CI-2009 EAc2: Enhanced Commissioning

  • CI EAp1 and EAc3 Cx Action Steps Diagram
  • Commissioning: it's an investment

    You may think of commissioning, including hiring a commissioning agent, as an added cost—and it is. It’s likely to reduce your operational costs, however, by yielding 5%–10% improvements in energy efficiency and ensuring that facilities personnel know how to operate key building systems. It’s also a great way to catch mistakes like missing or incorrectly installed equipment, avoiding occupant complaints and callbacks, indoor air quality and thermal comfort problems, premature equipment failure, and litigation.

    Commissioning (Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included.) is the process of verifying that the building’s systems operate as intended, according to the owner’s requirements as set forth in project documents. Commissioning helps fill the gap between the design team, whose members usually aren’t meant to be responsible for checking minor construction details, and subcontractors, who may inadvertently err on key items like fan power settings or sensor locations. The commissioning agent (CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) also  provides the owner with the expert oversight of an engineer.

    Fundamental vs. Enhanced

    Fundamental Commissioning is a LEED prerequisite, although there are different compliance paths available depending on the project’s size. For projects less than 50,000 ft2, the CxA may be involved in the project as an associate of the contractor, construction manager, architect, or engineer and may have other project responsibilities. For projects over that size, the CxA may be still be from the same firm as a project team member, as long as he or she is not otherwise involved in the project. In both cases an independent consultant contracted to the owner is also an option, and may bring more value by offering better objectivity and  a different perspective than someone associated with the design team.

    For the Enhanced Commissioning credit, an independent consultant is required to be the CxA. Enhanced commissioning can offer additional benefits by involving the CxA earlier during design (instead of at the bid stage), by requiring that the CxA develop an operations manual and verify that staff are trained with it, and by requiring the CxA to review operations within 8–10 months of substantial completion.

    Commercial Interiors scope

    On Commercial Interiors projects, commissioning is required for all systems and equipment installed as part of the tenant’s project scope. This may include, for example, pumps from base building distribution systems, sub-metering equipment, controls, and air handlers. Any existing and unmodified systems that are outside of the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. do not need to be commissioned except at the point of connection to the tenant space service (if applicable).

    Some project teams claim that they do not have access to the existing system to commission required components. Generally this should not be an issue because a project team will need the same level of access to even install or connect the new system as they will need to commission it.

    Include at least the following in the scope of commissioning:

    • Heating, cooling, refrigeration, ventilation systems and controls
    • Lighting and daylighting controls
    • Domestic hot water systems
    • Renewable energy systems

    Choosing enhanced vs. fundamental commissioning

    Commissioned mechanical equipmentCommissioning agents discovered that the triple-duty valve (in white circle) for this condenser water system serving a chiller and cooling tower was 80% closed. This inappropriate solution to an oversized pump was costing over $6,700 per year in wasted pumping energy. Courtesy Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.LEED divides the commissioning process into two parts. Fundamental commissioning focuses on installation and verification of the mechanical and electrical systems during construction. Enhanced commissioning covers a broader scope of systems, and involves broader participation of the commissioning agent, beginning during construction documents and continuing through occupancy.

    The Enhanced Commissioning credit is open to any project, but project teams often choose not to pursue it due to the increased cost and uncertainty around its benefits. Enhanced  commissioning fees are typically about  $0.30/ft2 for LEED-CI projects. That fee represents a 25%–40% cost increase over fundamental commissioning, while providing almost double the scope of work. All projects benefit with the enhanced commissioning, though it is a must for large or complex projects. Projects can choose to make the decision for pursuing enhanced until after receiving the bid proposal, in order to evaluate the actual cost, but should hire a commissioning agent by the end of design development for enhanced commissioning.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Owners' Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) are developed and signed off on by the owner with assistance from the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., or developed by the CxA for owner approval. The OPR works as the guideline to develop a design that meets the owner’s requirements. See the Documentation Toolkit for a template and sample OPR


  • Spray painted photocell.In commissioning a new facility, the commissioning agent discovered that this outdoor photocell controlling the exterior and parking lot lighting had been sprayed with paint and did not function properly. Courtesy Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.The project will benefit from the Owner’s active role in developing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. with specific goals for energy efficiency and other systems. Owners often find it helpful to state goals in terms of a minimum acceptable level and a specified payback period, for example, “The building is aimed to save 20% energy as compared to a code compliant building with a total payback of less than 5 years. Our goal is to provide a comfortable space with user controlled lighting and ventilation to minimize waste and maximize comfort. The operations and maintenance staff are to be aware and able to support the intent of smooth controls. Owners typically work with the architects to put the project goals on paper. Revisiting meeting notes from initial project discussions can be helpful in assimilating client goals.


  • Commissioning generates an average savings of 28 percent of predicted annual energy use, according to the 2004 study, “The Cost-Effectiveness of Commissioning New and Existing Commercial Buildings: Lessons from 224 Buildings.” (See Resources.)

