Why commission my building? What are my requirements?

November 29, 2016

Almost all local building codes or incentives reference one of the standards referenced in Table 1. Commissioning (Cx) is critical to ensuring high performance buildings in both the short and long term. Baumann collaborates with its clients to develop value-added solutions for buildings that are durable, comfortable and inexpensive to operate.

In Illinois, IECC-2015 or ASHRAE 90.1-2013 compliance is required by the 2015 Illinois Energy Conservation Code.[i] In addition, all state-funded and state-owned facilities must seek LEED, Green Globes, or equivalent certification.[ii] In Chicago, the Green Permit Process provides expedited permitting for LEED certified buildings.[iii] Chicago’s Sustainable Development Policy provides financial and non-financial assistance for LEED certified buildings with green roofs.[iv]

Commissioning is critical to ensuring high performance. It is a quality-oriented process for achieving, verifying, and documenting that the performance of facilities, systems, and assemblies meets defined objectives and criteria. Its purpose is to reduce the cost of delivering construction projects and increase value to owners, occupants, and users. The process begins at project inception (during the Pre-Design Phase) and continues for the life of the facility (through the Occupancy and Operations Phase) and applies to both new and renovation projects.


Table 1

Early involvement of a commissioning authority (CxA) helps prevent long-term maintenance issues and wasted energy by verifying that the design meets the owner’s project requirements and functions as intended. Properly executed, it often leads to fewer change orders and system deficiencies, fewer corrective actions implemented while contractors are on-site, improved planning and coordination, reduced energy consumption during building operation, and overall lower operating costs.

Cx optimizes energy and water efficiency by ensuring that systems are operating as intended, thereby reducing the environmental impacts associated with energy and water usage. Additionally, it can help ensure that indoor environmental quality is properly maintained due to better temperature and ventilation control. Properly executed Cx can substantially reduce costs for maintenance, repairs, and resource consumption, and higher indoor environmental quality can enhance occupants’ productivity.[v],[vi]

Baumann Consulting has expertise in the commercial, institutional, educational, and industrial building sectors. We specialize in sustainability and engineering consulting services for the entire life cycle of buildings, including Commissioning, Retro/Re-commissioning, and Monitoring-based Commissioning. Founded in Washington, DC, in 2006, Baumann has grown into a transatlantic organization, which in 2013 expanded its presence to Chicago and Frankfurt, Germany. As engineers, architects, planners and consultants, we are driven to elevate high-performance buildings from a niche segment of the market to the industry standard.

Ilana Cember, PE, CEM, LEED Green Assoc
Baumann Consulting
November 29, 2016

[i] Illinois Energy Conservation Code, § 600 (2016).
[ii] Green Buildings Act, § 20 ILCS 3130 (2009).
[iii] Green Permit Process (City of Chicago Department of Buildings 2012).
[iv] Chicago Sustainable Development Policy (Chicago Department of Planning & Development 2016).
[v] ASHRAE. Guideline 0-2005. (2005)
[vi] USGBC. LEED v4 BD+C Reference Guide (2013).