keith Barker

The evolution of commissioning

20 February, 2024

CSA Vice Chair, Keith Barker, takes a look at the sector’s evolution and progression over the past 30 years.

MBS is pleased to support the Commissioning Specialists Association, and you can read their latest newsletter as a download by clicking the link below. 

Commissioning Management training

CSA Vice Chair, Keith Barker, takes a look at the sector’s evolution and progression over the past 30 years.

CSA Logo

Surely, self-balancing valves and automatic balancing valves means there is no longer any need for a commissioning engineer? Wrong!  Tony Anderson, Technical Manager at the Commissioning Specialists’ Association’s (CSA), explains why the commissioning engineer’s role is in fact more important than ever.

CSA Awards

If you believe your commissioning delivery is deserving of industry wide recognition, you should enter the 2023 CSA Awards - sponsored by MBS

Project of the Year – Winner was T-Zone

Keith Barker, Marketing Committee Chairman at the Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA), highlights some wonderful examples of innovative buildings and their impact on the occupant’s experience.

Washing hands

Water system maintenance is extremely important, with it acting as a preventive measure for greater health and safety issues within the system. Most water systems require annual servicing, recommissioning, and flushing so, it is important for facilities teams to adequately allocate time for this. Safely doing this in a school setting, with vulnerable end-users, is essential. So, how can a facilities team in a school setting utilise summer shutdown to remain on top of water system maintenance? 


Everyone will agree that it has been a rough couple of years. But – and it’s a BIG but – once again the construction industry has shown its willingness to adapt and adjust. The general consensus is that it has done pretty damn well to be where it is today. 

Safer Offices

Employers were already putting a lot more effort into safeguarding the mental and physical well-being of their workforces even before the pandemic. Commissioning and recommissioning building services will now play an even bigger role in providing reassurance, safety and carbon reductions, according to Lochinvar’s Product Manager, Steve Addis

London Skyline

Re-commissioning an existing building can take place for several reasons. Here, the CSA explains why building owners and managers might consider a re-commissioning project.

Making Buildings Work

The Making Buildings Work conference has been postponed to the 23rd of March, 2021

CSA Awards 2020

Building on the success of the 2019 event, which saw the awards ceremony move to a new home at the Guoman Tower Hotel in Central London, the 2020 CSA Awards Dinner will return to this prestigious venue, albeit at the new dateline of Friday 20th November; brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Commissioning Specialists Associate, Considerate Constructors Scheme, CSA, Mark Todd

Looking forward

07 January, 2019

Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA) chairman Mark Todd offers a thoughtful piece on why we as a sector need to engage more with our local communities - and why CSR is about more than simply looking good.

Andrew Hamshere, ductwork leakage testing, leakage, ductwork, DW/144, The Royal Albert Docks, ALF150, AirCal, Sensing Precision

Feel the pressure

07 January, 2019

Building regulations specify that sheet metal ductwork leakage testing “should be carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in B&ES DW/144” for new buildings (ADL2A) and for existing buildings (ADL2B).

Glynn Williams, Grundfos, commissioning

It is now more readily understood that correct sizing and careful pump selection can make a significant difference to the overall energy and CO2 output, as well as the need to futureproof these designs.

Les Littlewood, Albion Valves, hydronic system balancing

Back to basics

05 June, 2018

Hydronic system balancing is one of the more complicated tasks faced by building services engineers and historically heating and chilled water systems were balanced by specialist engineers only.

Viega, Scott James, press connection

Considered connections

05 June, 2018

Speed is of the essence when it comes to pipe fitting in today’s large-scale projects. Scott James offers his advice on making the right choice.

Ideal Commercial Boilers, Chris Caton, Imax Xtra, Walker Art Gallery

Feeling the SQUEEZE

05 June, 2018

M&E contractors and building services managers looking to maximise space within plant rooms have a checklist of utilities to consider - heating systems are just one of many to juggle. And boilers are just one piece of the plant room jigsaw that needs to slot into place. However, with strict guidance and legislation around the area required for ventilation, access for handling units and clearance in line with manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance for example, it is a headache for many.

