Building Systems Commissioning

The Building Systems Commissioning Program provides for certification of firms and qualification of individuals that meet criteria established by NEBB.

Purpose of the Certification Program

The purpose of NEBB certification is to offer tangible proof of competent firms and certified professionals qualified in the proper methods and procedures for building systems commissioning.

The objective of systems commissioning is to ensure that the building systems and equipment are installed in accordance with contract documents, and that they operate as intended by the project design team. By setting rigid standards for certification, building owners will be assured that NEBB commissioned systems will be fully operational and will operate at designed efficiency.


The following objectives were created for this purpose:

  • To promote and advance industry standards and to establish procedures and specifications for the commissioning of building systems and related equipment.
  • To set minimum education standards and other requirements for the qualification of personnel employed by firms who perform this work.
  • To establish an educational program of instruction that will educate personnel in the proper methods and procedures for the commissioning of building systems and equipment.
  • To certify as qualified to perform and administrate the commissioning of building systems, those firms who meet the requirements for certification as established by NEBB, who comply with the objectives of NEBB, and who employ personnel who have met the qualifications established by NEBB.
  • To serve as a focal point for educational and technical materials pertinent to commissioning of building systems.

Building Systems Commissioning Certification Categories

When fully implemented the Building Systems Commissioning Program will include certification categories for several building systems such as electrical, fire protection and energy management systems.

Currently, the program provides certification and qualification in HVAC systems commissioning and plumbing. Firms that attain certification in HVAC systems commissioning may add additional categories of the discipline as they become available. Adding additional categories will require that the certified professional in the firm will have to pass additional examinations as well as meet additional requirements that may apply.

Building Systems Commissioning Certification Requirements

In order to become NEBB-certified in Building Systems Commissioning, a firm must:

  • Have operated for a minimum period of 12 months continuously with full-time employees as an installing piping contractor; installing sheet metal contractor; installing mechanical contractor; testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) contractor; or contractor engineering firm engaged in building systems commissioning (BSC) work.
  • Enjoy a reputation for responsible performance. Letters of endorsement from building owners or awarding authorities in the firm’s area are required.
  • Be a member in good standing of a local NEBB Chapter.
  • Have access to the various TAB instruments which are required for NEBB certification in air and hydronic systems TAB (see section on Instruments for TAB Certification for details).
  • Possess the current NEBB Procedural Standards for Testing, Adjusting and Balancing of Environmental Systems; possess the current NEBB Procedural Standards for Building Systems Commissioning; and submit the necessary information and test results on reporting forms in a format approved by NEBB.
  • Designate in writing one or more administrators (certified professionals) who will represent the firm and be responsible for the administration of building systems commissioning. The certified professional must meet the following qualifications:
    1. Be employed by a certified firm or candidate firm on a full time basis.
    2. Hold a management position in the firm, be able to represent the firm on all building systems commissioning matters, and have a reputation of integrity with building owners, consultants and awarding authorities. The certified professional must have experience equal to either of the following:
      • Hold a Bachelor of Science Engineering
        2 years of certified professionaly experience in HVAC installation or design work
      • Hold an Associates Degree in Engineering Technology
        4 years of certified professionaly experience in TAB/BSC in HVAC
      • 4 years of TAB/BSC or Design experience
        4 years of certified professionaly experience in TAB/BSC in HVAC
      • 4 years of HVAC related experience (can include apprenticeship)
        2 years of TAB experience
        4 years of certified professionaly experience in TAB/BSC in HVAC
        Ten years of total experience
    3. Applicants must be a designated candidate certified professional of a NEBB certified or candidate firm in good standing with a local chapter, as well as meeting all other criteria for qualification to be eligible to take the required NEBB TAB written examinations. They must pass the appropriate TAB written examinations (not the practical). See the section on TAB Written and Practical Examinations for details.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge in the category or categories of building systems commissioning for which the firm is applying for certification by passing appropriate building systems commissioning examinations.

Building Systems Commissioning Re-certification Requirements

The local NEBB Chapter must biennially verify continued compliance with NEBB Building Systems Commissioning certification requirements for each certified firm. Requirements for BSC recertification include:

  • The firm must confirm in writing that they employ the designated certified professional who previously met the NEBB requirements for BSC qualification.
  • The firm must verify in writing that the designated certified professional has successfully completed the annual “Home Study Re-certification Examination” administered by NEBB nationally.

TAB Written and Practical Examinations

Persons must meet the criteria for TAB Certified Professionnal to be eligible to take the NEBB examinations.

  • Written examinations for Air and Hydronics are normally conducted twice annually on examination dates set by the NEBB Board of Directors. Candidates of all Chapters are tested on the same date.
  • The Air/Hydronics written examinations are in three parts — Fundamentals & Procedural Standards (2½ Hours); Air (2½ Hours); Hydronics (2½ Hours).
  • TAB Certified Professional must pass a practical examination in addition to the written tests. Practical examinations are prepared and administered by the local Chapter Technical Committee, based on guidance provided by NEBB.

Building Systems Commissioning Examination

The building systems commissioning examination is offered at least annually at the NEBB Systems Commissioning Seminar (contact the NEBB National office for details).


A firm’s certification shall automatically be suspended when the firm no longer meets all of the certification requirements listed above. The certification of a firm suspended will be automatically reinstated by NEBB at such time as it again meets the requirements for certification. The period of suspension will be no longer than one year at which time the firm will lose its certification automatically.

A certified firm must notify the local NEBB Chapter in writing within ten days of the temporary or permanent loss of the designated qualified certified professional. Replacement of certified professionals is not permissible without written approval of NEBB.

Loss of Certification

Certification may be terminated for failure of the firm to abide by the objectives and performance standards of NEBB. Termination of certification by NEBB requires vote of the Board of Directors of NEBB provided that by similar vote the Board shall first find that certification is prejudicial to the best interests of the Bureau and provided further that the certified firm in question shall have had opportunity upon written notice of at least fifteen (15) days to show cause why the certification should not be terminated.

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