LBNL Report Number
Currently, houses do not perform optimally or even as many codes and forecasts predict, largely because they are field assembled and there is no consistent process to identify problems or to correct them. Residential commissioning is a solution to this problem.
This guide is the culmination of a 30-month project that began in September 1999. The ultimate objective of the project is to increase the number of houses that undergo commissioning, which will improve the quality, comfort, and safety of homes for California citizens. The project goal is to lay the groundwork for a residential commissioning industry in California focused on end-use energy and non-energy issues. As such, we intend this guide to be a beginning and not an end. Our intent is that the guide will lead to the programmatic integration of commissioning with other building industry processes, which in turn will provide more value to a single site visit for people such as home energy auditors and raters, home inspectors, and building performance contractors.
Project work to support the development of this guide includes:
- a literature review and annotated bibliography, which facilitates access to 469 documents related to residential commissioning published over the past 20 years (Wray et al. 2000),
- an analysis of the potential benefits one can realistically expect from commissioning new and existing California houses (Matson et al. 2002), and
- an assessment of 107 diagnostic tools for evaluating residential commissioning metrics (Wray et al. 2002).
In this guide, we describe the issues that non-experts should consider in developing a commissioning program to achieve the benefits we have identified. We do this by providing specific recommendations about: how to structure the commissioning process, which diagnostics to use, and how to use them to commission new and existing houses. Using examples, we also demonstrate the potential benefits of applying the recommended whole-house commissioning approach to such houses.