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Publications Z5000-18

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Z5000-18 - Building commissioning for energy using systems

Publication Year:

  • 2018

Total Pages:



  • CSA


This is the first edition of CSA Z5000, Building commissioning for energy using systems.

This Standard provides guidelines for the commissioning of metering and monitoring systems for building energy use through the building envelope, mechanical and electrical equipment, and domestic water uses. It applies to new construction of Part 3 Buildings defined by the National Building Code of Canada. The commissioning process and concepts contained in this Standard are based on CSA Z320 and CSA Z8001.

The purpose of this Standard is to provide consistent protocols for designing, constructing, and commissioning building system energy use monitoring plans. Where requirements of this Standard generally refers to energy, it is inferred that both the building envelope and domestic water systems are included in the effort to improve energy and resource usage.

With the publication in 2011 of CSA Z320, Building commissioning, the Technical Committee agreed to use CSA Z320 as the basis for a new standard. This Standard includes some of the CSA Z320 content, as well as additional requirements and guidance specific to requirements for monitoring building systems. It applies to new construction and to additions to existing buildings or facilities.

CSA Group acknowledges that the development of this Standard was made possible, in part, by the financial support of BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro, and Hydro Québec.


The intent of this Standard is to provide a comprehensive, integrated, consistent, and managed process to monitor building energy and domestic water use through the commissioning of the monitoring system. The commissioning process includes documenting the actual performance of an occupied building and its energy using systems in order to compare the predicted energy/water use to the actual energy/water consumed, as per the basis of design (BOD) and owner’s project requirements (OPR).

This Standard does not set minimum efficiency levels for commercial buildings, rather it allows users to reconcile and verify the in-operation performance to that which is required by the OPR, voluntary green building programs, or the legislated energy efficiency required by local authorities.

The intended users of this Standard include professionals designing and commissioning new buildings, building owners, metering and monitoring design contractors, building automation system vendors, and stakeholders who have an interest in building performance or related quality assurance (i.e., regulators and authorities having jurisdiction).

Building energy using systems to be monitored include

a) architectural systems (building envelope);

b) vertical and horizontal transportation systems;

c) electrical systems (including lighting and plug loads);

d) mechanical systems (HVAC, and refrigeration);

e) domestic hot and cold water; and

f) control systems and integration (building automation system (BAS), energy management control systems, lighting control systems).

The Technical Committee has developed this Standard with the intent to guide the commissioning process so that it includes commissioning the individual energy/water monitoring system components and progresses to commissioning building energy using systems for validation of building energy performance of the occupied building as a whole. While this Standard has been developed by a group of experts in building performance, it will inevitably generate constructive feedback as user experience is gained. As this occurs, the process will be revised and updated to reflect user input.

This Standard has been developed to assist the commissioning team in the preparation and implementation of a commissioning plan which addresses the design, installation, and analysis of energy-monitoring systems through

a) the owners project requirements;

b) the monitoring based commissioning plan;

c) the metering and monitoring systems;

d) the prediction of commercial building energy and water usage; and

e) the validation and transparency of actual building energy and water usage after construction.

With the standardized, consistent building performance protocols presented here, a firm basis is provided to assess claims of a building’s energy and water use.

When referencing this Standard, the following questions need to be answered (i.e., issues considered) when developing the owner’s project requirements and commissioning plan:

a) Will the owner be monitoring the buildings energy consumption so that systems can be optimized after occupancy?

b) Which energy using systems are important for the owner to be able to track over the years? What minimum level of monitoring will be needed to comply with the local legislation?

c) What level of expertise will be needed to analyze the data? How will the data be used?

d) What is the skill set needed to design, install and commission the energy and performance monitoring systems?

The additional costs of such an effort and resources required are provided in Annex H.


1.1 General

This Standard provides guidelines for the commissioning of buildings and all energy and domestic water related building systems. It applies to new construction only for Part 3 buildings, as specified in the National Building Code of Canada (NBC). It does not apply to equipment and systems installed by the owner or others after building completion.

This Standard is intended to assist the commissioning team in the preparation and implementation of a commissioning plan. This plan specifies commissioning requirements for building systems that affect energy and domestic water usage, and includes, but is not limited to, descriptions of the following:

a) the commissioning process;

b) the resources required to complete commissioning;

c) the responsibilities of the commissioning team;

d) the sequence and integration of commissioning activities;

e) the functional testing of energy-related building systems;

f) monitoring-based commissioning; and

g) analyzing and providing data to assist in determining compliance with local energy efficiency regulations.

This Standard is intended to be complementary to CSA Z320, with additions as appropriate to address the special requirements for verifying energy performance during the commissioning of buildings.

1.2 Specific systems

The systems covered in this Standard are classified as

a) architectural and building enclosures;

b) vertical and horizontal transportation;

c) electrical and lighting;

d) mechanical;

e) controls and building automation;

f) energy monitoring-metering; and

g) water using systems.

This Standard does not apply to

a) fire pumps;

b) smoke pressurization fans;

c) fire alarm and detection systems;

d) other life safety systems that operate only during testing or emergencies; and

e) equipment or systems exempt from the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB).

1.3 Terminology

In this Standard, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.

Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.

Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.

Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.

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