Commissioning around the globe

2 min read

On Monday, Oct. 15th, 2018, Baumann Consulting was honored to host a visiting delegation of Japanese commissioning professionals including 16 engineers and researchers at our Chicago office to discuss the state of Commissioning in Japan, the US and Germany. The visit was set up through Professor Harunori Yoshida’s and Oliver Baumann’s joint work on the International Energy Agency (IEA) Annex 40 and 47*. Professor Harunori Yoshida is the Chairman of the Non-Profit Organization Building Services Commissioning Association (BSCxA) and Professor emeritus at the Kyoto University.

Our morning-long discussion on the state of Commissioning in Japan, Germany, and the US produced the following main takeaways:

  1. Project delivery processes in Japan and Germany are similar regarding construction supervision and design team responsibility. While there is overlap among these scopes and typical commissioning activities, a third-party Cx agent still adds value to the owner by eliminating conflicts of interest.
  2. Although Japan’s Building Services Commissioning Association (BSCxA) is well established with procedures and guidelines for commissioning services, individual projects appear to have differing approaches. Applying the principles of “Kaizen” is wise to achieve better standardization with improved efficiency, effectiveness and measurable outcomes for commissioning services.
  3. In all three markets, Cx has tremendous growth potential and is projected to double and or even triple over the next decade. However, the commissioning industry must self-advocate by better informing and educating real estate business stakeholders about the value delivered – beyond simple code and certification compliance.

Baumann was very proud to host and connect with this very interesting group to exchange ideas and gain insight into other markets. Baumann Consulting’s collaboration with the founders of the BSCxA dates back nearly two decades. Prof. Harunori Yoshida, Prof. Yasunori Akashi, Masato Miyata and Oliver Baumann forged a relationship in 2001 when they worked together with an international team of researchers and practitioners as part of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Annex 40 and Annex 47. This work is still cited today and is the foundation for commissioning guidelines and standards in many countries around the globe. In 2017, Natascha Milesi Ferretti, Masato Miyata and Oliver Baumann co-authored a paper titled “A retrospective on the impact of Annex 40 and Annex 47 research on the international state of building commissioning” published in Energy and Buildings, Vol 158.

*International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities Program (EBC, formerly ECBCS) has completed two building commissioning research annexes, recognizing the role of the building commissioning process in meeting energy conservation goals. Annex 40 established a common understanding of the commissioning process and initiated research that became the basis for the development of national guidelines and automated tools. Annex 47 focused on advancing the use of technology in commissioning. The work developed, and ideas exchanged in Annex 47 were foundational in enabling numerous positive impacts internationally.