Concept, DD, and CD Design Reviews

• The Commissioning Agent provides three focused reviews of the design documents. It is recommended that these reviews occur first at the end of Design Concepts (FEED), the second shall occur during Design Development (Detail) (50%), and the third toward the end of Construction Documents Phase (95%).

• The CxA compares the design with the interests and needs of GSA as identified in the owner’s project requirements. The CxA also compares the proposed design against GSA design standards as defined in the latest version of the PBS or the company specification in case of applying it in industrial projects like petro­chemical or oil and gas projects.

• The CxA identifies any improvements that can be made in areas such as energy efficiency, indoor environmen­tal quality, operations and maintenance, etc. Though the CxA is responsible for reviewing the design from a commissioning perspective, the CxA is not respon­sible for design concepts and criteria or compliance with local, state, and Federal codes (unless it is specifi­cally called out in their contract).

Table 8.9 Commissioning agent focused design review scope



Review contract documents to facilitate project certification goals (i. e. does design meet Energy Star requirements; does Cx meet LEED criteria, etc.).



Review contract documents to facilitate effective commissioning (sufficient accessibility, test ports, monitoring points, etc.).



Verify that bid documents adequately specify building commissioning, including testing requirements by equipment type.

Control System & Control Strategies

Review HVAC, lighting, fire control, emergency power, security control system, strategies and sequences of operation for adequacy and efficiency.


Review the electrical concepts/systems for enhancements.

Energy Efficiency

Review for adequacy of the effectiveness of building layout and efficiency of system types and components for building shell, HVAC systems and lighting systems.


Review envelope design and assemblies for thermal and water integrity, moisture vapor control and assembly life, including impacts of interior surface finishes and impacts and interactions with HVAC systems (blast, hurricane, water penetration).

Fire Protection & Life Safety[11]

Review contract documents to facilitate effective Cx of fire protection and life safety systems and to aid Fire Protection Engineer in system testing to obtain the GSA Occupancy Permit.

GSA Design Guidelines & Standards

Verify that the design complies with GSA design guidelines and standards (i. e. GSA P-100, Court Design Guide, Border Station Guide and Federal Facility Council requirements).


Ensure the design maximizes the functional needs of the occupants.


Environmental Quality (IEQ)

Review to ensure that systems relating to thermal, visual acoustical, air quality comfort, air distribution maximize comfort and are in accordance with Owner’s Project Requirements.

Table 8.9 (cont.) Commissioning agent focused design review scope

Life Cycle Costs

Review a life cycle assessment of the primary competing mechanical systems relative to energy efficiency, O&M, IEQ, functionality, sustainability.


Review for owner requirements that provide flexible and efficient operation as required in the P-100, including off peak chiller heating/cooling AHU operations, and size and zoning of AHUs and thermostated areas.

Operations and



Review for effects of specified systems and layout toward facilitating O&M (equipment accessibility, system control, etc.).



Verify adequate building O&M documentation requirements.

Owner’s Project Requirements

Verify that contract documents are in keeping with and will meet the Owner’s Project Requirements.


Review the structural concepts/design for enhancements (i. e. blast and Progressive collapse).


Review to ensure that the building materials, landscaping, water and waste management create less of an impact on the environment, contribute to creating a healthful and productive workspace, and are in accordance with Owner’s Project Requirements. See also P-100 LEED requirements.


Verify adequate operator training requirements.