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Man 04 Commissioning and handover

Number of credits available Minimum standards



To encourage a properly planned handover and commissioning process that reflects the needs of the building occupants.

Assessment criteria

This issue is split into four parts:

The following is required to demonstrate compliance:

One credit - Commissioning and testing schedule and responsibilities

  1. A schedule of commissioning and testing that identifies and includes a suitable timescale for commissioning and re-commissioning of all complex and non-complex building services and control systems and testing and inspecting building fabric.
  2. The schedule will identify the appropriate standards that all commissioning activities will be conducted in accordance with, such as current Building Regulations, BSRIA 1BSRIA Commissioning Guides: Commissioning HVAC Systems: Guidance on the division of responsibilities (TM 1/88.1) Commissioning of Air Systems (BG 49/2013) Pre-Commission Cleaning of Pipework Systems (BG 29/2012 Commissioning Water Systems (BG 2/2010) Commissioning Job Book - A framework for managing the commissioning process (BG 11/2010) . and CIBSE2CIBSE Commissioning Codes: Set of Seven Codes (2003) CIBSE Commissioning Code A: Air Distribution Systems (1996 confirmed 2006). ISBN: 9780900953736 CIBSE Commissioning Code B: Boilers ISBN: 9781903287293 CIBSE Commissioning Code C: Automatic Controls ISBN: 9781903287132 CIBSE Commissioning Code L: Lighting (SLL Commissioning Code L). ISBN: 9781903287323 CIBSE Commissioning Code M: Commissioning Management. ISBN: 9781903287330 CIBSE Commissioning Code R: Refrigerating Systems. ISBN: 9781903287286 CIBSE Commissioning Code W: Water Distribution Systems ISBN: 9781906846152. guidelines and/or other appropriate standards, where applicable. Where a building management system (BMS) is specified, refer to compliance note CN3.2 on BMS commissioning procedures.
  3. An appropriate project team member(s) is appointed to monitor and programme pre-commissioning, commissioning, testing and, where necessary, re-commissioning activities on behalf of the client.
  4. The principal contractor accounts for the commissioning and testing programme, responsibilities and criteria within their budget and main programme of works, allowing for the required time to complete all commissioning and testing activities prior to handover.

One credit - Commissioning building services

  1. The commissioning and testing schedule and responsibilities credit is achieved.
  2. For buildings with complex building services and systems, a specialist commissioning manager is appointed during the design stage (by either the client or the principal contractor) with responsibility for:
    1. Undertaking design reviews and giving advice on suitability for ease of commissioning.
    2. Providing commissioning management input to construction programming and during installation stages.
    3. Management of commissioning, performance testing and handover/post-handover stages.
    Where there are simple building services, this role can be carried out by an appropriate project team member (see criterion 3), provided they are not involved in the general installation works for the building services system(s).

One credit - Testing and inspecting building fabric

  1. The commissioning and testing schedule and responsibilities credit is achieved.
  2. The integrity of the building fabric, including continuity of insulation, avoidance of thermal bridging and air leakage paths is quality assured through completion of post construction testing and inspection (see compliance notes CN3.3, CN3.4 and Man 04 Commissioning and handover). The survey and testing is undertaken by a Suitably Qualified Professional (see Relevant definitions) in accordance with the appropriate standard.
  3. Any defects identified in the thermographic survey or the airtightness testing reports are rectified prior to building handover and close out. Any remedial work must meet the required performance characteristics for the building/element.

One credit - Handover

  1. A Building User Guide (BUG) is developed prior to handover, for distribution to the building occupiers and premises managers (see Relevant definitions).
  1. A training schedule is prepared for building occupiers/premises managers, timed appropriately around handover and proposed occupation plans, which includes the following content as a minimum:
    1. The building’s design intent
    2. The available aftercare provision and aftercare team main contact(s), including any scheduled seasonal commissioning and post occupancy evaluation
    3. Introduction to, and demonstration of, installed systems and key features, particularly building management systems, controls and their interfaces
    4. Introduction to the Building User Guide and other relevant building documentation, e.g. design data, technical guides, maintenance strategy, operations and maintenance (O&M) manual, commissioning records, log book etc.
    5. Maintenance requirements, including any maintenance contracts and regimes in place.

Checklists and tables


Compliance notes




Shell and core


Applicable assessment criteria

Commissioning and testing schedule and responsibilities, commissioning building services, criteria 1 to 6

Option 1 - Shell only: These criteria are not applicable.
Option 2 - Shell and core: With regard to the scope of services being specified/installed, all criteria relevant to the building type and function apply.

Testing and inspecting building fabric

Option 1 - Shell only: criteria 8 and 9
Option 2 - Shell and core: criteria 7 to 9

Handover, criteria 10 to 11

Option 1 - Shell only: These criteria are not applicable.

Option 2 - Shell and core: Criterion 10 only is applicable. The guide includes, as far as possible, all relevant sections regarding the services and fabric installed. On completion of works the building owner/agent/user hands it over to the fit-out contractor, who can then complete the relevant sections based on the fit-out strategy.

Handover, criterion 11

Both options: This criterion is not applicable.

Refer to Appendix D – BREEAM UK New Construction and Shell and Core Project Assessments for a more detailed description of the above shell and core assessment options.

Simple buildings


Applicable assessment criteria

Commissioning and testing schedule and responsibilities (1 credit)

  1. Criteria 2 to 4. Simplification of criteria under consideration

Handover (1 credit)

  1. Criteria 10 and 11


Other appropriate standards
See criterion 2.