Schematic Design

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  • Develop the Basis of Design (BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines.), working with the design team, including at least the architect, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers with lighting designer. Along with the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., the BOD facilitates constant discussion on realistic owner’s goals and the team’s input in addressing them. The architect, owner, and engineer update the OPR and BOD throughout the project to maintain accuracy for the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., and they are used as benchmarks during cost estimating and value engineering. The BOD also has a general role in project development, beyond its use in commissioning requirements. Items like water conservation, renewable energy and indoor air comfort goals should be included although it is not a common practice. See the Documentation Toolkit for a template and sample BOD.


  • Projects with district energy systems must commission, for the prerequisite, all “downstream” equipment—systems installed for the building’s use and included in the project costs. Downstream equipmentDownstream equipment consists of all heating or cooling systems, equipment, and controls located within the project building and site associated with transporting thermal energy into heated or cooled spaces. This includes the thermal connection or interface with the district energy system, secondary distribution systems in the building, and terminal units. may include air handling units, variable-air-volume (VAVVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas.) boxes, duct work, pumps, controls and fans. “Upstream” district energy equipment, such as chillers, boilers, cogenerationThe simultaneous production of electric and thermal energy in on-site, distributed energy systems; typically, waste heat from the electricity generation process is recovered and used to heat, cool, or dehumidify building space. Neither generation of electricity without use of the byproduct heat, nor waste-heat recovery from processes other than electricity generation is included in the definition of cogeneration. equipment and other components of a district heating and cooling plant that serve the project building may need to be commissioned for the Enhanced Commissioning credit.


  • Making project intent clear and specific in writing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. pays off in numerous ways. The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is better able to accurately bid on the job, and better establish a clear commissioning plan. The more vague the project goals, the less effective commissioning presence will be.


  • The architect, mechanical and electrical engineer, and lighting designer describe the standards, goals and performance levels of the designed building systems in the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines..


  • The owner can include additional building systems in the commissioning scope, such as the building envelope, fire and safety systems, and water collection systems.


  • Financial incentives for energy efficiency, including commissioning as an integral component may be offered by state and local agencies. For example, New York State pays a portion of a commissioning agent fees and provides further incentives if some energy efficiency recommendations are implemented. See Resources for more information on incentives.


  • Commissioning costs per square foot for multifamily or similar buildings may be higher than open-floor commercial spaces due to the number of systems to be installed and the higher sampling rate of commissioned systems.


  • Payback may be faster for commissioning of systems-intensive facilities such as healthcare facilities and laboratories. A lot can go wrong in the complex controls and building management systems in these facilities, and because of the level of energy consumption involved, those mistakes can be expensive. Commissioning activities like testing and balancing, functional performance testingThe process of determining the ability of the commissioned systems to perform in accordance with the owner's project requirements, basis of design (BOD), and construction documents., and sequence verification are particularly useful here while enhanced commissioning activities of staff training verification and manual development highly valuable.


  • If properly implemented, commissioning will pay for itself within a year of operation, or even during design.  Savings are likely to be realized from:

    •   Reduction or elimination of change orders
    •   Reduction or elimination of requests for information
    •   Proper system and component selection
    •   Improved performance.

  • Commercial Interior projects cost in the range of $0.30/ft2 as compared to an average of $1/ft2 for New Construction.

Design Development

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  • For best value the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. hiring process should start during design development when mechanical systems are identified and the CxA should hired by the end of design development.  Put together the Cx RFP and select the CxA. This is more critical if the project is pursuing the Enhanced Commissioning credit. The process may include soliciting proposals from independent parties. See the Documentation Toolkit for help in writing the Cx RFP and hiring the right CxA


  • ASHRAE Guideline 0 and most commissioning guidelines and process handbooks suggest hiring a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. before the MEP engineer, if possible, in order to kick off the commissioning process at the beginning of the project, and ensuring the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. is adhered to throughout design development. However, most RFP processes for commissioning agent begin after the architect and MEP engineer have been hired. The RFP process should involve the architect and mechanical engineer to be sure that it accurately reflects the project’s requirements. The mechanical engineer lists all the building systems equipment to be commissioned and identifies the required sampling rates in the RFP. If the systems are not yet defined, a description of the mechanical design direction would be included in the project intent and RFP.


  • Request that proposals provide fee breakdowns for fundamental and enhanced commissioning. This would allow the owner to know the cost differential between the services and consider enhanced commissioning.


  • The CxA’s main role is to provide third-party verification that the design is installed and operating as per construction documents. The CxA is not meant to fill the role of the MEP engineer, but rather to be a technical expert in the owner’s team. It is in the owner’s or client best interest to hire a CxA by design development and introduce the project goals, team and schedule.


  • Although the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is not expected to deliver much during design, the presence of the CxA in the team meetings and drawings development is more integrated into the process. The team also gets to learn more about the commissioning activities and tailor the drawings based on what the CxA is looking for during document review.


  • Early hiring and meeting attendance by the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. during Enhanced Commissioning may be perceived as high cost, but should allow reduced on-site presence during construction and reduced errors during design and installation. It facilitates a preventive rather than reactive involvement.


  • Choose your CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., depending on the size of your project, the owner's preferences, and whether you are attempting the enhanced credit or simply the prerequisite.
 

    Who can the the Commissioning Agent?


  • An independent consultant, as compared to one from the same firm as the design team, is in the best position to truly represent the owner’s interests during design and construction, including installation of key systems. As commissioning agents are often experienced mechanical engineers, they can provide input into the project design and any recommendations on improved project efficiency.