Mark Todd, commissioning, Commissioning Specialists Association, CSA

Cashing in on commissioning

02 January, 2018

Mark Todd of the Commissioning Specialists Association calls for new ways of working to match the new technologies now available to the construction industry – and to help achieve better buildings for the future

James Townley, closed heating, cooling systems, Pressure Independent Control valve, ENWA Water Technology UK

James Townley explains why commissioning is so important for closed heating or cooling systems, and offers advice on the approaches that can help ensure effective long-term operation right from the start.

Dave Lancaster, CIBSE Commissioning Codes, pipework, pipe systems, Uponor

Fit for purpose

02 January, 2018

Dave Lancaster discusses why commissioning of pipework is so important, and shares his insights on the best approaches to this vital process.

Dan Martindale, Andrews Water Heaters, commissioning, water heaters

Take it step-by-step

01 January, 2018

Installing and commissioning a water heater is a very different process to the one you would carry out for a boiler. Dan Martindale has put together a guide to the key stages of commissioning a water heater.

CSA, Commissioning Specialists Association, commissioning plan, commissiioning

The key to the successful commissioning of a project is a commissioning plan. Tony Anderson, a member of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association’s training committee and assessment panel shares his experience of how this simple tool provides clarity to commissioning projects.

boiler, Commissioning, Hamworthy heating

Dave Ward of Hamworthy Heating, explains what a commissioning job entails and why it’s worth considering — not just in terms of efficiency, but also customer safety.

Marflow Hydronics, BIM, Commissioning

Marflow Hydronics has further developed its web site to enable customers to download relevant technical information, including BIM models, via a new product-downloads section. In addition, all product pages can be captured in PDF format and used as a data sheet.

Danfoss, DPC, Commissioning

Danfoss ASV automatic balancing valves have been installed in five social-housing tower blocks in south-east London to overcome problems of unevenly distributed heating from central boiler plant. They were installed with minimum inconvenience to tenants.

CSA, Commissioning Specialists' Association, commissioning

Everyone appreciates the important role of commissioning the services in a building, but the work of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association (CSA) is less well understood. Andrew Watkin, CSA chairman, explains the role of the association.

CSA, Commissioning Specialists' Association, commissioning

The annual awards of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association is open for entries. This is the third year of the awards, which acknowledge the achievements and efforts of companies and engineers. Products, systems and services that are essential for the smooth and efficient operation of any built environment will also be recognised.

Grundfos Pumps, commissioning

Getting the right balance on domestic heating system is a simple task with the help of the Grundfos Alpha3 system. The company says that 86% of domestic heating systems are not balanced and that balancing a system can reduce heating costs by 5 to 17%.

Marflow Hydronics, commissioning

Marflow Hydronics has further developed its web site to enable customers to download relevant technical information, including BIM models, via a new product-downloads section. In addition, all product pages can be captured in PDF format and used as a data sheet.

Albion Valves, self regulating valves, PICV, DPCV, commissioning, balancing

Self-regulating valves have the potential to achieve cost-effective and optimised control in distribution networks. Paul Wightman of Albion Valves considers how to get the best from them.

Trend Control Systems, recommissioning, Commissioning

Making alterations to a building and its services without making corresponding changes to the controls will quickly lead to poor performance and increased energy consumption. controls are not fit-and-forget technology — as Matt Peasnall of Trend Control Systems, explains.

balancing, Commissioning, Commissioning Specialists' Association

Andrew Watkin, chairman of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association looks forward to the second year of the association’s awards.

Altecnic, HIU, heat interface unit, space heating, district heating, DPCV, commissioning, balancing

Commissioning is the key to ensuring that every heat interface unit (HIU) in a district-heating system delivers. Neil Parry of Altecnic discusses the issues involved.

Belimo, commissioning, balancing

As part of major renovation of the heating-distribution and complex ventilation system of the Happyland leisure centre in Klosterneuburg, Austria, 45 Belimo EPIVs (electronic pressure-independent control valves, the orange units in the picture) were installed on eight distribution circuits during operation to avoid loss of revenue.

