performance of building systems and components. Complex buildings often involve intricate designs, advanced technologies, and multiple interdependent systems, which can lead to challenges in their proper functioning. Commissioning helps address these complexities by validating that each system operates as intended, both individually and in conjunction with others. Through thorough testing and fine-tuning, commissioning identifies and rectifies any design or installation deficiencies, ensuring that the building operates efficiently, safely, and according to the design intent.

Rise in Energy Costs

The world is witnessing a relentless rise in energy costs, posing significant challenges to individuals, businesses, and economies at large. Several factors contribute to this upward trend. First and foremost, the growing global population and urbanization have escalated energy consumption, straining existing resources and infrastructure. Additionally, geopolitical tensions and conflicts in major oil and gas-producing regions disrupt supply chains, leading to price volatility. Furthermore, the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources necessitates initial investments in renewable technologies, which, although beneficial in the long run, can increase short-term energy costs. Climate change and extreme weather events also impact energy production and distribution, leading to supply shortages and further driving up prices. As energy costs continue to soar, it becomes crucial for governments, industries, and individuals to prioritize energy efficiency, adopt sustainable practices, and invest in alternative energy sources to mitigate the impact on economies and mitigate the effects on the environment.

Commissioning plays a significant role in reducing energy costs for buildings. By systematically testing and optimizing building systems, commissioning ensures that all energy-consuming components operate efficiently and as designed. Here are several ways commissioning helps with energy costs:

· Energy Efficiency: Commissioning identifies and rectifies inefficiencies in HVAC systems, lighting, and other building systems. By fine-tuning these systems, energy wastage is minimized, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced costs.

· Equipment Performance: Commissioning ensures that all equipment and systems are properly installed and calibrated. Properly functioning equipment operates at peak performance, which translates into energy savings over time.

· Building Envelope: Commissioning assesses the building envelope for air leaks, insulation issues, and thermal performance. Addressing these issues improves the building's ability to maintain desired indoor temperatures, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling.

· Lighting Optimization: Commissioning evaluates lighting systems for efficiency and recommends appropriate lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting. This can lead to substantial energy savings by reducing unnecessary lighting usage.

· Preventive Maintenance: Commissioning establishes ongoing maintenance protocols to ensure that systems remain efficient throughout the building's lifecycle. Regular maintenance prevents energy efficiency degradation and the emergence of potential energy-wasting issues.

· Energy Monitoring: Commissioning often involves the implementation of energy monitoring systems, allowing building operators to track energy usage in real-time and identify patterns of excessive consumption. This data helps make informed decisions for further energy-saving measures.

Incorporating commissioning into a building's lifecycle is a proactive approach that not only lowers energy costs but also promotes sustainability and reduces the environmental impact of the structure. By optimizing energy performance, commissioning helps businesses and organizations achieve long-term financial savings while contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Health and Safety

Occupant health and safety are of paramount importance in any built environment, be it residential, commercial, or public spaces. Creating spaces that prioritize the well-being of occupants is essential to ensure their productivity, comfort, and overall quality of life. This involves adhering to building codes and regulations, implementing proper ventilation and air quality systems, and providing adequate lighting to reduce the risk of accidents and health issues. Additionally, ergonomic design, accessibility features, and proper maintenance contribute to ensuring the safety and comfort of all occupants, including those with disabilities or special needs. Incorporating sustainable building practices and utilizing low-toxicity materials further promotes occupant health by minimizing exposure to harmful substances. Furthermore, regular inspections, emergency preparedness plans, and fire safety measures play a crucial role in safeguarding occupants from potential hazards. As the awareness of the impact of indoor environments on health grows, architects, builders, and facility managers must prioritize occupant health and safety to create spaces that foster well-being and promote a healthier, more resilient society.

Commissioning plays a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of building occupants and users. By rigorously testing and verifying building systems and components, commissioning helps identify potential hazards and ensures that safety measures are in place.

Here are several ways commissioning contributes to health and safety:

· Verification of Safety Systems: Commissioning ensures that critical safety systems, such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, emergency lighting, and sprinkler systems, are properly installed, calibrated, and functioning as intended. This reduces the risk of accidents and enables swift response in case of emergencies.

· Indoor Air Quality: Commissioning evaluates HVAC systems to ensure that they provide adequate ventilation and maintain acceptable indoor air quality. Proper ventilation helps reduce the buildup of pollutants and allergens, promoting a healthier indoor environment for occupants.

· Thermal Comfort: Commissioning assesses the building's heating and cooling systems to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. A comfortable environment improves occupants' well-being and productivity while minimizing the risk of heat-related or cold-related health issues.

· Preventing Indoor Hazards: Commissioning helps identify and mitigate indoor hazards, such as gas leaks, water leaks, and electrical faults. Timely detection and rectification of these issues prevent potential accidents and ensure the safety of occupants.

· Proper Lighting: Commissioning evaluates lighting systems to ensure adequate illumination levels and proper lighting distribution. Adequate lighting reduces the risk of accidents and injuries caused by poor visibility.

