The process of commissioning is a tool for optimizing the energy performance of the buildings. The process ensures that all building systems perform according to contract documents, the design intent and Owner’s operational needs. This systematic approach is used for new construction and major renovation. It typically includes HVAC, controls, lighting, hot water, security, fire, and life safety systems.

The process starts during design phase with the preparation of commissioning Plan (Cx Plan). Cx plan incorporates owner’s requirements, design basis, documents requirements, systems to be commissioned, procedures, checklists, team responsibilities, and schedules.

The Cx process continues in construction phase and includes submittal reviews, completion of installation check lists, review of test reports, and field quality control. The next step consists of startup and testing of components and systems, and finally functional and performance checkout systems and subsystems. Operation and Maintenance (O&M) training and record keeping are important part of the Cx process. All the records related to Cx process are incorporated in Commissioning Manual such as record drawings, O&M manuals, record drawings, commissioning report, commissioning plan and records, and warranties including any deferred testing.

This process is applied to existing buildings that have never been commissioned to bring the systems to optimum performance. RCx is a systematic process which identifies low-cost no-cost measures to improve the operation of systems and bring the buildings to current usage requirements.

RCx focuses on energy efficiency and is typically limited to energy using systems such as HVAC, controls, hot water and chilled water systems, lightingand related controls. The process is based on optimizing existing systems rather than major replacement of equipment and components. RCx involves tracking, monitoring and trending of the existing systems operation and variable parameters. As such it is important and prerequisite that the existing building has an operational Building Automation System.

RCx involves a detailed audit of energy systems and components including study of utility bills, field investigations and interviews with O&M staff. Building Automation System (BAS) and use of temporary data loggers helps in monitoring and developing diagnostic measures for further evaluation and recommendation. This process helps find and repair operational problems. Finally aRCx Report is presented to the owner, which summarizes the existing system operation, observations andall the findings, recommendations with cost-benefit analysis, and a commissioning plan.

This process applies to the buildings which were never commissioned, and is similar to retro-commissioning.

Continuous commissioning also referred to as “monitoring-based commissioning” is continual retro-commissioning focused on the persistence of completed improvements. It involves regularly scheduled sessions with building manager, O&M staff, and building occupants. This process incorporates monitoring and analysis of building performance data provided by BAS or permanently installed metering equipment to verify building performance.