8. A Greener Shade of Commissioning

A contribution to climate action

The static structure of a commercial building makes it easy to forget about the machines running 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 (this doesn’t include the embodied emissions in getting them built).

A Practical And Accessible Solution

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”.

It’s important then that a project manager (PM) works in collaboration with the commissioning organisation to provide co-ordination support across the disciplines. With top management sponsorship and the right people engaged commissioning will deliver successful projects for owners and their project partners. This could mean energy savings of as much as 50% together with other important operational savings longer term.

Commissioning guidelines globally including Green Star certification in Australia are consistently doing the right thing by expanding the intent of commissioning to all phases of the project starting early in design planning. The approach is a big reversal to the way things are actually done today in the building construction industry where commissioning is not valued nearly enough. However smart owners, and their project partners know that any system is only as good as its weakest link.