building design

Revised Design Guide Emphasizes Benefits of Building Commissioning

Managers are embracing commissioning as critical tool to ensure safety, reliability and energy efficiency of facilities.   June 27, 2022

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

A growing number of maintenance and engineering managers are embracing commissioning as an important tool in their efforts to ensure the safety, reliability and energy efficiency of facilities and critical systems within them. The process is an emerging industry where the entire commissioning team, including design, construction and operations, needs to communicate and understand their functions to maximize the results of the project. This understanding that commissioning is not an event but a process that extends from project start through design, construction and operation benefits all team members. 

To provide information and training to enhance the process, the National Institute of Building Sciences has partnered with ASHRAE, the Building Commissioning Association, the AABC Commissioning Group, and NEBB to advance and revise the Building Commissioning resources on the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG). 

The WBDG’s Building Commissioning section presents information about current approaches and processes, as well as overcoming challenges and emerging issues. It also has been expanded to address Existing Buildings and Ongoing Commissioning. 

“The Whole Building Design Guide is a crucial resource,” says Stephen T. Ayers, interim CEO of NIBS. “The built environment should be informed by the latest research. The WBDG is the only web-based portal to provide one-stop information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria, and technology.” 

The WBDG is organized into four major categories: design recommendations, project management/operations and maintenance, federal facility criteria, and continuing education. At the heart of the guide are hundreds of resources pages, reductive summaries on a variety of topics. 

Development of the WBDG is a collaborative effort among federal agencies, private sector companies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. 


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