Measuring The Real Impact Of Building Design

Last month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had its national annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia. At the convention, BCAP’s President, Maureen Guttman, along with three other architects, gave a presentation on building commissioning to make one thing clear: building commissioning is here to stay and architects have big business opportunities to help shape the future direction of commissioning.

In the session, Architects Leading the Commissioning Process, the presenters provided an overview of what commissioning is and shared a few reasons why they think that architects should be leading the process. First, the commissioning industry is growing large and fast. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, “global revenue for building commissioning services is expected to grow from $2.7 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2024.” Second, commissioning is already an accepted service provided by architects. AIA Document B211-2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Commissioning contains the contract requirements for architects to develop a commissioning plan, specifications, and a report. Finally, as more technologically advanced and complex solutions are used in construction and building operations, it is critical to test and verify that building systems perform to the architects’ design intent and specifications. Architecture isn’t just about aesthetics—it never was. Before anything, architecture is about the health, safety, welfare, and comfort of building occupants. Making sure that the building design delivers and operates according to its intent is a smart investment in a building owner’s vision for the future.

AIA has a community website dedicated to its Technical Design for Building Performance Knowledge Community (TDBP) to promote architects as leaders in the application of technical design for building performance, in the use of high-performance codes and standards, and in programming, designing and managing building performance. Find ways to get involved in developing the qualifications (certifications) for taking leadership roles in commissioning!