Appropriate standards for completion of this criterion are referenced accordingly and include standards covering:

Building fabric

  1. BSEN 13187 Qualitative detection of thermal irregularities in building envelopes. Infrared method
  2. BSEN 13829:2001 Thermal performance of buildings – Determination of air permeability of buildings – Fan pressurisation method

Commercial refrigeration

  1. Guide to Good Commercial Refrigeration Practice, Part5 Commissioning
  2. GPG 347 Installation and Commissioning of refrigeration systems

Fume cupboards

  1. Labs21programme: A design Guide for energy Efficient Research Laboratories: Commissioning section- (Applicable to Education building only)
  2. BS 7989:2001 Specification for recirculatory filtration fume cupboards
  3. BS EN 14175-4 Fume cupboards. On-site test methods
  4. CLEAPSS G9 Fume Cupboards in Schools - revision of DfEE Building Bulletin 88

Microbiological safety cabinets

  1. Labs21programme: A design Guide for energy Efficient Research Laboratories: Commissioning section- (Applicable to Education building only)


Process-related equipment
See criterion 2.

Any process or manufacture-related equipment specified as part of the project may be excluded from the assessment of the commissioning credits, except where they form an integral part of the building HVAC services, such as some heat recovery systems.


BMS commissioning procedures
See criterion 2.

Where a building management system (BMS) is specified, the following commissioning procedures must be carried out:

  1. Commissioning of air and water systems is carried out when all control devices are installed, wired and functional
  2. In addition to air and water flow results, commissioning results include physical measurements of room temperatures, off-coil temperatures and other key parameters as appropriate
  3. The BMS/controls installation should be running in auto with satisfactory internal conditions prior to handover
  4. All BMS schematics and graphics (if BMS is present) are fully installed and functional to user interface before handover
  5. The occupier or facilities team is fully trained in the operation of the system.


Scope of the thermographic survey The thermographic survey must cover 100% of the treated spaces, unless it is a large complex building (see CN3.4), and ensure that all elements of the building fabric that enclose an internal heated and/or conditioned (treated) zone of the building will be tested. This includes internal walls separating treated and untreated zones.


Thermographic survey of large complex buildings In the case of large and complex buildings, it may be impractical for the thermographic survey and air-tightness testing to cover 100% of the building. Where a complete thermographic survey is deemed impractical by a Level 2 qualified thermographic surveyor, the guidance in air tightness standard TSL23Measuring air permeability of building envelopes (non-dwellings), Technical standard Level 2 (TSL2). The Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association (ATTMA). October 2010. should be followed on the extent of the survey and testing. This could include airports, large hospitals and high-rise buildings.


Remediation work Any remediation work undertaken, resulting from a thermographic survey and air-tightness test of the building, should be robust and durable, i.e. the remedial work must have the same performance characteristics and life expectancy of the surrounding element(s).


Thermographer qualification The thermographic survey is normally undertaken by a Suitably Qualified Professional holding a valid Level 2 certificate in thermography (see Relevant definitions). Where a Level 2 thermographer is not available at the site, the survey may be undertaken by a Level 1 thermographer and then the images interpreted by a Level 2 thermographer.


Alternatives to Thermographic Survey

A thermographic survey is considered the primary means through which the testing inspection of building fabric criteria could be met.

However there may be other robust means of testing that also fulfill the aim of the credit. Assessors should consider how such methodology addresses all of the elements of the criteria (e.g. insulation, thermal bridging, air leakage and the general integrity of the building fabric) as well as what is appropriate for the building type and construction. Assessors should then contact BRE Global for approval before submitting their final assessment report.




Criteria Interim design stage
Final post construction stage

One or more of the appropriate evidence types listed in The BREEAM evidential requirements section can be used to demonstrate compliance with these criteria.

9, 10 Refer to generic evidence requirement above Thermographic survey and Level 2 thermography certificate
10, 11 Refer to generic evidence requirement above

Building User Guide

Additional information

Relevant definitions

Building User Guide (BUG)
Dedicated building/site specific guidance for the non-technical building user. The purpose of the guide is to help building users access, understand and operate the building efficiently and in a manner in keeping with the original design intent. A Building User Guide should be written in plain English and will provide easily accessible and understandable information relevant to the following stakeholders: The content of the guide will be specific to the building type and end users, but broadly should include information on the following: There is no requirement on the format the Building User Guide should take.
Complex systems
These include, but are not limited to, air-conditioning, comfort cooling, mechanical ventilation, displacement ventilation, complex passive ventilation, building management systems (BMS), renewable energy sources, microbiological safety cabinets and fume cupboards, cold storage enclosures and refrigeration plant.
Specialist Commissioning Managers
The Specialist Commissioning Manager is a specialist contractor rather than a general sub-contractor.
Suitably Qualified Professionals - thermographic survey and airtightness testing
Thermography surveys and airtightness testing are to be undertaken by suitably qualified professionals in accordance with the appropriate standards, as follows:
Airtightness testing: by professionals with membership of ATTMA (Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association) attained at organisational level maintaining UKAS accreditation (as air tightness testing laboratories to ISO 17025).
Thermographic survey: by a professional holding a valid Level 2 certificate in thermography, as defined by the UKTA website

Other information

Thermal bridging assessments
It is good practice to carry out thermal bridging assessments at the design stage. This is encouraged through building regulations for energy conservation by allowing the use of actual values in the energy calculation, which could make a significant improvement over using the default values in the National Calculation Methodology. This is reflected in the Ene 01 Energy Use and Carbon Emissions Reduction issue, so no additional credit is offered within this issue for thermal bridging assessments. However, good thermal bridging design and assessment will contribute to successful building fabric testing results and the associated credit.

BREEAM UK New Construction non-domestic buildings technical manual 2014
Reference: SD5076 – Issue: 5.0
Date: 23/08/2016
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