Commissioning is a quality process to document that building systems are designed to meet the building owner’s requirements are constructed and working as designed to meet performance goals. Commissioning is the only common thread that runs from the design phase and continues all the way to the occupancy and operation of the building. Commissioning can help anticipate potential problems, reduce project risks, and develop solutions to guide the project team in delivering a healthy, productive environment for occupants.
Holistic Commissioning® is a comprehensive approach for achieving sustainability and high performance in new and existing facilities. It encompasses building attributes the stakeholders have defined necessary to effectively and efficiency support stakeholder’s mission, occupant satisfaction, increasing financial return on investment, and achievement of environmental goals for the life of the building.
Holistic Commissioning® provides the greatest benefit when started in predesign because it allows implementation of high performance strategies at their lowest possible cost and establishes the foundation for maintaining and improving performance for the life of the building. Implementing Holistic Commissioning® at an existing facility also provides significant financial returns raising occupant satisfaction, improving operational efficiency, and environmental stewardship for both new and existing facilities. Holistic Commissioning® provides the tools owners and their staff need to increase financial rate of return for the facility.
The differences between commissioning and Holistic Commissioning® is the difference between a snap shot in time and a continuous evaluation of the facility's performance for an extended period. The Holistic Commissioning® process does not end with testing the buildings performance at the end of construction or modifications to the facility. Holistic Commissioning® examines the performance of the building over extended periods of time identifying opportunities to save money, increase operational staff efficiency and reliability of building systems that lowers operational costs that increase the bottom line.
Other differences between commissioning and Holistic Commissioning® include:
- Integration of sustainable high performance strategies that meet the owner’s business model for rate of return by looking from a big picture perspective instead of a narrow focus on a specific design discipline such as heating and cooling efficiency or chasing credits to achieve a green building certification that do not improve the facilities performance.
- Comprehensive look at building systems and their interaction and the impact of these interactions on building performance and total cost of ownership.
- For new facilities the design of the building envelope has a significant on occupant satisfaction, operating and maintenance costs, and useful service life of the building all of which affect an owner’s rate of return.
- For new and existing buildings the interaction between heating and air condition system components and operational staff’s ability to efficiency operate a facility, which is often compromised because many operators are in firefighting mode which limits their time to just handling occupant’s complaints resulting in actions that eliminate complaints while increasing operating costs and total cost of ownership.
- Continuous evaluation of performance which includes occupant satisfaction, financial return, and environmental stewardship.
Holistic Commissioning® is a holistic perspective focused on performance of the building for the life of the building providing reduced risk, higher rates of return, more satisfied occupants, and exemplary environmental stewardship.