· Emergency Response Planning: Commissioning includes testing and verification of emergency response plans and procedures, ensuring that occupants are adequately informed and trained in case of emergencies.

By systematically assessing and optimizing building systems, commissioning creates a safer and healthier environment for occupants, visitors, and users. It reduces the likelihood of accidents and emergencies, enhances occupant well-being, and mitigates potential health and safety risks, contributing to an overall safer and more secure built environment.

Schedule and Budget

In today's fast-paced and competitive world, project schedules are becoming increasingly compressed, and budgets are tighter than ever before. This trend can be attributed to several factors, including the need for quick market entry, technological advancements, and increasing client expectations for rapid project delivery. With advancements in communication and collaboration tools, stakeholders demand quicker turnarounds for projects. As a result, project teams face immense pressure to complete tasks efficiently and meet strict deadlines. Moreover, economic uncertainties and cost-consciousness prompt organizations to allocate smaller budgets for projects, requiring teams to be resourceful and cost-effective in their approach.

These constraints challenge project managers to prioritize tasks, optimize resource allocation, and embrace innovative project management methodologies. This can mean cutting quality control at the equipment, system and trade level. Commissioning oftentimes becomes the only quality control procedure taken in a project.

Business Continuity

Business continuity refers to the strategic planning and preparedness that organizations undertake to ensure the uninterrupted operation of critical functions during and after disruptive events. These events could be natural disasters, cyber-attacks, pandemics, or any other unforeseen crisis that could disrupt regular business operations. The primary goal of business continuity is to minimize the impact of such disruptions, enabling companies to continue delivering products and services to customers, preserving their reputation, and safeguarding the welfare of employees. To achieve this, businesses create comprehensive continuity plans that identify potential risks, establish emergency response protocols, and allocate resources effectively. Regular testing and training of employees ensure that everyone is familiar with the procedures and can respond efficiently in times of crisis. Business continuity not only ensures survival during challenging times but also enhances an organization's resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances, making it an indispensable aspect of modern-day risk management.

Commissioning plays a crucial role in supporting business continuity by ensuring that critical building systems and operations are reliable, resilient, and ready to respond effectively to disruptive events. Here are several ways commissioning helps with business continuity:

· Risk Identification and Mitigation: During the commissioning process, potential risks and vulnerabilities in building systems are identified and addressed. By proactively addressing these risks, the likelihood of unexpected failures during a disruptive event is reduced, minimizing downtime and its impact on business operations.

· System Reliability: Commissioning verifies that all building systems are functioning as intended and capable of meeting the demands of regular operations. This includes HVAC systems, power distribution, communication networks, and backup power systems. Reliable systems ensure smooth operations during normal conditions and offer a higher chance of continuing business functions during disruptions.

· Emergency Preparedness: Commissioning includes testing emergency and communication systems. This ensures that building occupants are well-prepared to respond swiftly and safely during emergencies, mitigating potential risks to life and property.

· Redundancy and Resilience: Commissioning reviews and verifies the redundancy and resilience of critical systems. By ensuring backup systems are in place and operational, business continuity is maintained even if primary systems experience failures or outages.

· Testing and Validation: Commissioning involves thorough testing of building systems to ensure they perform as expected under different scenarios. This testing validates the ability of systems to handle various disruptions, allowing organizations to identify weaknesses and address them before a real crisis occurs.

· Training and Awareness: Commissioning often includes training for building occupants and staff on emergency procedures and business continuity plans. Educating employees on how to respond during disruptive events enhances their ability to contribute to business continuity efforts.

· Post-Disaster Recovery: After a disruptive event, commissioning can help in the recovery process by identifying and prioritizing repair and restoration efforts. This helps expedite the return to normal operations and reduces the overall downtime for the business.

By proactively addressing potential risks, verifying system reliability, and preparing occupants and staff for emergencies, commissioning contributes to the overall resilience and readiness of a building to withstand disruptive events. This, in turn, supports business continuity efforts and ensures the continued functioning of essential operations during challenging times.


In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in the implementation of increased regulations on construction and operations in various industries. This growing trend is driven by a combination of factors, including concerns over environmental sustainability, public safety, and the need to address the impact of human activities on the planet. Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are taking proactive measures to ensure that construction projects adhere to stringent standards, encompassing areas such as building codes, environmental impact assessments, waste management, and energy efficiency. Additionally, operational regulations are being reinforced to ensure ongoing compliance with safety protocols, emissions control, and worker welfare. While these regulations pose challenges to businesses, they also serve as catalysts for innovation and improved practices. Companies are now compelled to adopt sustainable and responsible approaches to construction and operations, fostering a more resilient and environmentally conscious future for both the industry and society as a whole.

Commissioning creates value through proactive quality assurance. It ensures the project meets expectations and works as intended. Poor quality is expensive. Fixing errors and mistakes afterwards is many times more expensive as catching them during design and construction. Commissioning is proven to reduce risk, improve performance and have positive payback.

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