Existing Building Commissioning terminology
Nov 01, 2013

Existing building commissioning (EBCx) is associated with unique terminology that accompanies many of the crucial phases of an EBCx project. Regardless of whether you’re a building owner, facility manager, or facility staff member, it’s important to learn EBCx terms so you can communicate effectively with a third-party commissioning provider.

Here are some examples of common terminology you may encounter during the course of an EBCx project.

Benchmarking – The process of comparing a building’s performance data and energy usage to other buildings in a similar industry and to the building itself prior to EBCx.

Continuous commissioning – A process that focuses on ways to optimize HVAC system operation and control through constant monitoring, testing, and analysis of mechanical systems and equipment.

Current facility requirements (CFR) – The CFR defines the building owner’s operational requirements and needs for that specific building. The CFR usually defines the needs and requirements for parameters such as operating hours, vibration, sound, filtration, and temperature and humidity levels.

Facility improvement measure (FIM) – Alterations made to systems and equipment with the goal of improving building and system performance, improving indoor air quality, and reducing operations and maintenance costs.

Master list of findings – A document developed at the end of the investigation phase that outlines a series of FIMs that must be made during the EBCx process and also serves as a budgeting tool.

Ongoing commissioning – The process of performing commissioning activities on a regular and ongoing basis to make sure that the CFR are being met long after the initial EBCx project has been completed.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual – Describes how each system or piece of equipment in a building should be operated and maintained, as well as details about the key components of each working system.

Return on investment (ROI) – A calculation that shows how much money is gained or lost relative to the total cost of the investment. ROI = (investment gain – total investment cost) / total investment cost.

Test procedure – An official protocol or plan that outlines and defines the expectations, methods, and staff that should be involved with testing equipment and systems.

Turnover phase – The phase at the end of the EBCx project during which all training and documentation is provided to staff members so they can stay on top of new procedures and maintain equipment for ongoing commissioning.