     

    Commissioning Authority QualificationsFrom the LEED Reference Guide ©USGBC


  • Enhanced commissioning fees are typically 20%-30% more than fundamental commissioning while providing double the benefits. The return on investment is substantially more when the commissioning agent is involved early and is committed to revisit the project in operation.


  • Include commissioning costs during initial project budgeting to avoid later surprises.


  • Wait until receiving bids to decide whether or not to pursue EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning. If you request two different fees for the two scopes, you can easily assess the cost and benefits of Enhanced Commissioning.


  • New construction projects had median commissioning costs of $1.00/ft2 (or 0.6% of average total construction costs) in a 2004 study of 224 buildings, and yielded a median simple payback period of 4.8 years from energy-efficiency improvements (and excluding quantified non-energy impacts).

Construction Documents

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  • Incorporate commissioning specifications in Division 1 for general information and commissioning notes into mechanical and electrical specifications. See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample specification.


  • The commissioning agent develops a commissioning plan based on the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. and commissioning meeting. The commissioning plan works as the guidebook of commissioning for the rest of the team. It demystifies the process and lists the responsibilities of the design and construction team. The plan discusses the roles of key team members, includes the latest versions of the OPR and BOD, specifies system sampling rates, anticipates pitfalls, and provides a commissioning schedule. In addition, the commissioning agent provides a general commissioning schedule based on the design and construction schedule that may or may not be defined at that moment.


  • A good commissioning specification clarifies subcontractor responsibilities associated with verification and testing. Doing so eliminates any potential change orders associated with “extra” work required for systems commissioning.


  • Dedicate a project team meeting to commissioning process to review each team member’s role and scope and to ensure they know what is required for LEED certification.


  • Specifications need to include commission details. If the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is not on board by this point, refer to standard commissioning specifications to ensure it is included in the bid package.


  • Refer to the commissioning plan regularly throughout the project to understand the roles and responsibilities of all team members relative to completing a quality project. It is a valuable document and is regularly under-utilized. Additionally, the commissioning plan should be updated to include contractor information and a more specific and accurate scope once equipment has been selected during the design phase (if previously not defined).


  • Specifications eliminate potential change orders associated with “extra” work required for systems commissioning by sub contractors. These specifications inform the commissioning agent’s responsibility and how it will impact the sub-contractors presence on site. Poorly written specifications that do not include details would leave uncertainties and gaps in contractor’s expectations.


  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. meets the design team to explain the commissioning scope and collaboration with the design and construction team. The CxA provides commissioning specifications to be included in the specification book and reviews 50% Construction Documents and specifications to make sure they are aligned with the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and include commissioning activities. The CxA reviews the construction bid submittals by prospective contractors.


  • Even after the 50% construction documents review, CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. will not be required to meet again. Even then, it is useful to let the CxA know of the design progress. Include them on the weekly meeting-minutes mailing lists. Design changes may affect the commissioning plan, to be commissioned equipment list, and probably the commissioning scope.


  • Construction documents review by the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is a great opportunity to get a third-party technical assessment on the design. The CxA works on behalf of the owner to match up the design with the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.. During the design review, the CxA may be able to identify an over-sized system, for example, or limited controls or incorrect fan unit location.




  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is involved in the bid selection process, after approving the specifications and bid package.


  • Clarify the involvement of contractors in the commissioning process during bid meetings to avoid padding of fees. Contractors may increase their bids because of seeing the commissioning specifications and being unfamiliar with expectations around their level of involvement.

Construction

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  • CxA with air handling unit.A CxA checks filter placement on a newly installed air handling unit. YRG PhotoThe CxA stays abreast of construction progress by attending at least some meetings and receiving updates. As equipment is installed, the CxA verifies installation of equipment to be commissioned, and performs functional testing in collaboration with subcontractors, including running the duct system under performance specifications and ensuring that they are balanced as required. The CxA runs the heating and cooling systems to ensure there are no installation problems, and the subcontractor corrects any defects or leaks.


  • Normal subcontractor testing can often be performed in coordination with commissioning.  Proper coordination of these activities can reduce total commissioning time and reduce system problems. The commissioning process may require additional coordination time for subcontractors, which can result in additional contract costs. During the construction team bidding phase, include Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. coordination (at a minimum) in the scope of the mechanical, electrical and controls subcontractors.


  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. develops a commissioning report for the owner and project team including reports on all visits, observations and recommendations. A Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. Report is the final deliverable. It lists all of the activities carried out, testing results and recommendations. Typical recommendations may refer to misbalanced vents, incorrect fan power, incorrect system sizing, dampers not present where specified, and incorrectly installed switches. The CxA is available for a final meeting and to discuss all recommendations for clarifications. Note that the commissioning process is not completed until all open items or deficiencies have been corrected or accepted by the owner. Finally, the CxA completes the LEED Online documentation and uploads all required documents.


  • The commissioning agent’s involvement in team meetings, both in pre-construction and construction, provides the subcontractors the chance to understand the role, tasks and expectations of a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.. Construction teams benefit from learning how the commissioning activities help their job, decrease their onsite presence by taking responsibility for quality control, and reduce contractors’ liability. For example, a malfunctioning air vent, if not commissioned, will eventually be found after months of fault finding and may cause out of pocket expenses for the sub-contractor.


