Professional Project Commissioning Services


  • Cobeal's team of professionals ensure that a building is delivered according to the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR). Buildings that are properly commissioned experience fewer change orders, are more energy efficient, and have lower operation and maintenance costs. The documentation of the commissioning process provides the foundation for correctly benchmarking the baseline energy consumption of the facility. 
  • It is important to start the commissioning process in the pre-design phase. This early involvement is critical for the timely and useful development of the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR), the subsequent design team Basis of Design (BOD), the Commissioning Plan, and the beginning of the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Systems Manual. If these tasks are left until later in the process and "reverse engineered" to match the design, their usefulness as catalysts for dialogue, cost and risk management, and quality tracking tools is lost. 
  • Commissioning is a multi-disciplined effort involving owners, design professionals, construction managers, and Cobeal, a commissioning provider (CP) to achieve optimal results from the commissioning process. Engaging Cobeal at the beginning of the project allows Cobeal to become more familiar with programming documents and to proceed immediately to the Commissioning Workshop and the development of the whole building criteria that match the project needs. The inclusion of O&M planning in early phases is key to long-term energy efficiency, equipment longevity, and whole building performance strategies built into the design.
  • Cobeal ensures the commissioning process meets the owner's goals, defines the cost expectations, performance goals, energy and operational benchmarks, high-level schedule dates, operational approaches, and success criteria for the project. Owner staffing plans for the facility are clearly identified so any impact on the design of the facility systems is known. Cobeal assists owners in identifying the facility's requirements such as issues with energy efficiency, indoor environment, staff training, and operation and maintenance. This section provides an overview of commissioning drivers, benefits, goals, and principles as well as general commissioning guides, standards, and resources.

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Determine Project Performance Requirements


A proposed building's scope, schedule, and budget are developed in pre-design stage. It is here that critical systems are determined, based on an owner's project requirements (OPR) and risk management strategy for the activities of the building. It is essential that the pre-design stage include quality assurance strategies and budgets to verify that delivered systems and assemblies meet performance expectations. 

Owner's Role and Responsibilities in the Commissioning Process


  • Why you should contract Cobeal. 
  • Systems testing, inspections, and documentation. 
  • Budget for commissioning and special testing services. 
  • The Commissioning Plan: Critical project goals and requirements. 
  • Incorporating performance requirements into a plan that defines the commissioning scope, process, responsibilities, budget, and documentation requirements.

Commissioning Document Compliance and Acceptance


  • Creating commissioning documentation to serve as the historical record of the "what, why and how" of key delivery decisions throughout the process. 
  • Commissioning documents the establishment of standards of performance for building systems, and verifies that designed and constructed work meets those standards. 
  • The Planning and Development Stage. 
  • The iterative process of determining the agreed-to project requirements at each step of the development process. 
  • Post-Occupancy commissioning documentation as a benchmark for building maintenance.

What you need to know



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

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

Commissioning is an all-inclusive, quality assurance-based process for working with project teams and documenting the planning, delivery, verification, and risk management functions to be performed. Commissioning ensures building quality using design review, and in-field or on-site verification. Commissioning also helps to maximize energy efficiency, environmental health and occupant safety. The process improves indoor air quality by making sure the building components are working correctly and that the plans are implemented efficiently and effectively. Commissioning delivers preventive and predictive maintenance plans, tailored operating manuals and training procedures for all users to follow. Essentially the commissioning process formalizes review and integration of all project expectations during planning, design, construction, and occupancy phases by inspection and functional and performance testing, and oversight of operator training and record documentation.

Cobeal's commissioning is based primarily on the commissioning process recommended in ASHRAE Standard 202-2013, The Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems and ASHRAE Guideline 0-2013. It is highly recommended that project teams who employ Cobeal for Commissioning should follow the process outlined in ASHRAE Standard 202-2013. This standard has been adopted by Cobeal and leading industry organizations. It does not focus upon specific systems or assemblies, but rather presents a standard process that can be followed to commission any building.

