Operations & Sustainability: The Ultimate Goal
What is Commissioning?
Commissioning is a quality assurance process applied to the delivery of a building that begins at pre-design and continues through the end of the construction warranty period. The benefit is a new construction or renovation delivered at peak operating condition, and operations and maintenance staff prepared to operate your building successfully to meet occupant needs.
Commissioning was developed as a response to advances in technology, materials, and methods of design and construction. In the 21st century, technological advances are more common than ever as we witness the rise of smart buildings and IoT. Commissioning authorities allow for a smooth implementation of these technological advances. This application is crucial to the efficiency of the building.
Meeting Occupant Expectations
In addition to the technological advances enabling buildings to be highly efficient, there is huge social pressure to build sustainably responsible buildings. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) reports that “the global green building sector continues to double every three years, with…70 countries reporting 60 percent of their projects will be green by 2018.” In other words, sustainable building practice is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard, and many of today’s design and construction innovations intersect sustainability and technology.
We have all witnessed a building that is meant to be sustainable but misses the mark because the HVAC, lighting, and other systems don’t meet the needs of the occupants. The operations staff react by overriding the intended energy saving sequences to respond to complaints. Sustainability falls to the wayside.
When Everything Aligns
For your building to meet intended sustainable design goals, it needs to operate at its most energy efficient state. Commissioning providers align the parameters of the intended design by testing the building energy systems to determine that they operate as intended. They also help train the operations and maintenance staff to operate the building in accordance with the sustainable model. These steps ensure optimized energy efficiency without sacrificing the building owner’s expectations or the occupants’ comfort.
A successful commissioning authority can shepherd outcomes with a multitude of benefits, like a reduced carbon footprint due to efficient operating systems, a healthier indoor environment, and effective daylighting. Commercial buildings can see energy efficiency degrade by 10 percent to 30 percent over a one- to two-year period, according to research from Texas A&M University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. By accurately monitoring and controlling building systems with a building automation system, we can sustain the outcomes for years of optimal building life. Through a commissioning process by dedicated commissioning providers, we demonstrate that the ultimate goal is achievable: long-lasting sustainability.