  • Functional testing, in which the whole system, and depending on scope, individual components are tested, is a critical part of commissioning. Observations range from larger scale to very basic, such as diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. supplying more than 10% of the recommended fan rate, outside air enthalpy sensor placed in a return air flow instead of supply flow, or incorrect temperature sensor settings.


  • LEED documentation can be submitted prior to the final commissioning report being completed, including verification of commissioned systems. A contract to complete these items is sufficient.


  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. develops a systems manual for the commissioned systems in collaboration with the facilities management—carrying the design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. into building operations. Before occupancy, the CxA verifies the facilities staff is trained to operate the building systems as intended by the designer. CxA is the only person who has attended design meetings and is continuing their contract into operations to communicate how the controls work and the strategies identified to save energy. For example, if the designer and owner have agreed on a specific heating set point that needs to be communicated to the operator. The CxA also reviews all equipment warranties and verifies that all requirements to keep the warranty valid are clearly stated.


  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. documents system startup procedures and operations as part of the training manual. While this may seem like a basic step, it is not standard practice, and is essential for when the facilities staff changes or is absent. Specific measures such as set points, setbacks, controls, and part-load adjustments are can mean the difference between energy efficiency and wastefulness.


  • Enhanced commissioning extends into the system startup phase, bridging the gap between design into the operations hand-over. Design and installation is only the first part of running an energy-efficient building. The real benefits are realized during operation. The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. provides a common link between the design team, installation contractors, and the operations team, providing added value at all steps of the process.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. develops commissioning report including all testing and observations. A Commissioning Report is the final deliverable for the commissioning prerequisite. It lists all the activities carried out, testing results and recommendations. The CxA is available for a final meeting and to discuss all recommendations for clarifications.


  • LEED compliance does not require the implementation of commissioning report recommendations, but after having paid the commissioning exercise, not implementing the recommendations would be a waste of money.


  • Commissioning agent with facilities personnelWith enhanced commissioning, the CxA ensures that an operations manual is developed and staff training takes place after installation. YRG PhotoThe CxA oversees the staff training on equipment operation. During the first several months of occupancy, conduct as many training sessions as necessary with the CxA to ensure correct operation by the staff.


  • Stagger equipment training to allow staff to become familiar with the systems. Make sure that this is reflected in contracts because typically the training is scheduled for same time to reduce the contractor’s presence on site. This stagger might delay the payment to the contractor and conflict with the contract, but provides the owner with a conformation of smooth operation


  • Commissioning agent with BAS metersThe commissioning agent checks the meters installed on the building monitoring system. YRG PhotoCommissioning supports a smooth transition from design into operations by avoiding future change orders. It ensures the equipment is installed per manufacturer’s instructions and aligned with the design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.. It reduces waste of energy and money due to incorrect control settings or system settings that aren’t fully optimized.


  • Meet training requirements for facilities staff and occupants, with verification by the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements..


  • CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to revisit the project after 8–10 months of occupancy. Facility managers and owners can use this opportunity to discuss challenges and issues that arose since construction completion. The CxA reviews the maintenance log and confirms the operations and maintenance manual matches with the actual operations.


  • If pursuing IEQc7.2: Thermal Comfort—Verification, including a user survey on thermal comfort issues, the results can be discussed with the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to identify any problems. The user survey can be scheduled before the CxA visits to get the results available on time. 


  • Maximize the value of the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.’s 10-month visit by having the facilities personnel thoroughly prepare a detailed agenda developed in collaboration with the CxA. Among other things, this will make sure the CxA completes the commissioning plan’s full scope within one visit.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors

    EA Credit 2: Enhanced commissioning

    5 Points

    Intent

    To verify and ensure that the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. is designed, constructed and calibrated to operate as intended.

    Requirements

    Implement, or have a contract in place to implement, the following additional commissioning process activities in addition to the requirements of EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems:

    • Prior to the start of the construction documents phase, designate an independent commissioning authority (CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) to lead, review and oversee the completion of all commissioning process activities.
      • The CxA must have documented commissioning authority experience in at least 2 building projects.
      • The individual serving as the CxA:
        • Must be independent of the work of design and construction;
        • Must not be an employee of the design firm, though he or she may be contracted through them;
        • Must not be an employee of, or contracted through, a contractor or construction manager holding construction contracts;
        • May be a qualified employee or consultant of the owner.
      • The CxA must report results, findings and recommendations directly to the owner.
    • The CxA must conduct, at a minimum, 1 commissioning design review of the owner’s project requirements, basis of design and design documents prior to the mid-construction documents phase and must back-check the review comments in the subsequent design submission.
    • The CxA must review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned for compliance with the owner’s project requirements and basis of design. This review must be concurrent with the reviews of the architect or engineer of record and submitted to the design team and the owner.
    • The CxA or other project team members must develop a systems manual that gives future operating staff the information needed to understand and optimally operate the project’s commissioned systems.
    • The CxA or other project team members must verify that the requirements for training operating personnel and building occupants have been completed.
    • The CxA must be involved in reviewing the operation of the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. with operations and maintenance (O&M) staff and occupants within 8 to 10 months after substantial completion. A plan for resolving outstanding commissioning-related issues must be included.
    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Engage a CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. as early as possible in the design process. Determine the owner’s project requirements, develop and maintain a commissioning plan for use during design and construction and incorporate commissioning requirements in bid documents. Assemble the commissioning team, and prior to occupancy verify the performanceof energy-consuming systems. Complete the commissioning reports with recommendations prior to acceptance of the commissioned systems.

