Building Commissioning
ASHRAE Technical Committee 7.9

Research Planning

Planned Research Activities Priority 1

Title: Evaluation of ASHRAE Standard 207P
Author:  John House (originator: Dave Shipley)
Documents:  Next Draft of RTAR Forthcoming (contact author if you want to help)

June 2021:John House has produced a new draft of this RTAR. It is being reviewed by a small committee. It has not yet been submitted.

January 2021: John House of TC 7.5 is now the lead author for this RTAR. Dave will continue to follow it and will be talking with John shortly to discuss how he can help.

June 2020: This RTAR is now in the hands of TC 7.5. Dave will continue to follow and support it and will seek a response from TC 7.9 if TC 7.5 requests co-sponsorship.

February 2020: This draft RTAR will be discussed in the FDD subcommittee and the research subcommittee of TC 7.5 (Smart Buildings). We are hopeful that someone from 7.5 will take it on and modify it appropriately before it gets submitted. 7.5 is the natural home for the RTAR and should have the expertise to improve it substantially. Dave will not attend TC 7.5’s FDD subcommittee, because it meets during TC 7.9’s main meeting (and Dave is taking over as TC secretary at this meeting). Dave will get to the 7.5 research subcommittee and the main TC meeting and will monitor the progress of this RTAR. If it proceeds as hoped, we can offer to co-sponsor it.

June 2019: Draft RTAR from 207P. Dave asked whether the group would like to review this RTAR if it becomes more ready for submission, to consider whether TC 7.9 should co-sponsor it. The consensus was that we should consider it.


Planned Research Activities Not Prioritized

Title: Identification and Collection of Performance Metrics for Non-Commissioned Building Construction Projects
Author:  Kristin Heinemeier
Documents: Draft RTAR Forthcoming (contact author if you want to help)

January 2021: Steve Krupka is interested in the topic. Soph Davenberry also interested. Dave will provide them with Kristin’s email address and they will both reach out to her to offer help.

January 2019: Kristin has had some discussions with reviewers of the RTAR on whether the initial study is to include both commissioned and non-commissioned buildings. The study that compares two groups of buildings may be more attractive to research topic reviewers. The downside is that it would be more complicated to collect data on both commissioned and non-commissioned buildings. The study would collect metrics from construction projects that may potentially be affected by commissioned, to establish a baseline in non-commissioned buildings. There has been a white paper from BCA/LBNL (recently redone) that presents some of the costs and benefits of commissioning. One idea would be to try to make our study, in addition to what else we collect, compile a dataset of metrics BCA/LBNL used to serve as a control group for that study. We could look for the largest subset of their dataset, in terms of building type and region, and focus our study on the same building type and region. Kristin will change the topic to “Identification and Collection of Performance Metrics for Building Construction Projects.” In a lot of places, people are now commissioning minimally, only because they are forced to by regulation. Should we change the study to compare buildings that are commissioned only to code versus buildings that are commissioned more thoroughly? Kristin will review the LBNL report to figure out how we can provide some linkage between that and our study, so we can provide some kind of control group for that study. She will rewrite the RTAR, with help from Dave Shipley, Reinhard Seidl.  She will reach out to Elliott Crowe, who led the LBNL study. Mina Agarabi is providing Kristin the contact information for Ole Teisen. He has been working on quality management and digitalization for building performance. The draft RTAR will be distributed to the group for consideration by November.

June 2018: The challenge of this project is that the only way it can provide a statistically valid sample for comparing against the commissioned buildings we might collect in a subsequent study, you would probably need a much larger number of buildings. 12 of each building type will have too much variability to provide a good baseline. It might be better to narrow this down to one building type or one region, in order to reduce the variability and get better statistical validity for the same study. You need sample size to overcome the noise in the data.

January 2018: Kristin has drafted the start of an RTAR. The current working title is “Identification and Collection of Performance Metrics for Non-Commissioned Building Construction Projects.” She will not be attending the meeting, but would like the group to discuss this draft and provide feedback. Others who are interested in the topic would be welcome to help develop it. Contact Dave Shipley or Kristin Heinemeier to obtain a copy of the draft. Dave will send this draft to Reinhard Seidl and Chuck Dorgan, so they can provide feedback to Kristin.

 June 2017: Nothing has happened on this project since the idea was first suggested in June 2016. Kristin has not made any progress yet, but will commit to moving it forward. Ideally this would identify the difficulties with buildings that are not commissioned.

 January 2017: Dave should move this up into the current research ideas. Nothing has happened on it since June, as far as we know.

 June 2016: What can ASHRAE do about alleviating the one big barrier to the widespread adoption of commissioning? What is that? Probably convincing the owner that commissioning is required to obtain a building that works properly. The owner thinks he is already paying for a building that works properly and doesn’t understand why he needs to pay more for commissioning in order to get that.

 Problem of the cost of an “epidemiological” study of buildings commissioned versus non-commissioned. Can we find a metric that is cheap to collect, to be able to quickly assess the cost of not commissioning a building? Can we find a quick way of assessing the commissioning of a building?

 Kristin will volunteer to work on an RTAR on this topic. John Gibbemeyer will review whatever Kristin drafts.

Completed Research Activities

Title: WS 1587: Improved Tools for Control Loop Performance Measurement and Evaluation
Author:  Steve Taylor, TC 1.4 (original draft in TC 7.9 by Bill Pienta)
Documents:  Published Final Report Available from ASHRAE.

June 2017: This project is complete. The final report is available on the ASHRAE website.

Non Prioritized Research Ideas


None at this time.