Schedule & Commissioning and the Future of LEED
Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 10:07PM
Toby Considine in BIM, Schedules, Standards

As Chair of WS-Calendar, I receive a number of inquiries about the incorporation of time and schedule into other specifications. In particular, the wider visibility of VAVAILABILITY is attracting some interest. Occasionally these include fragments of xml, and inquiries as to how to apply this information.

WS-Calendar recently completed its third public review and will soon be published as Committee Specification 1.0.

NREL has recently released a report recommending tagging standards for building systems. This tagging standard is part of a larger recommendation on proper commissioning standards. The same report ( posits that a properly commissioned building system interface be able to offer up a light-weight building model, linked to these standard tags. This creates standard semantics for the building system as a minimum commissioning requirement for a future version of LEED.

Continuous commissioning is today limited by a market friction between changing the service provider. Initial set-up costs require analyzing the building system tags, reviewing the [paper] plans, and interpreting the variations between design and as-built drawings. A properly commissioned building should have resolved these issues already in ways that are re-useable by others. There is a growing sense that buildings should continuously update these energy models to maintain LEED certification.

Energy models predict energy use, and building systems are responsible for the energy use in buildings; these systems typically do not change much after commissioning. A changing energy models is caused most often by a change in business practices. Live energy models must be mappable to changing occupant business practices.

Business processes, though, are primarily linked to spaces, not to the systems. Some systems, i.e., food service equipment, may be linked directly to the business process; it may be that even these processes are stated most clearly through space use schedules. In a building with dynamic management of business processes, the energy models may need to be just as dynamic.

My work in communications for smart energy is concerned with communicating the volatility of energy supply and demand with prices. Facilities that understand their energy use will be able to control economic risk through committing advance purchases of energy on a schedule.

Operational scheduling of building systems in BIM promises to refine our understanding of energy use throughout the day. Linking building spaces to building systems will link energy use to business processes. Continuous commissioning makes energy models relevant throughout the life cycle of a building. Smart energy will create new value propositions for those who understand the schedules when they will use energy.

Article originally appeared on New Daedalus (
See website for complete article licensing information.