    Owners are encouraged to seek out qualified individuals to lead the commissioning process. Qualified individuals are identified as those who possess a high level of experience in the following areas:

    • Energy systems design, installation and operation
    • Commissioning planning and process management
    • Hands-on field experience with energy systems performance, interaction, start-up, balancing, testing, troubleshooting, operation, and maintenance procedures

    Energy systems automation control knowledge
    Owners are encouraged to consider including water-using systems, building envelope systems, and other systems in the scope of the commissioning plan as appropriate. The building envelope is an important component of a facility which impacts energy consumption, occupant comfort and indoor air quality. While this prerequisite does not require building envelope commissioning, an owner can receive significant financial savings and reduce risk of poor indoor air quality by including it in the commissioning process.

    The LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, 2009 Edition provides detailed guidance on the rigor expected for the following process activities:

    • Owner’s project requirements.
    • Basis of design.
    • Commissioning plan.
    • Commissioning specification.
    • Performance verification documentation.
    • Commissioning report.

Publications

Best Practices in Commissioning New Construction

The New Construction Building Commissioning Best Practice is intended to cover the general new construction commissioning process that is applicable to most systems. It is necessarily non-specific in most cases, but where a practice seems unclear by its varied application, more detail is given.


Costs and Benefit of Commissioning New and Existing Commercial Buildings

This presentation-format overview of commissioning looks at the reasons for and scope of commissioning, with a focus on the potential for cost savings and avoiding problems.


Stay On-line: Data Center Commissioning

An ASHRAE Journal article, this examines the special challenges of ensuring reliability in mission-critical systems supporting facilities such as data centers. (Mark Hydeman, Reinhard Seidl and Charles Shalley, 2005)


Establishing Commissioning Costs

Offering guidance for estimating commissioning costs during the design and construction phases of a project, this article addresses LEED requirements and special circumstances that can affect the cost of commissioning. (Portland Energy Conservation, 2000; revised 2002)


The Cost-Effectiveness of Commissioning New and Existing Building Commercial Buildings: Lessons from 224 Buildings

A meta-analysis of studies of a large sample of commissioned buildings, this paper, which is concerned with national-level energy goals, was presented at the 2005 National Conference on Building Commissioning, and is a shorter form of a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Best Practices in Commissioning Existing Buildings

Published by the Building Commissioning Association, this report draws on a number of sets of guidelines to identify the key phases of the commissioning process, and provides a glossary of terms.

Web Tools

Establishing Commissioning Fees

This article, which appeared in the ASHRAE Journal, uses data for 19 actual projects to look at commissioning costs in various ways. (Ronald J. Wilkinson, 2000)

Commissioning Agents

Use these templates to find and assess a commissioning agent for your project.

Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)

The OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. works as the guideline in development of a design that meets the owner’s requirements.

Basis of Design (BOD)

Prepared by the design team, the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. explains through narrative and documentation how the proposed design meets the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project..

Commissioning Specifications

Incorporate commissioning specifications into Division 1.

Commissioning Plan

The commissioning plan works as the guidebook for commissioning, discussing the roles of key team members, and providing a commissioning schedule, among other requirements.

Commissioning Report

The commissioning report is the final deliverable from the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., including reports on all visits, observations and recommendations.

CI-2009 LEED Online Sample Forms – EA

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each CI-2009 EA credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED
Online
for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

46 Comments

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Akos Brandecker Sustainability Manager ISG
Jul 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
44 Thumbs Up

Seasonal Commissioning

Does the seasonal commissioning have to be done by the same CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. who does all other commissioning activities or can a separate party be contracted for this? Any thoughts?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jul 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

It should really be there original CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. that did the work, as they have the most knowledge related to the activities, and can assist the team the best if things re-occur or new issues rise. If someone just plain was no longer in the business, or other factors beyond your control, I do not think it would be a problem, but is not best practice.

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Akos Brandecker Sustainability Manager, ISG Jul 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 44 Thumbs Up

Thanks for the quick response, Scott. I agree that the original CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. has the inherent knowledge from performing all other Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. activities. The owner argues that the Cx Report would be detailed enough for someone else to be able to pick up the seasonal Cx and wants to tender it separately. This doesn't seem to be prohibited by the credit requirements but could be argued by the reviewer that it doesn't meet the intent?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jul 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Seems a weird issue, as if the owner has a problem with the original CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.? Really not germane to this topic, just curious.

For certification, you must show that this work is under contract to be done. If the owner wants this done by someone else, then there will need to be a contract uploaded with that person, and you will find out quickly if that is acceptable! This would come up in the comment period, so you could always expand the contract with the original CxA if it was a problem.

