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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Commissioning process

Commissioning is a comprehensive engineering analysis of the operation and performance of a building’s systems, including HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting systems. The methodical process ensures building performance, reduces energy use, improves indoor air quality and meets occupants' needs.

Commissioning occurs during the new construction process, in existing buildings and with newly installed systems to sustain efficiency. Existing-building commissioning has the heaviest focus right now in alignment with the Better Buildings Challenge. See the progress here.

The existing-building commissioning process:

  • Step 1: Choose building: Examine campus energy data and systems information. Use a unique building profile system to identify which buildings provide the greatest opportunity for energy improvements to prioritize efforts and funding.

  • Step 2: Analyze and assess building: Document all building information (operations, maintenance, design, construction) and perform field studies to identify use patterns and occupant concerns.

  • Step 3: Evaluate systems: Through detailed building systems testing and analysis, identify existing deficiencies that can be addressed to allow for more efficient and correct operation. Identify opportunities for energy-conservation measures that will result in more efficient building operation.

  • Step 4: Implement changes: Perform energy-conservation measures (from simple adjustments to major facility upgrades) identified in step 3.

  • Step 5: Apply continuous commissioning: Monitor the new energy-conservation measures as well as all other building equipment. Schedule system operations for occupant needs and optimize system effectiveness while reducing energy use.