Building Commissioning

Verifying facilities operate

as they were designed

Building Commissioning

Commissioning (Cx) is a holistic approach to verifying and optimizing energy-consuming systems with respect to design, installation, operation, and maintenance. This in-depth process identifies system issues to ensure proper operation and occupant comfort, while highlighting opportunities for energy savings.

Commissioning is an important part of whole-building management and helps to correct issues found within any building type and infrastructure. The USGBC recognizes the importance of Cx as a building performance quality assurance process and requires it for LEED certification.

Commissioning

How can you be sure that your building is meeting its design intent, is energy efficient and is able to be maintained?

Commission your building. Verifying the proper design, installation, and operation of a building’s energy-consuming systems from initial design through occupancy is the key to a successfully commissioned building. The Stone House Group’s commissioning process is a technical commissioning approach compared to a process commissioning approach. We perform a complete checkout of system installation and complete all of our onsite functional testing. The Stone House Group engineers have extensive knowledge in MEP systems and identify extensive recommendations that result in improved energy efficiency and safety, streamlined building operation and maintenance, and reduction of annual operating costs. Commissioning is a prerequisite for LEED certification, but is also becoming a standard for more complex buildings.

Relevant Case Studies:

Princeton University

LEED Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning

What are some necessary steps to achieving a LEED Certified Building?

Follow the LEED Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning guidelines. A prerequisite to LEED certification, LEED Fundamental Commissioning is a multi-disciplined process that ensures a new building operates as intended while avoiding design, installation, and functional issues in the future. The Stone House Group engineers are highly knowledgeable in ASHRAE, BCxA, PECI, SMACNA, NFPA, NETA and many other commissioning and building standards. The Stone House Group’s Fundamental Commissioning process assists design teams in reviewing the Owner’s Project Requirements and basis of Design, developing and implementing a commissioning plan, developing and executing construction checklists and functional test procedures, logging commissioning issues through all phases, and documenting all findings and recommendations to the Owner. Additionally, LEED Enhanced Commissioning can be pursued for certification points in which The Stone House Group provides valuable input reviewing contractor submittals, performing design reviews during design development and construction development, verifying inclusion of systems manual requirements in construction documents, verifying operator and occupant training, and reviewing building operations ten months after substantial completion. This process identifies extensive recommendations that result in improved energy efficiency, safety, maintenance, and reduced operating costs.

Relevant Case Studies:

The Hotchkiss School, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Retro-commissioning

How do you correct deficiencies in your building and achieve lower operating costs?

Retro-commission your existing building. Retro-commissioning begins with a planning phase for the project, which deepens our understanding through onsite investigation, and is ideal when improvements are implemented and operations are turned over to the owner and operators. The Stone House Group stresses the importance of monitoring and controlling energy consumption and its associated cost in buildings. The energy cost of a building represents a significant percentage of the life cycle cost of the building and if systems are not operating properly and efficiently, the increased costs could be significant over the life of the building.
By understanding current operating protocols, campus-wide maintenance standards, and long-term planning strategies into which a building must fit, The Stone House Group’s retro-commissioning plan considers the future impact of HVAC retrofits and upgrades on the long-term viability of maintaining the building. Preparing a master log of deficiencies and potential improvements provides a starting point to identify potential equipment repairs and improvements.

Relevant Case Studies:

The Philadelphia Zoo

Building Envelope Commissioning

How do you ensure integrity of your building for years to come?

Retain The Stone House Group as a Building Envelope Commissioning Agent. The Stone House Group envelope consultants are innovative and valuable assets for any project team, and provide great benefit to the building performance throughout the life of the structure. The Stone House Group’s Building Envelope Consulting process provides design and construction support, helping guide a project team through all steps of construction from design reviews to on-site inspections. The Stone House Group can satisfy requirements of the LEEDv4 building envelope commissioning credit. Our BECx agent reviews enclosure submittals, verifies inclusion of systems manual information in construction documents, verifies operator and occupant training, and reviews building operations after occupancy. Our expertise in envelope materials, moisture migration, and thermal performance of enclosure systems prevents assembly failure before it ever becomes a problem.

Thermal Imaging

How can you confirm a building’s structural integrity without resorting to destructive testing?

Use thermal imaging. The Stone House Group owns a thermal imaging camera to scan building envelopes and electrical panels. The process helps to determine whether there is evidence of significant thermal loss in buildings, determine areas of moisture or leakage without destructive testing, and observe electric panel load.

Mechanical/Technical Project Oversight

See description under Owner’s Representation/Project Management under Facilities/Project Management services here.

Building Management System Optimization

Does your building control system have a low occupancy mode?

If it does not, the control system may need a tune up. The first step to managing your Building Automation System (BAS) is verifying that existing systems are at their most productive. Utilizing all available energy optimization functions, such as CO2 sensors and economizer cycles,  and making programmatic changes is an important effort in achieving better control and payback.

Performance Contracting

See description for Performance Contracting under Energy Management services here.

270+

The Stone House Group has served over 270 clients to date.

Did you know?

Thank you for everything you did for Princeton on the Art Storage Facility. Truly an outstanding job! I feel confident the BAS system will perform as expected.

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Princeton University  |  Gary Brancato