As I have often suggested, if this is really an issue, then you might ask for a conference call with GBCI review team to ask the question.

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Akos Brandecker Sustainability Manager, ISG Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 44 Thumbs Up

I think the owner is pushed by the cost consultant to reduce the price of Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included.. I let them know of your recommendation and will provide an update once we progress further.

One more question: are there any specific requirements for seasonal Cx (like testing under full load conditions, interviews with occupants, re-commissioning of systems, testing under extreme conditions, etc.)? Many thanks again for your help.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

There are no specifics, it all relates to the system types and sequences. Many times you can simulate some conditions for functional testing, but often you just cannot simulate all the heating systems when it is 80 deg out, or the cooling when there is snow on the ground!

I normally like to get as much of the testing done before the contractors leave the project, even if it means some simulations of conditions, or changing outside air readings to see systems respond. Then you would identify all the tests that simply cannot be done, and then add those tests to the Action Log so they are not forgotten.

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Charles Nepps
Mar 25 2014
LEEDuser Member
181 Thumbs Up

Late involvement by CxA.

The Owner dragged his feet and did not bring a Commissioning Agent on board until after the construction documents were complete, and construction started. Would the project still have a path for earning the Enhanced Commissioning credit?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Boy, if you read too many of my replies, you would really think I am a negative person! This question comes up a lot…a lot. In general I think the answer is probably not. Early in the program, and mostly under 2.2, we had a few projects that we were able to “catch up” and get the credit, and there were changes made by contract due to our peer review of the CDs. At this point we have no v09 projects that have even asked to go this route. In any case, we were always quite clear there was no guarantee that GBCI would award the credit, but there was value in the work regardless.

Personally I do not think you would get the credit if you started at this point.

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Bilge Ceylan Green Building/Project Management Consultant Individual Entrepreneur
Feb 18 2014
LEEDuser Member
128 Thumbs Up

CxA's commissioning activities

The owner in my CI project is planning to appoint the operations and maintenance (O&M) firm as the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to achieve this credit. In order to ensure compliance, we are planning to add this credit's requirements to the scope of work of this firm under its contract. My question is does this O&M firm have to conduct any specific tests or commissioning activities? Typically, following the construction completion, the representatives of the contractor, owner and the O&M firm establish a commissioning committee and do the typical commissioning, testing and balancing works. My understanding is this O&M firm would participate in this commissioning process, do all the reviews, provide all the documentation required and finally complete the commissioning report after the commissioning committee completes its job. Are there any specific commissioning activities or tasks (other than listed in the LEED guideline) that GBCI would like to see performed as part of the CxA scope of work to achieve this credit? One reason why I am asking this question is that at the introduction of this section, it is stated that enhanced commissioning causes up to 40% cost increase in comparison to fundamental commissioning. Is this cost increase just due to additional review and reporting requirements?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 05 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

First, the O&M firm must have someone that can act as the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. and have the requisite experience as required by the standard. Then they must perform all activities required under EAp1 and EAc3. One caution, commissioning (especially enhanced) must start long before completion of the construction! Many of the tasks related to enhanced happen during early design phases. So your question worries me a little in a true CxA with experience would be able to tell you all of this. I would recommend a frank discussion with the firm and determine if they have this experience and can guide the process.

To answer your question related to cost of enhanced, you have to know the scope of the project. Some projects will have a very minimal increase in cost, other it will be more significant. Commissioning is all about time…time for reviews, time to develop the deliverables, meetings, pre-functional checklists, designing functional tests, etc. There is a threshold amount of time required regardless of the size of a project, so on smaller projects, the cost of commissioning can appear high. But then if you double or triple the square footage, the fees do not double or triple!

For proper evaluation of a Cx fee, you have to review the scope and rigor being applied. That has been one of the most difficult parts of this industry, as we have lots of different people doing this work, and there are lots of different opinions as to scope and detail. If someone’s fee is half of another, then they looked at the scope differently and have a different view of the time required to be engaged in the project. They are not paying their people half of the other firm!

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Brian Smith
Aug 26 2013
Guest
7 Thumbs Up

Contractual Relationship

The owner is looking for CI-2009 Enhanced Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. on a project. The CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. was originally contracted through the GC as they were not a prequalified vendor of the Owner. During that time, the design reviews were completed as required. The project is well into construction and the owner is looking to see if any type of contractual arrangement can be made, not direct to the owner, to achieve the intent of the point. Can the owner hire a consultant, who would in turn contract with the CxA?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 06 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

I hate to be a downer, but I do not think there is any way. The design reviews were done while under contract to the GC.

Sorry…

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Graham Langton Building Services Engineer PM-Group
Aug 08 2013
LEEDuser Member
123 Thumbs Up

Commissioning of Process Equipment

'Commissioning is required for all systems and equipment installed as part of the tenant’s project scope'... Is it the case that for a building who's primary function is the support of a manufacturing process - any commissioning work carried out (or not) on the manufacturing equipment is not applicable to this credit? Process equipment having multiple services supplied, gas / steam / electrical etc.

