California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Commissioning plan

The Commissioning Plan contains multiple documents, incorporating the list of tasks to be performed, schedule of activities and set targets to meet the goals bounded in the time line. It is a guide used by commissioning teams and project managers to establish the scope and responsibilities to be carried out in order to ensure and verify that the activities are working well.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.2.3: Commissioning plan. [N]

Prior to permit issuance a commissioning plan shall be completed to document how the project will be commissioned. The commissioning plan shall include the following:

1. General project information.

2. Commissioning goals.

3. Systems to be commissioned. Plans to test systems and components shall include:

a. An explanation of the original design intent.

b. Equipment and systems to be tested, including the extent of tests.

c. Functions to be tested.

d. Conditions under which the test shall be performed.

e. Measurable criteria for acceptable performance.

4. Commissioning team information.

5. Commissioning process activities, schedules and responsibilities. Plans for the completion of commissioning shall be included.


The Commissioning (Cx) plan establishes the commissioning process for the project and commissioning team’s level of effort by identifying the required Cx activities to ensure that the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) via the Basis of Design (BOD) are met. The Cx plan also includes a commissioning schedule, covering design to occupancy.

Note: See Chapter 8 of this guide for forms and templates.

Compliance Method:

Compliance is demonstrated by preparation of a project-specific Cx plan that includes the elements listed in the code section above and/or approving the Cx plan document form (see note above). The following gives guidance for developing the components of the Cx plan:

1. General project information. Provide project-identifying information including, but not limited to the following:

• Project name, owner, location.

• Building type, building area.

• Project schedule.

• Contact information of individual/company providing the commissioning services.

2. Commissioning goals. Document the commissioning goals, including, but not limited to the following:

• Meeting CALGreen requirements for commissioning.

• Meeting OPR and BOD requirements.

• Carrying out requirements for Cx activities as specified in plans and specifications.

3. Systems to be commissioned. See BOD.

• An explanation of the original design intent. Document in a written narrative the performance objectives and design intent for each system listed to be commissioned.

– Refer to the OPR and BOD documents.

• Equipment and systems to be tested, including the extent of tests.

– Provide a list of equipment and systems to be tested.

– Describe the range and extent of tests to be performed for each system component, and interface between systems.

• Functions to be tested. Provide example functional test procedures to identify the level of testing detail required.

– See Section 5.410.2.4, Functional performance testing, for more information.

• Conditions under which the test shall be performed. Identify the conditions under which the major operational system functions are to be tested, including:

– Normal operations and part-load operations.

– Seasonal testing requirements.

– Restart of equipment and systems after power loss.

– System alarm confirmations.

• Measurable criteria for acceptable performance. Include measurable criteria for acceptable performance of each system to be tested.

4. Cx team information. Provide a contact list for all commissioning team members including, but not limited to the following:

• Owner, owner’s representative.

• Architect, engineers.

• Designated Cx representative.

• General contractor, subcontractors and construction manager.

5. Cx process activities, schedules and responsibilities:

• Establish prescribed Cx process steps and activities to be accomplished by the Cx team throughout the design to occupancy.

• For each phase of the work, define the roles and responsibilities for each member of the Cx team.

• List the required Cx deliverables, reports, forms and verifications expected at each stage of the Cx effort.

• Include the confirmation process for the Operation and Maintenance Manual, systems manual and the facility operator and maintenance staff training.


Plan intake: The plan reviewer should confirm the following in the construction documents:

• The Cx plan contains the required elements listed in the code.

• Receipt of a copy of the Cx plan; or

• Receipt of a form signed by the owner or owner’s representative attesting that the Cx plan has been completed

On-site enforcement: The inspector should verify that the Cx plan criteria, as attested by the architect, engineer or designer of record, are being implemented during construction.

(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Chapter 5)

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