LEED Commissioning

Let's be clear about this, "Commissioning" as LEED and the USGBC has set forth is not to be confused with a standard commissioning process as defined by ASHRAE Guideline 0 (Zero).  There are many different ways that you can serve up commissioning, but they should always be defined in your work scope so that everyone's expectations can be met.  So let's take a look at how the LEED commissioning process looks when the project is a new building.  The LEED scorecard for a new building has two different line items one is commonly refered to as Basic Commissioning and Enhanced Commissioning.


Basic Commissioning is a prerequisite according to the scorecard and it is what I call the meat and potatoes of the commissioning process.  Usually perfomed around the end of construction this is the "must have" when it comes to commissioning.  This is the time when the commissioning authority verifies that what the building designer laid out is functioning the way that it should.  According to the LEED guidebook Basic commissioning requires the following:

  • Assist with the OPR (Owner's Project Requirements)
  • Make sure the BOD (Basis Of Design) is being developed by the design team
  • Review the OPR and the BOD to make sure that they are in agreement
  • Verify that commissioning requirements are included with the construction documents
  • Develop a Commissioning Plan
  • Verify the installation and preformance of the commissioned systems
  • Perform functional testing on commissioned systems
  • Issue a Commissioning Report


Enhanced Commissioning is for credit in the LEED rating system.  Its involvement is during what I like to call the bookends of the project because it includes the design and post occupancy components as well as additional construction involvement.  According to the LEED guidebook Enhanced commissioning requires the following in addition to all the Basic Requirements:

  • Perform a 50% Construction Document Review
  • Review submittals of commissioned systems
  • Produce a systems manual for commissioned systems
  • Verify training requirements are complete
  • Participate in the "11-mo" walk through (LEED says 8-10 month) but the intent of this is to review the building operations with the owner prior to the standard 12-month contractor warrenties expire.

Systems to be Commissioned

The minimum systems that should be commissioned to meet the LEED requirements:

  • HVAC systems and controls
  • Lighting and Lighting Controls
  • Domestic Hot Water
  • Renewable Energy Systems

Additional Resources

Here are some good links that may give you additional information about the subject.