Sustainability

Florida Building Code Required Commissioning and LEED

Did you know that the Florida Building Code requires building commissioning, independent of LEED?  Many of our clients and the design / construction professionals with whom we work do not know this or fully understand it.  After multiple inquiries and explanations, we put together this guide to understanding Florida Building Code Commissioning and LEED Commissioning.  As you can see below, there is quite a bit of overlap.

What is Building Commissioning?

The Federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy defines building commissioning as follows:

Commissioning is a quality-assurance process used to verify that a building performs according to the original design and intent, and meets the needs of the owners and occupants.

In layman’s terms, commissioning addresses the energy consuming systems in a building throughout design and construction to: (1) ensure that the building is designed optimally to meet the owner’s needs, including energy efficiency; (2) ensure that all systems are installed correctly for optimal performance and per owner’s requirements; and (3), ensure that the building is fully tested with all systems and controls running to verify proper functioning and optimal performance.

Note that Commissioning exists outside of LEED.  LEED adopted the Commissioning process as an industry best practice to achieve optimal design and performance.  Florida Building Code has done the same.

FL Building Code vs. LEED

There are multiple aspects to Commissioning.  Below is a table that compares (1) what is required by Florida Building Code (Section C408 – System Commissioning), (2) what is required by LEED to meet the Fundamental Commissioning pre-requisite, and (3) what is an optional additional commissioning, or LEED Enhanced Commissioning, in LEED.