Last edited 11 Feb 2016

Notice of commissioning

Paragraph L1(b)(iii) of Schedule 1 to the building regulations requires that fixed building services are commissioned by testing and adjusting them as necessary to ensure that they use no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances.

Approved document L of the building regulationsConservation of fuel and power’, defines ‘commissioning’ as ‘...the advancement of a fixed building service following installation, replacement or alteration of the whole or part of the system, from the state of static completion to working order by testing and adjusting as necessary to ensure that the system as a whole uses no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances, without prejudice to the need to comply with health and safety requirements. For each system commissioning includes setting-to-work, regulation (that is testing and adjusting repetitively) to achieve the specified performance, the 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.’

Fixed building services means ‘…any part of, or any controls associated with—

(a) fixed internal or external lighting systems (but not including emergency escape lighting or specialist process lighting);

(b) fixed systems for heating, hot water, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation; or

(c) any combination of systems of the kinds referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).’

The building regulations require that a notice is given to the relevant building control body (BCB) that commissioning has been carried out according to a procedure approved by the Secretary of State.

The notice should include a declaration confirming that:

  • A commissioning plan has been followed so that every system has been inspected and commissioned in an appropriate sequence and to a reasonable standard.
  • The results of tests confirm that the performance is reasonably in accordance with the actual building design, including written commentaries where excursions are proposed to be accepted.

The use of the templates in BSRIA’s Model Commissioning Plan is a way of documenting the process in an appropriate way.

According to Approved document L2, it is helpful to building control bodies if such declarations are signed by someone who is suitably qualified, for example, a member of the Commissioning Specialists Association or the Commissioning Group of the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) in respect of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, or a member of the Lighting Industry Commissioning Scheme in respect of fixed internal or external lighting.

Where a building notice or full plans have been given to a local authority, the notice should be given within five days of the completion of the commissioning work; in other cases, for example where work is carried out by a person registered with a competent person scheme, it must be given within 30 days.

Where an approved inspector is the BCB, the notice should generally be given within five days of the completion of the building work. However, where the work is carried out by a person registered with a competent person scheme the notice must be given within 30 days. Where the installation of fixed building services which require commissioning is carried out by a person registered with a competent person scheme the notice of commissioning will be given by that person.

Until the BCB receives the notice of commissioning it may not be satisfied that Part L of the building regulations has been complied with and so is unlikely to issue a completion certificate.

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