skip to Main Content
Commissioning Reg’s, Codes & Guides. How Many!  (Post 1 Of 3)

Commissioning Reg’s, Codes & Guides. How Many!  (Post 1 of 3)

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 77) – All IMHO:

How many? So many, I had to break this post into three parts, the UK, North America and the Middle East!

Lets start with some definitions:  

Regulations Relevant to Commissioning
Regulation – “A rule or directive made and maintained by an authority having jurisdiction” e.g Building Regulations in the UK or Building Code in North America. Mandatory, legislated rules. You just have to do it, enough said.

Commissioning Code
Code – “A strict convention, etiquette, protocol or value system”. In the context of building design and Commissioning it is a “A strict protocol”. Mandatory based on application and if specified. 

Commissioning Guide
Guide – “A document providing information and advice that helps form an opinion, make a decision or calculation”. In the context of building design and Commissioning it is a “how to” document and not mandatory unless specifically specified as such. 

To clarify using the UK as an example, the CIBSE Commissioning Codes tell you “what must be done” and the BISRIA Commissioning guides advise you “how to do it”. IMHO, a Commissioning guide can only be considered mandatory if explicitly called out as such in the specification. 

My research found 54 UK Commissioning regulations, codes and guides (see table at end of post) and that does not include specialist documents covering hospitals and data centres. 
Is it any wonder Commissioning RFP’s are mostly confusing and frankly, incorrect? In my experience building designers specifying Commissioning do not understand the above definitions and what building Commissioning is, let alone which Commissioning regulations, codes and guides to specify. 

Specifying every possible Commissioning code, guide and regulation is unprofessional. I recommend the following based on a generic UK high rise, AAA new office development targeting BREEAM certification.

Specify The People

Specify acceptable qualified commissioning providers and stick to it, do not approve alternatives. Accepting alternatives is a bit like specifying Chartered Engineers then accepting a building designed by unqualified engineers. Why set up the project for problems?

IMHO, appropriate Commissioning professionals who will lead a project must have a minimum of eight years experience and have one of the following qualifications:

  • Chartered Building Services Engineer (MCIBSE)
  • Incorporated Building Services Engineer (ACIBSE)
  • CSA – UK – Grade 5 Senior Commissioning Engineer
  • CSA – UK Grade 6 Commissioning Manager

Specify the Commissioning Standards – UK Commissioning Specifications for a Generic High Rise, AAA Office Development

Statutory Commissioning Required by AHJ

  • BS 7671:2008+A3:2015 (the 17th edition incorporating Amendment 3:2015)
  • L2A New Buildings other than Dwellings – Commissioning of Fixed Building Services 
  • Building Airtightness for Part L Building Regulations and Building Standards
  • BS 5839-1 2013 – Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems for Buildings Parts 1 – 8 (Staircase Pressurization Systems Commissioning)

Design Engineer Specified Testing, Adjusting & Balancing (Commissioning UK Parlance)

  • CIBSE Code A 2006 Air Systems
  • CIBSE Code W 2010 Water Systems

Design Engineer Specified Systems Commissioning

  • CIBSE Code C 2001Controls
  • CIBSE Code L  2003 Lighting
  • CIBSE Code B  2002 Boilers
  • CIBSE Code R  2002 Refrigeration
  • CIBSE Code M  2003 Commissioning Management
  • CIBSE TM31 2008 Building Log Book Toolkit
  • BSRIA Guide Pre-Commissioning Cleaning of Pipework Systems BG29/2012
  • BSRIA Guide Water Treatment for Closed HTG & CHW Systems BG50/2013
  • BESA Sheet Metal Ductwork Air Leakage Testing DW/143

      Note: BSRIA & BESA Guides above should be considered mandatory compliance documents

Green Building Certification Commissioning 

  • BREEAM International New Construction 2016 – Man 04 Commissioning and Handover

It should always be remembered that the owner pays for and expects, a building that works and meets its performance targets. Building commissioning provides the testing and evidence for this performance and to be clear, it is the building services design engineers responsibility to specify appropriate commissioning.  

North America next week!

Related posts & links:

#38 – Commissioning certifications are being diluted to to almost zero value ( )

#39 – Balderdash, commissioning RFP’s & the benefits of clarity ( )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top