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Guideline P.1 Design and Construction Process


To support the compliance and outcome tracking process by facilitating the creation and communication of relevant project goals and information.

Required Performance Criteria

Guidelines are required for New Construction and Major Renovation projects.

  1. Develop an Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document, beginning at the Predesign or equivalent phase. This document is developed in coordination between the owner, commissioning authority, architect, engineer, and any other relevant stakeholders. A commissioning authority must be established at the Predesign phase to complete the early-phase goal setting. The OPR includes:
    1. A list of the authors who developed the document and assisted in early team kickoff and goal-setting meeting(s).
    2. All sections listed in Section 6, Appendix D of ASHRAE 202-2013.
    3. A preliminary SB 2030 Energy Standard, as created through the SB 2030 Energy Standard Tool.
    4. Regular updates and developments as the owner’s requirements change and project details become available.
    5. The requirement that trend data is able to be saved for major equipment for a minimum of two months if a building automation system is requested.

    Projects that include less than 20,000 gsf of conditioned space may elect to complete the B3 Guidelines Small Buildings OPR to satisfy this guideline, using Appendix P-1a as a template. Projects must meet the B3 Guidelines requirements noted in this OPR/BoD template, and may use it to document compliance with Guidelines P.1A, P.1C, and the thermal comfort requirements of I.4B part 2.

  2. Develop a Commissioning Plan (Cx Plan) from the OPR with the assistance of the architect, engineer, commissioning authority, and owner. The Cx Plan should follow Section 7 and Appendix E in ASHRAE 202-2013. The scope of commissioning shall follow the process outlined in Appendix P-1b1 and P-1b2 and include all of the following, if within project scope:
    1. Mechanical HVAC systems, including testing, adjusting, and balance.
    2. Energy (including renewable) systems.
    3. Power and electrical systems, including lighting and daylighting controls.
    4. Indoor air quality elements and systems.

    Projects that include less than 20,000 gsf of conditioned space are only required to commission HVAC systems and lighting controls.

  3. Develop a Basis of Design document (BoD) from the OPR with the assistance of the architect, engineer, commissioning authority, and owner. The BoD should follow Section 8 and Appendix F of ASHRAE 202-2013. Projects that include less than 20,000 gsf of conditioned space may submit a completed OPR/BoD template following Appendix P-1a to comply with this guideline.
  4. Develop a safety risk assessment of indoor air quality issues for projects that are attached to occupied buildings (“new construction” additions or “major renovations” only). Projects must submit a completed B3 Guidelines IAQ Safety Risk Assessment template to comply with this guideline, available as part of Appendix P-1e1.
  5. Develop indoor air quality procedures according to a Construction Air Quality Management Plan and Warranty Period Air Quality Management Plan templates, available in Appendix P-1e1 and P-1e2. These plans must address at a minimum the sections outlined in Appendix P-1e1 and Appendix P-1e2, although projects that include less than 20,000 gsf of conditioned space are only required to document and pursue a subset of the listed procedures. These are noted in the appendix.

Recommended Performance Criteria

  1. Assemble an appropriate stakeholder team that includes representation from every discipline involved in the project, including: the owner’s decision-making team, users, occupants, operations and maintenance representatives, at least one representative from the community, and at least one agency “client” or visitor representative. An owner representative and commissioning agent must also be included, if applicable. Members must make a commitment through post-occupancy.
  2. Facilitate planning/review workshops at key phases with all team members.
    1. In Predesign:
      1. Comprehensive planning workshop
      2. Programming workshop
    2. In Design:
      1. Conduct facility performance workshop within the first 2–3 weeks of the design phase.
      2. Convene a multidisciplinary team at least once per design phase for integrated progress review toward guidelines.
      3. Convene a stakeholder team for regularly integrated progress reviews. Stakeholder team to meet a minimum of once per phase.
      4. Convene general contractor and subcontractors for preconstruction kickoff meeting to review the B3 Guidelines goals and objectives.
      5. Discuss progress toward project outcomes during construction meetings.
    3. After occupancy:
      1. Convene facility operations manager, human resources manager, and others who offer cross-disciplinary points of view on facility operations for annual meetings to review operation practices, complaints, and building maintenance issues.
  3. Additional Commissioning Scope. Incorporate into the commissioning of the project one or more of the following:
    1. Plumbing Systems
    2. Interior materials
    3. Physical measurement of vibrations/acoustics/noise