Giacomini, commissioning, balancing

Giacomini has introduced a balancing-valve set to complement its HIUs (heat interface units) for multi-dwelling properties. These valve sets are designed to optimise the efficiency of communal heating systems by carefully balancing the heating network throughout.

SAV Systems, commissioning module, soft landing, commissioning, balancing

Efficient management of building energy performance requires access to current, meaningful data about the performance of building-services systems. Elio Galluzzi of SAV Systems explains why the solution begins with commissioning.

Belimo, valve actuator, commissioning, balancing

Belimo’s replacement actuators for globe valves have customisable parameters and are equipped with a universal valve neck and stem adapter. They can be installed quickly and easily on virtually all valves from manufacturers worldwide.

Marflow Hydronics, commissioning, balancing

Marflow Hydronics has further developed its web site to enable customers to download relevant technical information, including BIM models, via a new product-downloads section. In addition, all product pages can be captured in PDF format and used as a data sheet.

Ecilpse Magnetics, flush adaptor, commissioning, balancing

Eclipse Magnetics offers a universal flush adaptor attachment to enable installers to carry out routine system flushes quickly and easily by attaching flushing equipment to its BoilerMag boiler filter, using the filter as the access point. This adaptor can be attached to the back of the BoilerMag port block in just a few seconds and is compatible with screw-fit or female cam-lock hoses — so that a wide range of flushing equipment can be used.

IMI Hydronics, PICV, Commissioning, balancing

IMI Hydronics has created a solution to the problems caused by inaccurate control technology in heating or cooling systems. TA-Modulator is a highly precise pressure-independent balancing and control valve. It is used with a range of digitally configurable actuators, TA-Slider, to deliver the exact amount of energy to ensure perfect comfort and reduced energy costs.

commissioning, balancing, SAV Systems, valve, TRV

The PT40 range of radiator control valves from SAV Systems helps to reduce energy waste in heat networks by ensuring that radiator systems are well balanced. These TRV sets are presettable to a flow-rate limit at each radiator, in line with the CIBSE ‘Heat networks code of practice’, eliminating the need for traditional balancing.

commissioning, balancing, Siemens, PICV

The only information needed to the size of Siemens Acvatix PICV (pressure-independent control valve) is the required flow through it, saving time for the specifier. These valves automatically shield against pressure fluctuations in a network to maintain a constant flow. The are available in sizes from 15 to 150 mm (a 50 mm size is pictured).

commissioning, balancing, tracer dye, pre-commission cleaning, Water Treatment Products

The addition of a tracer dye to its products for pre-commission cleaning is said by Water Treatment Products to be a major step forward. WTP tracer dye enables contractors to accurately measure the concentration of chemical cleaners as they are added to the system

commissioning, balancing, manifolds, Marflow Hydronics, fan coil unit

Grouping a number of terminal units together with a manifold offers major benefits for installation and commissioning. Nick Martin of Marflow Hydronics takes a look at their real advantages.

commissioning, balancing, EPIV, Belimo

Belimo’s EPIV pressure-independent characterised-control valve is available in sizes from DN15 to DN150. These valves combine the four functions of measuring, controlling, hydraulic balancing and bubble-tight closing. They provide real-time information of the measured flow rate.

commissioning, balancing, Albion Valves

What do the performance gap and uncomfortable buildings that are energy inefficient have in common. Paul Wightman of Albion Valves believes poorly balanced systems are often to blame.

commissioning, balancing, Hydraquip, double shut off coupling

Hydraquip has launched a new range of double-shut-off couplings for the commercial H&V and air-conditioning sectors. Hydraquick couplings can be connected and disconnected without having to shut down or drain the system. Terminal units can also be looped out during the flushing process.

commissioning, balancing, Commissioning Specialists Association, DPCV, PICV, EPIV

‘Self-balancing valves’ and ‘automatic balancing valves’ means that there is no need for a commissioning engineer. Right? Tony Anderson, chairman of the Commissioning Specialists’ Association’s training committee believes that the commissioning engineer’s role is more important than ever.

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Going Underground

ABM has announced a significant contract win with Transport for London (TfL) to provide mechanical and electrical (M&E) services across the London Underground network.