The Federal Energy Management Program's commissioning process for federal facilities, which applies to both new construction and existing buildings, is composed of the following four steps.

Step 1: Plan

The planning step includes developing and agreeing upon the overall commissioning objectives and strategies, assembling the project team, and compiling and perusing building and equipment documentation. Objectives for this step are to:

  • Optimize building operations to reduce operating costs
  • Address complaints from occupants regarding air quality or comforts
  • Create a model facility
  • Improve facility operations and maintenance (O&M) and reduce emergency calls.

When forming the commissioning team, consider contracted or in-house staff, level of effort required, desired and necessary qualifications, availability and use of resident knowledge, and available funding resources.

Step 2: Investigate

The investigation step includes conducting a site assessment, developing functional test and monitoring plans, analyzing test results, compiling a master list of deficiencies, and recommending improvements. All of these substeps, including estimates of energy and cost savings, are generated and presented for consideration.

Step 3: Implement

In the implementation step, accepted recommendations from the investigation step are put into place. Actions include making repairs and improvements, retesting and remonitoring for results, fine-tuning improvements as needed, and revising energy and cost savings estimates.

Step 4: Hand off and Integrate

The final step is hand off and integrate. In this step, final documentation of the commissioning effort is presented. This documentation describes the process, individuals, systems information, and actions taken throughout the process.

A plan for future commissioning efforts is also developed and presented. The plan should include recommended procedures for specific building equipment, frequency of testing, analysis of results, periodic reporting, identification of key players, and budget requirements.