by Gerald Kettler, PE, CCP, CPMP, BEAP, BEMP

ASHRAE Winter Meeting
ASHRAE has several committees dedicated to commissioning with SSPC 300 – commissioning being the master committee overseeing all the ASHRAE Cx standards and guidelines, and documentation coordination with Cx Industry organizations.
There are active subcommittees for Standard 202, Guideline 0. These subcommittees are activated for review and revision of those standards and guidelines. Along with Standard 202 and Guideline 0, all other Cx Guidelines have been placed continuous maintenance.

Guideline 0, The Commissioning Process, was revised and reissued in 2019. Guideline 1.1, HVAC&R Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process, is currently being revised.

The standardization of the annexes for most of the guidelines and standards is close to going live. These will update common appendices through most of the documents into a single document and be available online at no additional cost.

ASHRAE also has a committee developing Standard 230 for Commissioning Process for Existing Systems and Assemblies. This EBCx process is generally based on the Guideline 0.2 process with updates. A first public review has been conducted. Appendices are now being developed and added.

A new guideline subcommittee for 1.7P Ongoing Commissioning Process for Buildings, Systems and Assemblies, has been initiated and needs members.

Standard 202-2018 The Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems has been referenced by ASHRAE STD 189.1-2020 and STD 90.1-2019. Informative Appendix ‘H’ on commissioning process and documentation has been included in STD 90.1-2019. The commissioning requirements in STD 90.1-2019 now include the inspection and enforcement on most energy using systems, including the building enclosure.

National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) - Whole Building Design Guide
The Whole Building Design Guide is a centralized resource library for of to-date information on integrated whole building design techniques and technologies available on the NIBS website.

These commissioning sections have been updated and expanded from four to eight chapters. The chapters now represent the basic new building commissioning process and definitions; Cx team responsibilities; OPR development; documentation; existing building Cx; ongoing Cx; emerging Cx issues; and additional Cx resources. These chapters will be available on the WBDG website probably by mid-2022. 

International Standards Organization (ISO)
An ISO standard is being developed (based on Standard 202) for the application of commissioning starting at the planning and design phase. It is titled ‘Building Commissioning Process Planning – Part 1: New Buildings”. Development time is anticipated to be three years. This development is being conducted by ASHRAE TG 205 and the ISO TG 205 Work Group. An ISO standard has been published that covers the building enclosure commissioning process and the related risk assessment procedure for selecting the appropriate level of commissioning.

International Code Council (ICC)
The 2015, 2018 and 2021 versions of International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and International Green Construction Code (IGCC) require the performance of HVAC test and balance (TAB) and commissioning. They require the application of “industry accepted” commissioning process. The 2019 version of ASHRAE 90.1 is very similar to the commissioning requirements in ASHRAE 189.1. IGCC-2021 is based on ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2020 and has a Cx section that basically conforms to Standard 202 and coordinates with IECC. The 2021 IGCC is based on the ASHRAE 189.1-2020 and the TAB and commissioning requirements have not changed substantially from the previous codes.

ICC Guideline G-4 – Guideline for Commissioning, has been revised by ICC and industry committee and was republished in 2018 and conforms to the STD 202 process. It is intended to assist building officials in the application and enforcement of commissioning. 

ICC has instituted a certification program for Green Code Reviewers and inspectors.

ASHRAE Standard 189.1 – Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings

ICC IGCC-2021 utilizes ASHRAE 189.1-2020 for requirements except for IGCC administration chapter One.

Cx requirements have been included in 189.1-2020 to follow Standard 202 process requirements and coordinate with other codes. 

Retrocommissioning (RCx) ad City Ordinances
Several cities — Seattle, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and others — have passed ordinances mandating energy auditing and retro-commissioning or “Building Tune Up” for many of their buildings.

Many of these programs utilize ASHRAE Standard 211-2018, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, as the energy audit process. The DOE website has extensive process and checklist information already available for the audit process.