Ask the Right Questions

Building Commissioning: One Effective Solution To The Building Automation Puzzle

By E. Thomas Lillie
Lillie & Co.

While the concept of building commissioning is no longer as alien as it once was, the process itself–and the result–still leave many [people] with more questions than answers. Building commissioning is fairly straightforward: to assure that the design and installation of a building's equipment and systems actually satisfy the owner's intent and to facilitate the turnover of the equipment and systems to the owner so that operations, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting programs can be established...

 Assuming that [owners] understand the concept of commissioning, they must ask and answer the following questions before finalizing their commissioning strategies:


  • How do they assure the right process for their facilities?

  • How do they find the right commissioning agents (CAs)?

  • Can the general or mechanical contractor perform both contracting and commissioning functions?

  • Should all new buildings be commissioned, or is it unnecessary in some cases?

  • What should fms ask for and what should they expect?

  • When should a CA join the building team, and to whom should he report?

Knowing the answers to these–and other–concerns will help make the commissioning project run smoother and more efficiently.

Asking The Right Questions...

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