Commissioning for Nonresidential Mechanical and Lighting Systems

18 page publication on Seattle Energy Code Requirements for Completion and Commissioning 

Commissioning is a systematic process of verification and documentation to ensure that the building owner’s design intent and operational requirements are delivered. Since 1997, the Seattle Energy Code has contained commissioning and completion requirements for building mechanical systems (Section 1416) and for lighting controls (Section 1513.7). For mechanical systems, the requirements include a commissioning plan, air and hydronic system balancing, functional performance testing, operational and maintenance materials, record drawings, systems operational training, and preliminary and final commissioning reports. For lighting, the commissioning requirements are limited to lighting controls. Drawing notes for both mechanical and lighting systems require commissioning and Final Commissioning Reports to be filed with the owner.


The code states that the construction documents shall require certain documentation or action. The owner receives commissioning documentation, not the building official. The building official checks to be sure that the construction documents include the appropriate requirements. The building official does not review the commissioning documents themselves, nor witness any tests. However, for complex mechanical systems, a preliminary commissioning report is to be completed prior to the building official issuing a final certificate of occupancy. Before the final inspection is signed off, the mechanical inspector will review the preliminary commissioning report to verify compliance with code requirements.

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