Existing Building Commissioning best practices: Planning phase
Oct 30, 2013

The goal of the planning phase during an Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) project is to take the building owner’s needs and requirements and work them into an official EBCx document plan. The EBCx plan is then used by all involved parties throughout the life of the project to ensure that all commissioning goals are met.

During the planning phase, it’s important to delegate and assign certain roles and responsibilities to staff members as well as develop a concrete EBCx plan so all parties are on the same page when it comes to executing phases of the Existing Building Commissioning project as a whole.

Take a look at these common best practices for the planning phase of an EBCx project:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of each staff member. Assigning certain responsibilities to facility staff can allow tests and implementation of new systems to be executed in a timely manner throughout the course of the project.
  • Define the scope of work and schedule. During the planning phase, all parties must agree upon a scope of work, especially when a third-party commissioning provider is hired for the project. The development of a schedule will help parties adhere to certain deadlines.
  • Define goals of the Existing Building Commissioning project. Goals will help keep all parties on task and aware of the accomplishments that are to be made throughout the life of the EBCx project.
  • Define the current facility requirements (CFR). During the planning phase, facility staff and the third-party commissioning provider must define the CFR for a building so the proper steps are taken for optimization. Defining the CFR consists of establishing specific parameters such as the ideal building temperature and humidity, hours of operation, sound, vibration, filtration, and more. The CFR will keep all parties aware of what needs to be accomplished in order for the building to run optimally.
  • Conduct preliminary building benchmarking. During this process, facility staff will compare current building performance to benchmark data so all parties can recognize major areas of opportunity. Benchmark data will also be used to measure the success of new systems and procedures following the implementation phase of the EBCx project.
  • Interview and consult with operations and maintenance (O&M) staff. The O&M staff can provide valuable insight into how a building functions on a regular basis and may be able to suggest ways to improve and optimize building performance.
  • Conduct a building walkthrough with the commissioning provider. A formal walkthrough can help all parties gain a better understanding of how building space is utilized and allow for notation of changes that could be made to indoor lighting, indoor air quality, and more.
  • Develop Existing Building Commissioning and customized building operation plans. Developing the official EBCx plans should be the final step of the planning phase and should consist of an outline of goals and specific strategies that will fulfill the requirements and expectations of the CFR and building owner.

sys-tek has been providing commissioning services to the Kansas City region for over 18 years. Contact us today to learn more about how EBCx can improve and optimize energy in your building.