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 2015 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...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me