Commissioning Provider Survey: Requiring Monitoring in 2011 Title 24 Standards

This survey attempts to identify how providers typically use monitoring equipment and data, and from a commissioning provider perspective, the type and magnitude of data required to adequately commission a building. To ensure any new requirements facilitate commissioning, the survey elicited information about current practice and challenges and recommendations for potential code triggers, data collection intervals and data storage requirements.

Most respondents report their firms perform commissioning on both new and existing buildings with about half completing between one and ten projects annually. Respondents had a wide range of experience, with approximately one-third reporting more than ten years. As expected, a high majority (80%) of respondents use a combination of different data collection methodologies in their commissioning activities. Of the choices provided, respondents reported having the highest level of expertise with using Energy Management and Control Systems (EMCS), portable data loggers, and handheld meters, and most believe that either the EMCS or web-based EMCS systems hold the highest potential for improving the cost-effectiveness of commissioning. 

In-depth interviews focused on specific code features such as triggers, data collection intervals and storage requirements. There was general agreement that the code trigger for new construction projects should be based on building size, or possibly a combination of size and occupancy type. In addition, respondents agreed that fifteen-minute data intervals are generally adequate for monitoring, but more frequent intervals are required for diagnostic purposes, especially for dynamic equipment. There was no consensus at all with respect to any of the three data storage requirements topics: time, external access, or web-based capabilities.

Responses on each topic spanned the range of possible choices provided, with no majority on any item.