Cheers

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Aug 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Commissioned Systems are defined under EAp1, and they related to the “energy-related” systems. This has been limited to the HVAC, lighting, DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating., and renewable energy systems. True process loads and services, where they only serve that purpose, would not have to be commissioned. The quote you indicate has to do with defining the border for the commissioning scope. For example, if the space is served by an AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. outside the boundary of the project, and it is existing and not be modified in any way, it would not be in the tenant scope, therefor would not have to be commissioned. But, if an AHU had to be installed for this tenant, even if it is outside the boundary of the project, it would have to be commissioned.

As I have said many times, there are tons of good reasons that all these systems should be commissioned, but they are not required. My argument would be why is the owner NOT concerned about those systems that create revenue?

Now, if there is a system that addresses some of the building needs, maybe like steam for heating or humidification, then that system would have to be commissioned to the extent it serves the building.

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Torsten Biernat Baumann Consulting
Jul 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
98 Thumbs Up

CxA qualification?

We have a project (<50,000ft2) where members of the Owner's firm are doing some of the MEP design (the rest is being done by an external architecture firm). If the intended CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. is an employee of the Owner but this employee has had no part in any of the design or construction work, is that employee eligible to be the CxA? Or not, simply on the basis that the Owner's firm is doing some of the design work? Your help would be much appreciated!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jul 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

We have done just what you indicate. We build an addition a few years ago (under v2.2), and I acted as the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. for Fundamental and Enhanced. As a Principal, I was independent from the group designing, and was even in a different office. As far as I know, if they have the required experience, the owner can always be the CxA.

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Torsten Biernat Baumann Consulting Jul 15 2013 LEEDuser Member 98 Thumbs Up

Hi Scott- thanks for the feedback. I just wanted to make sure being part of the design firm wouldn't get in the way.

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John Steingraeber Designer James Dayton Design, Ltd.
Jun 11 2013
Guest
39 Thumbs Up

EAc2 Submission Requirements

I am very interested in pursuing LEED CI certification for a buildoutThe time at which all habitable buildings on the project are complete and ready for occupancy. of my firm's offices. This will be my/our first LEED project. I am generally confident that we can achieve basic LEED certification but we would really like a higher level.

I am very interested in pursuing EAc2 but am having difficulty locating the actual submission requirements/documentation for this credit (and all other credits, actually). Is that information unavailable until I have registered the project?

I am aware of the multitude of forums, interpretations, spreadsheets and downloads. Furthermore, I believe we have a solid understanding of the metrics and requirements that we need to meet--but I would really love to see the actual submission requirements for this credit. Is that information available anywhere? Am I missing something?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 11 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

John, what you are looking for are the LEED Online forms. These are  available to non-registered projects but you have to know where to look Two places are on this page on LEEDuser under our Documentation Toolkit, or on LEED Online, look for the link at the top of the page to Sample Forms Download.

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John Steingraeber Designer, James Dayton Design, Ltd. Jun 11 2013 Guest 39 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan! There is a wealth of information out there and I'm still trying to figure it all out.

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Susan F. Interior Designer ReelGrobman
Jun 06 2013
LEEDuser Member
86 Thumbs Up

Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioner

We have a project that is about 125,000 sf and are working with a consultant that is developing the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. with the client and also writing the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. for the project. The client is considering enhanced commissioning for this project.

My question is whether this same consultant can do the fundamental commissioning as well as the enhanced commissioning? We always thought that the enhanced commissioner has to be an independent 3rd party but the consultant insists that they've served as both the fundamental and enhanced commissioner for a single project with no problems. Is hiring one consultant to do both our fundamental AND enhanced commissioning permitted and/or wise?

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jun 06 2013 LEEDuser Expert 14865 Thumbs Up

It is very, very common for the fundamental and enhanced commissioning agents to be one firm. In fact, if you split this up you will have to proof to the reviewers satisfaction that the ECxA 'lead, oversaw and reviewed' the work of the Fund. CxA. As long as the consultant meets the definition of 3rd party then you're set.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jun 06 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Susan is right, and while there are occasions where they are not the same firm, that is very much the unusual case, and as she says requires some justification on the relationship of the two firms.

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Robert Calloway President Global Facility Solutions, LLC
Mar 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
145 Thumbs Up

Question regarding the OPR and BOD

We have a client that has the Owners Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) but no Basis of Design (BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines.). Is it acceptable for the OPR to be used in place of the BOD?

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Mar 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 14865 Thumbs Up

Robert,

The OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. comes from the client. The BoDBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. is a response to the OPR and is the A/E team saying how they are going to meet the OPR. It is not acceptable to use the OPR in lieu of the BoD.

Susan

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

I concur with Susan, you need to submit both the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. and the BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines..

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Noriko Yasuhara Woonerf Inc.
Jan 08 2013
LEEDuser Member
1794 Thumbs Up

CxA contract

Hi all,

From the LEED Online form: "Upload EAc2-2. Provide the contract between owner and CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. ensuring CxA involvement post-construction."

Would a contract between the LEED consultants and the CxA suffice instead of the contract stated above?

Thanks in advance.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jan 08 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

I do not see a problem as long as the contract path does not go through the Contractor. In other words, if the LEED Consultant has a contract to the owner it should be fine, I would just state that to the reviewers either by adding a note to the PDF or including the Owner to LEED Consultant contract along with the LEED Consultant to CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. contract.

