Last edited 21 Apr 2021

Commissioning building systems


Commissioning refers to the process of bringing an item into operation and ensuring that it is in good working order. On building projects, this refers primarily to building services.

Approved Document L1A Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings (2010), defines commissioning as:

‘…the advancement of a fixed building service after all or part of the system has been installed, replaced or altered. The system is taken from a state of static completion to working order. Testing and adjusting, as necessary, ensure that the whole system uses no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances, without compromising the need to comply with health and safety requirements.

'For each system, commissioning includes the following: setting-to-work; regulation (that is, testing and adjusting repetitively) to achieve the specified performance; calibration, setting up and testing of the associated automatic control systems; and recording of the system settings and the performance test results that have been accepted as satisfactory.’

Building services requiring commissioning may include:

The contract documents should set out:

Commissioning can benefit from the preparation of a commissioning plan, which according to BSRIA Guide BG 8/2009 Model Commissioning Plan should:

A commissioning manager may be appointed to give advice during design, construction planning and installation and then to manage commissioning, testing and handover.

Commissioning activities may include:

NB: The building regulations require that a commissioning notice is given to the relevant building control body (BCB) confirming that commissioning has been carried out according to a procedure approved by the Secretary of State. See Commissioning notice for more information.

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