A Practical Guide to the Commissioning process

Whats is commissioning

Commissioning is a quality-focused process that verifies, documents and tests that a building meets the Owner's Specified Requirements (OPR). The commissioning process is built around the commissioning requirements (OPR), which are measurable requirements developed at the start of a project.

It is these requirements that are controlled and verified throughout all phases of the project - from the Pre-Design to the Occupancy and Operations Phase.

The commissioning process helps to plan, structure and ensure a continuous dialogue between the parties involved across the contracts and disciplines of the construction project, so that the Owner's requirements are verified at all stages of the project.

Why this book

There is still uncertainty in the construction industry as to how the individual commissioning activities are to be carried out. Consequently, commissioning processes are carried out that do not comply with the requirements of ASHRAE Guideline 0, ASHRAE Standard 202 and DS 3090, and in some cases the Cx tools are also incorrectly used, so that the full benefits of the Cx process are not achieved.

This practical guide describes how to handle the individual commissioning activities and related documents in order to contribute to the development and standardization of the commissioning process.

Book cover

About the author

Thomas Toftgaard Jarløv is a specialist in construction projects and commissioning and has a passion for spreading knowledge about it.

He is the author to the first Danish book about commissining, and the founder of the Danish commissioning wikipedia.

Thomas has multiple commissioning certifications from University of Wisconsin Madison, Accredited Commissioning Process Authority Professional, CxAPSM, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2019. Accredited Commissioning Process Manager, CxMSM, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2019.

During Thomas' career he has been working for many large clients, such as, Novo Nordisk, Nordea, AP Møller. During the writing of the book Thomas was head of Copenhagen Airports commissioning and asset management department, where he implemented commissioning across the whole airport.


This guide describes how to carry out the activities of the commissioning process. The methods and tools described ensure that all commissioning activities described in the American Guideline, ASHRAE Guideline 0-2019, the American Standard for commissioning, ASHRAE Standard 202-2018, and the Danish Standard for commissioning, DS 3090-2014, are performed.

The guide also contains descriptions of commissioning tools that are based on experience from Copenhagen Airport's in-house commissioning process, as well as tools that are used in the Danish construction industry but are not included in standards and guidelines.

Using this guide

The guide is split into sections according to the phases of a construction project and describes each commissioning activity during the associated phase.

This means, for example, that the commissioning document, "Test overview" is described in two phases of the project: the general requirements for the content of the document are described in the Design Development section, where the document is drawn up, while the requirements for how to work with the document are described in the Construction Phase section.

The described tools and working methods can all be found in the commissioning software, https://cxplanner.com. CxPlanner is a commissioning application that can be used by all involved in construction projects to manage, document and perform commissioning.

Multiple examples and tips

There are multiple examples throughout the book on how to perform the various commissioning activities. With the book you are also able to manage the commissioning process as the Cx Authority.

A commissioning test schedule

You will get a clear overview what needs to be done. All activities required in the various standards and industrial best practice are described in the book. Everything is visualized for better understanding.

Commissioning Activites in the Pre-design

A supportive and sustainable process

Commissioning is often referred to as the "Owner's process", as it is the Owner who pays and implements it, but the Design Team and Contractors in a project also greatly benefit from the process.

The commissioning process is a tool and support function for all the actors in a project, as the aim is, among other things, to verify all interfaces between disciplines and contracts, thereby helping all actors in the project to comply with the commissioning requirements.

There are several sustainability certifications which include the use of commissioning. By using commissioning, more "points" can be achieved, which can contribute to an improved score in the sustainability certification. Three of the widely used certifications which include commissioning are: LEED, BREEAM and DGNB.

CxPlanner commissioning software

The internationally recognized software CxPlanner, which is used to manage commissioning projects, is integrated in the book.

All processes and methods described in the book can be found and used within CxPlanner. When