Note that Guideline P.1 includes several sub-guidelines, including P.1A and P.1B, which are typically performed by a commissioning agent. The remainder of the guidelines under P.1 are not typically within the scope of the commissioning agent and are instead usually assigned to the mechanical engineer or contractor because they relate to developing the design response (the BOD) or planning specific construction and warranty period air quality. Sub-guideline P.2A may fall under the scope of the commissioning agent, design mechanical engineer, or other team members, according to the owner’s needs. Sub-guideline P.2A involves capturing specific operation parameters essential to optimal building operation. Support for this process may be available from the SB 2030 Operations Team.

To meet the guidelines, an owner must engage a commissioning agent as early as a potential project is identified during the predesign of the project to assist the owner in developing the Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) document. The creation of this document outlines the goals and requirements of the owner. It is useful to have the assistance of the commissioning agent in its creation, as they will be verifying the design and construction against these requirements. The OPR document lays out several key requirements of a building’s design and operation.

The OPR also creates a set of fundamental requirements that the commissioning agent can check the completed project against, rather than relying on the plans and specifications for validating the success of the design and construction process.

The Basis of Design document (BoD) is developed after the OPR and consists of information related to the specific design of the project in order to create a common understanding of how the OPR is being achieved by the design of the project. This document may also serve as a reference for owner input and approval of design decisions as needed.

The Commissioning Plan (Cx Plan) document provides an outline and documentation of measuring how the design, construction, and operation of the building meet the OPR.

Each of these documents should be edited and developed as the design and the project requirements evolve.


  • 1A: Owners Project Requirements (OPR). Small Building projects may submit the completed OPR/BoD template, Appendix P.1a.
  • 1B: Commissioning scope and commissioning budget.
  • 1D: IAQ Safety Risk Assessment, if work is to be done to an existing building (either a renovation or addition). Projects shall submit a completed template, available in Appendix P.1e.
  • 1G: Meeting minutes of goal setting workshops.


  • 1A: Updated OPR.
  • 1B: Draft Cx Plan.
  • 1C: Draft Basis of Design (BoD). Small Building projects may submit the completed OPR/BoD template in Appendix P.1a.
  • 1D: Updated IAQ Safety Risk Assessment, in Appendix P.1e.
  • 1F: Members of stakeholder team.

Final Design:

  • 1A: Final OPR. Small Building projects may submit the completed OPR/BoD template.
  • 1B: Final Cx Plan.
  • 1C: Updated BoD. Small Building projects may submit completed OPR/BoD template.
  • 1D: Final IAQ Safety Risk Assessment, submitted as completed template in Appendix P.1e.
  • 1E: Specifications Requiring Construction Air Quality Management Plan.
  • 1F: Updated members of stakeholder team.
  • 1G: Dates and attendees of design planning and review workshops.


  • 1B: Commissioning report, including system manual and training plan.
  • 1E: Construction Air Quality Management Plan, submitted as completed template in Appendix P.1e.
  • 1E: Warranty Period Air Quality Management Plan, submitted as completed template in Appendix P.1e.
  • 1F: Updated members of stakeholder team.
  • 1G: Updated meeting minutes of planning and review workshops.


  • 1B: Cx Report (only for year 1 if not captured at closeout).
  • 1G: Meeting minutes of occupancy workshops (only for year 1).

Appendix P-1a OPR and BoD Template

Appendix P-1b1: Design and Construction Commissioning Process

Appendix P-1b2: Commissioning Roles

Appendix P-1e: Indoor Air Quality Plan Template

ASHRAE Standard 202-2013:

SMACNA IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction

Federal Energy Management Program Building Program:

LBNL Study Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Cost and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: