Green Term Defined: Commissioning

Commissioning is an important step to create a sustainable project. This process, found in many green rating systems, is the verification and documentation that a building and the systems used are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the project requirements set by the building owner.

energy recovery ventilator

ASHRAE Standard 202-2013, The Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, and ASHRAE Guideline 0, The Commissioning Process define commissioning as:

“A quality-focused process for enhancing the delivery of a project. The process focuses upon verifying and documenting that all of the commissioned systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the Owner’s Project Requirements.”


The commissioning process is done by a commissioning authority. This can be the engineer that does the design or an independent authority. The Commissioning Authority creates a plan for a full review of the complex systems in the building to make sure things are not overlooked, mistakes not made, and systems are performing at the highest level. Commissioning is basically a final punch list of your systems that should be done on every project. It gives the building owner assurance that they have received the system they wanted, performing the way it was designed, and designed for the performance desired by the owner.

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Commissioning benefits the building owner through improved energy efficiency, improved workplace performance, and prevention of business losses.