Commissioning surges ahead

Building commissioning continues to grow, and engineering firms can benefit from adding the service for clients.

10/29/2013


When discussing with uneducated building owners and tenants the topic of designing and specifying engineered systems into a building, commissioning sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. They don’t always understand why a system must be commissioned, re-commissioned, or retro-commissioned. If it was engineered correctly in the first place, doesn’t it work correctly?

In an exclusive report released by the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG), survey respondents reveal a positive outlook on the industry. According to a similar report released in August 2013 by the Building Commissioning Association, “Demand for the services of commissioning professionals is rising and will continue to rise into the near future.”

What’s pushing this trend toward more commissioning? Several things. First, owners of existing buildings are working to “find” money in a tough economy. By ensuring systems are working correctly and efficiently, owners and facilities staff can lengthen the life of existing equipment and ensure system performance is at expected levels. By balancing a system—such as the HVAC system, which may need to be rebalanced due to new tenants—or reviewing building occupancy, which can affect lighting use, owners can retool the building’s systems to increase occupant comfort or reduce electrical consumption. Owners may also be working toward voluntary programs, like the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star program, in order to quantify their facility’s performance.

Second, codes and standards are driving commissioning from several angles. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, for example, now requires HVAC commissioning for control systems on most projects greater than 50,000 sq ft. This complexity of building lighting systems has made commissioning of lighting controls an essential part of more and more projects. Commissioning for the most part is voluntary; however, if an owner is contemplating U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or if ASHRAE 90.1-2010 compliance is required, commissioning is mandatory.

Several guidelines and websites explain and illustrate the commissioning process, such as ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005: The Commissioning Process and the ACG Commissioning Guideline. In 2011, the Illuminating Engineering Society published IES DG-29-11, The Commissioning Process Applied to Lighting and Control Systems, a design guide for the commissioning of lighting and lighting control systems. IES DG-29-11 is intended to be a supplement to ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005. When NFPA released the 2012 edition of NFPA 3: Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, a comprehensive commissioning document for the fire protection industry was made available (see "Top 10 things to know about commissioning fire protection systems" by David LeBlanc).

Other factors pushing commissioning: corporate “green” or “energy efficiency” goals, utility incentives and rebates, established relationships between engineering firms and building owners, and a slight uptick in new building construction.

For more on the 2013 Commissioning Giants, see the article "The state of commissioning in 2013," and for more on this topic, visit www.csemag.com/commissioning.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.