University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Leading the Commissioning Process Step-by-Step Strategies for New Construction Projects See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Experience the day-to-day activities of the Commissioning Process (CxP), from pre-design through the first year of operation. Developed by the Building Commissioning Association (BCA), this course features in-depth discussion and workshop activities to help you implement each task. Prior understanding of the CxP, as defined by ASHRAE Guideline 0, is highly recommended.

Learn how to:

  • Implement the full Commissioning Process from planning through first year of operation
  • Apply best practices to improve project outcomes
  • Create OPR documents, review drawings efficiently, develop targeted checklists and tests, and much more

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the step-by-step application of the Commissioning Process (CxP) in every project phase. Learn the full scope and procedures of a true CxP effort as you progress through an example project from planning through first year of operation.  Follow the process defined by ASHRAE Guideline 0, with interactive, practice-based learning opportunities.

Click here to learn about the course instructors.

Who Should Attend?

  • Commissioning authorities and managers: You will gain practical experience in every stage of the CxP, giving you an advantage over your competition.
  • Project managers, owners, and facilities staff: Become an educated consumer of commissioning services. You will be able to request the services that meet your project needs or develop your internal skillsets.
  • Architects, engineers, contractors, and other project team members: Experience the CxP from the provider's point of view. You will be able to integrate your efforts on future projects for greater benefits and improved profit margins.

Additional Information

This course has been approved for 38 LU/HSW AIA credits.

Course Outline

Download the full agenda in PDF format here

MONDAY (8 AM to 5 PM)*

Course Introduction

Winning the Work–An Overview of the Business Side of Commissioning

  • Business aspects of commissioning
  • Ways to attract clients
  • Key selling points
  • How to identify target markets

You're Hired!

  • Introduces the "Class project" that will take participants through every stage of the commissioning process during the five-day course

Determining the Owner's Needs–Developing the Owner's Project Requirements

  • What the OPR includes
  • Why it's important
  • Methods available for creating the OPR
  • Experience an OPR workshop

Creating the OPR Document 

  • Summarizing workshop results
  • Creating narratives, performance criteria, measurable goals
  • "Red flags" when reviewing OPRs

Forming the Commissioning Team

  • How and why to form a commissioning team
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • How to help an owner select an architect/engineer
  • How to develop a communication plan

Pulling It All Together–Formalizing Commissioning Using a Commissioning Plan

  • Purpose of a CxPlan
  • How to develop the CxPlan
  • Example CxPlan


TUESDAY (8 AM to 5 PM)

Meet Your Architect and Engineer

  • Addition of the A/E to the "project" team

What's a Basis of Design and Why Do We Need One?

  • Purpose and content of the BoD
  • Example BoD discussion

Helping the Design Team Deliver High Quality

  • Tools to help the design team
  • Checklists
  • Design reviews

Workshop Design Review

  • Workshop design review of the "class project" plans

Preparing for the Construction Phase, Part I

  • Pre-construction phase activities
  • Preparing for verification checks

Preparing for the Construction Phase, Part II

  • Functional test procedure development
  • Planning for O&M requirements

Note: A one-hour orientation session for the UW-Madison commissioning exam begins at the end of class Tuesday.



Test Procedure Group Project

  • Participants develop a basic test procedure using information available at this stage in a project

How to Make Your Job Easier–Integrating Commissioning into the Process

  • Commissioning specifications and their role in the overall process
  • How to develop and integrate Cx specifications
  • Purpose and benefit of integrated specs

Requesting, Reviewing, and Using Submittals

  • Role of submittals
  • Why submittal review is important
  • How to request and review submittals
  • How submittals play a role in upcoming commissioning activities

Tracking Checklist Completion

  • Value of tracking
  • What information tracking provides
  • How tracking checklists aid in scheduling construction phase activities

Team Meetings and Conflict Resolution

  • Techniques for effective team building
  • Conflict avoidance and resolution
  • Commissioning team meetings

Site Visit Procedures

  • Tools and skills necessary to plan and execute a commissioning site visit
  • Importance of regular site visits
  • Knowledge that is gained
  • Effect on other members of the project team



Integrating Commissioning with TAB Activities

  • Providing value to the owner
  • Understand the distinction between TAB and the commissioning process

Performing Test Procedures

  • Testing techniques for a variety of system types

Testing Real Systems–Hands-On Exercises; Test Intro

  • Group activity session
  • Hands-on testing experience at the course location

Reporting Techniques

  • Why and how to maintain regular, organized reports
  • Ways to resolve issues


FRIDAY (8 AM to 3 PM)

Assuring Quality O&M Documentation and Training

  • Importance of quality documentation and training
  • Features that identify documentation or training as high-quality

Occupancy and First Year of Operation

  • Commissioning authority's role
  • What types of issues or problems to expect
  • How to maintain involvement with the owner and project
  • Developing and executing seasonal tests
  • Preparing and executing the warranty review

Continuous Commissioning, Recommissioning, and Retro-Commissioning

  • Differences between these concepts
  • Implications of each

Spreading the Word–Final Report and Case Studies

  • Value and importance of the final report and case studies
  • Elements that go into the final report
  • Audience report
  • Value of the report to the life of the building and project

Planning a "Lessons Learned" Meeting

  • Meaning and purpose
  • Benefits available to all team members


*Registration/check-in takes place Monday 7:30 to 8 AM. Lunch is included Monday through Friday.


Ian McIntosh

Dr. Ian McIntosh is a program director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs (InterPro).  He joined the InterPro Facilities and Building Systems team in December 2020 after being a frequent lecturer and course developer for the past 20 years.   His responsibilities include teaching, directing and business development for commissioning certification courses related to project management, existing buildings, and building enclosures.  He is also the owner and founder of ianTEACH LLC, which provides innovative and strategic performance-based training and coaching to engineers, architects, construction, and facilities management professionals in various sectors of the national building industry.

Chad Grindle

Chad S. Grindle is Senior Manager of Technical Services for Cellular Dynamics International. He is a licensed professional engineer with over 16 years of experience as a consultant developing, managing and implementing the commissioning process for a diverse, national client base. Today Mr. Grindle applies his knowledge and experience with the commissioning industry in the management of facility design, maintenance and operations for Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), an industry leader in autologous stem cell research, development, and manufacturing. Currently, Mr. Grindle's efforts includes adaptation of the commissioning process to facilitate validation efforts for CDI's new cGMP facility and headquarters in the Madison area, as well as several expansion and adaptation projects with CDI's current facilities.

Carl Lundstrom

Carl Lundstrom is the Director of Energy Services and Solutions at Dewberry, with over 35 years’ experience in the energy, sustainability, and building commissioning industry. In this capacity, he manages the development of projects for federal & private customers related to energy and sustainability improvements such as commissioning and retro-commissioning, design-build upgrades, energy audits and use assessment, energy modeling and daylighting analysis, energy measurement and verification, renewable energy design, USGBC LEED MEP design, lifecycle cost analysis, EPA Energy Star Application, energy management dashboards, building automation systems, utility monitoring and control systems, and monitoring based commissioning. Carl is experienced with managing major IDIQ contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and GSA. Carl is a member of the Building Commissioning Association. He is a former President and board member of the Association.

Stephen Turner

Stephen is a commissioning expert with over 30 years’ experience engineering, constructing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining buildings and systems. He brings deep engineering understanding and hands-on perspective to diagnosing problems and optimizing buildings. Stephen’s experience includes hundreds of new construction and renovation projects, variously as contractor, engineer, and owner. Prior to starting Stephen Turner Inc. in Providence in 2009, Stephen joined CTG Energetics, a large nationwide commissioning practice, in 2005 where he led commissioning teams on large complex projects nation-wide. Stephen worked at Brown University from 2000 to 2005 and was the commissioning coordinator for all major capital projects. He developed the University’s campus-wide commissioning program, site utilities master plan, and campus metering plan. He has provided commissioning services in over one hundred buildings across the USA and around the world.

Joy Altwies

Joy Altwies, PhD, PE, LEED AP+, is a program director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs. Since 2004, Dr. Altwies has developed and taught continuing education courses emphasizing high performance building design and construction, mechanical system design and operation, energy efficiency, and commissioning.  She is also program director of the Master of Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) degree program and an instructor of two graduate courses in the program.

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