Commissioning Goals

The primary goal of commissioning any project is to ensure that success for the project is clearly defined in the OPR and that the building performs as intended to fulfill that mission. The definition accurately depicts commissioning as a holistic process that spans from pre-design planning to occupancy and operations at a minimum and should also include ongoing commissioning. Accordingly, the goals of commissioning are to: 

  1. Deliver buildings and contruction projects that meet the owner's project requirements
  2. Prevent or eliminate problems inexpensively through proactive quality techniques
  3. Verify systems are installed and working correctly and benchmark correct operation
  4. Lower aoverall first costs and life-cycle costs for the owner
  5. Provide documentation and records on the design, construction, and testing to facilite operation and maintenance of the facility
  6. Implement trend logs, automated and semi-automated commissioning tools to enable O&M staff to maintain building compliance
  7. Maintain facility performance for the building's entire life cycle


Commissioning assists in the delivery of a project that provides an efficient, safe and healthy facility; optimizes energy use; reduces operating costs; ensures adequate O&M staff orientation and training; and improves installed building systems documentation.

Commissioning benefits owners through improved energy effiency, improved workplace performance due to higher quality environments, and prevention of business losses. The cost of not commissioning is equal to the costs associated with correcting deficiencies plus the costs of inefficient operations. For example, in mission critical facilities, the cost of not commissioning can be measured by the cost of downtime and lack of appropriate facility use.


There are many reasons to include commissioning in project design and they vary by owner and by building type. For example, mission critical facilities like data centers need to ensure their building systems will operate with little to no down time. Institutional buildings will operate with less maintenance and greater reliability. Private and public building owners want energy efficient buildings that provide safe and comfortable space for occupants. The main drivers for owners to use commissioning include: 

  • A properly performing building
  • Energy efficienty
  • Building performance rating systems
  • Efficient and cost-effective maintenance
  • Code compliance
  • Internal sustainability programs

In addition to energy efficiency and overall performance drivers, another factor driving demand for commissioning is the owner's desire to obtain certification through building performance rating systems. These rating systems have been developed to improve the design, construction and performance of energy efficiency and environmental conditions in buildings. A building certified to these rating systems can include highly efficient gas, water, power and lighting systems, solar photovoltaics, and other distributed energy resource technologies. 

From an owner's perspective, investment in these and other sophisticated building technologies must be accompanied by rigorous design and construction quality assurance and performance verification measurement, which are provided holistically through the commission process. 

Determine Project Performance Requirements

Every new project goes through Pre-Design and Design Stages that establishes an owner's needs, goals, scope, and design solutions for a proposed project. Proposed designs and constructed work can only be evaluated against objective criteria and measures that are embodied in a well-documented OPR. Project development is a learning process where building performance decisions are refined to successive levels of detail over the course of a project's life cycle. These decisions should be documented throughout the project and in the OPR. 

Creating the Commissioning Plan will answer these questions. Key commissioning activities include: 

  • Assign team members and responsibilities 
  • Establish Goals for Quality, Efficiency, and Functionality (part of Project Management)
  • Establish a Commissioning Scope
  • Establish Commissioning Budgets
  • Establish Commissioning Plans
  • Establish Commissioning Schedules
  • Establish Testing and Inspection Plans
  • Develop Commissioning Specifications
  • Determine Special Testing Needs
  • Determine Operational Staff Training Needs
  • Establish Existing Building Commissioning Plans

Document Compliance and Acceptance

The purpose of commissioning documentation is to serve as the historical record of the "what, why and how to" of key delivery decisions throughout the planning and delivery process. Commissioning documents the establishment of standards of performance for building systems, and verifies that designed and constructed work meets those standards. Key commissioning deliverables supporting Document Compliance and Acceptance include: 

  • Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)
  • Basis of Design (BoD)
  • Commissioning Plan (CP"
  • Pre-functional Checks of Facility Systems
  • Functional Tests
  • Systems Manual
  • Training Documents 
  • Final Commissioning Report

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