These benefits grow larger as the breadth of commissioning expands. Commissioning used to be reserved for major mechanical and electrical systems and was conducted as a post-installation verification activity. Today, virtually all building systems can be commissioned and the process begins in early design. For example, the building envelope is a “system” and can be inspected and tested via a commissioning process during construction. Since building envelope failure is the number one source of construction insurance claims it seems a good place to focus the kind of attention that commissioning brings.
At heart, commissioning is a Pareto optimization tool. It provides a feedback loop which informs best solution decisions among competing agendas during the course of the project. Continuous commissioning takes this to another level with constant real time monitoring of building performance, with the goal of optimizing system and building performance.