The term ‘commissioning’ is coined from naval shipbuilding. It refers to rigorous, systematic quality
control during construction and placing systems into full operation under the greatest (or worst)
conditions to prove performance.

In today’s construction industry commissioning has taken on a new meaning still relative to systematic and continuous quality control during the planning, construction and testing of systems after completion. The commissioning agent (often referred to as the commissioning authority) acts as the owner’s representative and advocate from the very start of a process to build a building or any substantial part of it. Establishing the owner’s ‘basis of design’ and their performance requirements are the first priorities for a commissioning professional. The need, expectations, intended usage and financial assumptions are all vital components on establishing the basis of design.

The restrictions and limitations that owners and prospective builders must deal with can be daunting. Local government, planning commissioning, zoning, roads and codes must all be considered. Without an experienced, impartial advocate errors in the early development stages can grow into major conflicts while the project is underway and further down the line. The financial considerations, scheduling restrictions and competitive interests of stakeholders and contractors can result in decisions that ultimately do not serve the owner’s interests.

At MFS we have many years of experience in the northern Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia markets. We represent the interests of the owner and investors and act as honest brokers in managing your construction project from the basis of design through development, permitting, construction, finance, final commissioning and acceptance.


Commercial buildings account for nearly 40% of all electrical energy consumption; in our world 95% of all buildings have already been built. Of those buildings it is conservatively estimated that 70% of those buildings are consuming 10% or more energy than necessary. Of that same group roughly 20% produce more than 25% more waste than necessary.

Retro-commissioning is a method of assessing the operation of HVAC and lighting and operating systems returning them to correct values and identifying opportunities for more efficient operation. Often no equipment replacement is needed, however many newer technologies are becoming increasingly affordable and can be worth considering. Read more about Retro-Commissioning.