A Greener Shade of Building Commissioning

The contribution to climate action

The static structure of a commercial building makes it easy to forget about the machines inside and their contribution to the climate change.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, buildings are responsible for about one-third of global energy use and one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. In Australia, coal is the single biggest source of emissions and strong action locally is needed.

What is the solution to the problem?

In the Project Book, Colin Ellis writes that projects are the lifeblood of an organisation. However if we look into all the projects delivered across different sectors only an average 34 per cent of projects are considered successful, a rise of only 5 per cent in the past 20 years. Organisations have been throwing money at project management for years and still don’t see an impact.

To improve project delivery, commissioning needs to evolve into a quality-focused management process for retro-fitting existing buildings and construction of new ones. Currently commissioning is very biased towards an end-of- project activity of inspection, testing and adjustment by constructors. The lifetime of a building is rarely a consideration so opportunities to make improvements can go unnoticed, unappreciated, or worse are actually suppressed to get the job done.

In response to short comings with our industry practices, ASHRAE’s enhanced commissioning extends activities to all phases of a project. Project teams can get on the right foot to delivering great projects with this innovative approach for owners.

Outcomes include the following:

  • reining in energy successfully for the life of buildings
  • making a net zero emissions pathway a reality
  • maintaining business profitability
  • delivering more successful projects with requirements for operability and maintainability


The Project Book – The Complete Guide to Consistently Delivering Great Projects By: Colin D Ellis

Guideline 0-2019 – The Commissioning Process By: ASHRAE