Building standards technical handbook 2020: domestic

The building standards technical handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This handbook applies to a building warrant submitted on or after 1 March 2021 and to building work which does not require a warrant commenced from that date.

6.7 Commissioning building services

Mandatory Standard

Standard 6.7

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that energy supply systems and building services which use fuel or power for heating, lighting, ventilating and cooling the internal environment and heating the water, are commissioned to achieve optimum energy efficiency.


This standard does not apply to:

  1. major power plants serving the National Grid

  2. the process and emergency lighting components of a building

  3. heating provided solely for the purpose of frost protection, or

  4. energy supply systems used solely for industrial and commercial processes, leisure use and emergency use within a building.

6.7.0 Introduction

Commissioning in terms of this section means, raising the building services systems covered by this guidance from a level of static completion to full working order and achieving the levels of energy efficiency that the component manufacturers expect from their product(s). Commissioning however, should also be carried out with a view to enabling the safe operation of the installation.

Although there is no requirement within Section 6 for minimum efficiency levels of either, building-integrated or localised energy supply systems (e.g. diesel generators, micro wind turbines or photovoltaic arrays), there is a need for commissioning to be carried out to enable efficient use, unless they are exempt under schedule 1, regulation 3. Power plants which serve a number of buildings (e.g. housing estates) and only export surplus electricity to the National Grid will also need to be commissioned, unless exempt in terms of schedule 1, regulation 3.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4, the building as converted shall meet the requirement of this standard (regulation 12, schedule 6).

6.7.1 Inspection and commissioning

All heating, hot water service, ventilating or cooling systems and any decentralised equipment for power generation in a dwelling or other area of a building consisting of dwellings should be inspected and commissioned in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions to enable optimum energy efficiency.

Guidance and supplementary information to assist the commissioning of installed building services is given in the Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide for Scotland The document is intended to support standardisation of the specification and expected performance of fixed building services throughout the UK. The guidance applies to new and replacement systems and components.

Back to top