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Frank Weiss Hines
Dec 05 2012
Guest
44 Thumbs Up

Systems Manual

I was envisioning the Systems Manual to be an O&M manual with drawings, equipment manuals etc. Upon GBCI review we received the comments shown below. Does someone have a sample Systems Manual that includes the items below that I could use as a template?

The systems manual does not include sections for the final version of the basis of design, as built sequence of operations, control drawings and original set points for the HVAC systems/ components serving the project space, and does not include the recommended schedule for retesting the commissioned systems/ equipment, and the recommended schedule for calibrating sensors and actuators, as required by the LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, 2009 Edition, EAp1, Section 5 Timeline and Team, Step 9.

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Dec 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4539 Thumbs Up

Hello Frank.

I am curious, if you don't have a Basis of Design, how did you perform a review of the OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project./BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines./Design Documents? If you don't have an as built sequence of operations and original set points how did you perform the proper functional testing?

I have recently been brought aboard a project that has previously come out of review with the same comment. The project team uploaded plans, start-up reports, and O&M manuals. They received the same comment. Upon further discussions, the project team did not actually "commission".

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Dec 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

The Systems Manual is always a pretty long document, even for smaller projects. It is most difficult to post any kind of example, and it is impossible to give a series of templates. Every provider has a way to show and organize this information, but the list of what is required is actually quite simple, and is listed in the reviewer comments.

The Operating Guide is the hardest document to write, and again I am sure that different providers have different opinions of how these should be written and coordinated.

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Frank Weiss Hines Dec 05 2012 Guest 44 Thumbs Up

Thank you Mr. Hubka but you have gotten the wrong impression somehow. We have a BODBasis of design (BOD) includes design information necessary to accomplish the owner's project requirements, including system descriptions, indoor environmental quality criteria, design assumptions, and references to applicable codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines. and I can assure you that we conducted a very through commissioning effort I was simply misunderstanding the requirements of the systems manual. Using the direction provided from the review comments I have now produced a Systems Manual that should meet the requirements.

Thank you Mr. Bowman I was simply misunderstanding the full requirements of the systems manual. I understand your point that it is hard to provide a template. As you suggest I am using the direction provided from the review comments to produce a Systems Manual that should meet the requirements as I now understand them. I will consider this discussion closed.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Dec 06 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Frank;

Probably the most help might be in an outline or table of contents (TOC) of a typical document for our firm. I went back to one of our medium/large projects and just looked at the TOC. The project was LEED Gold office building, about 160,000 square foot with a fairly typical central chilled and hot water plant, variable air volume air handling systems, with some fairly good daylighting, occupancy, and demand control strategies. Here is an outline of the Systems Manual and how many pages were in each section:

Cover – Signature – TOC = 3
Final Basis of Design = 13
(Updated by the design team to reflect as-built conditions)
Building Operating Instructions = 15
(We write these from the viewpoint of the normal occupants, not the facilities managers)
HVAC System Schematic Diagrams = 4
(Hydronic and airside diagrams)
Commissioning Review = 2
(This is for the 10 month review, and ultimately another document was issued after the meeting, maybe 4 pages, and the owner inserted)
As-Built Control Sequences = 87
(Complete DDC drawings and sequences as confirmed during FPTs)
Recommended Schedule of Maintenance = 2
(This really only referenced the extensive O&M manuals that were created for the project. On smaller projects, we have included this information here to make fewer binders for the owner, but this is developed by the contractors)
Recommissioning = 149
(Here we take the final FPTs, as they are always adjusted a little during testing, and blanked them out for future use by the owner)
Sensor Calibration = 6
(Listing of major sensors and frequency of calibration by working with vendors and literature for the sensors)

Again, I think the hardest document to develop is the operating instructions. The rest is really gathering and organizing information that is provided by others on the design and construction team. Getting this information as it is developed, and soon after closeout, is important. The longer it goes, the harder it is to get it from contractors that are on to the next project.

Hope this helps.

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Garrett Billings Project Manager Jones Lang LaSalle
Oct 12 2011
Guest
197 Thumbs Up

Enhanced Commissioning Action Steps

We are afraid we will get denied out submittal for enhanced commissioning because we didn't follow the process step-by-step as defined above in the "Action Steps". The project was very straight forward and small (10,000 SF) and we decided to bring the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. on board after the 50% CD point. We essentially completed all the requirements for the enhanced commissioning credit, it just so happens that they are a little out of order when compared to the "Action Steps" above. Do you see us getting denied this credit?

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 12 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

How far after the 50% CDs did the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. come on board? As long as s/he reviewed your docs before 100% completion, so you had the opp to benefit from that review, I expect you should be OK.

Anyone else care to hazard a prediction? Let us know what happens!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 13 2011 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

We have also had instances like this, and the clients worked with us to address any comments we had in the review, unfortunately they are still working their way through the system. We were very careful to manage our clients expectation, that we could not ensure acceptance by GBCI, but that there was still value in the process above just points.

We will let this forum know as they get submitted.

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Emily Catacchio Sustainability Specialist, Wight and Company Oct 13 2011 Guest 7763 Thumbs Up

Garrett,

Did you already submit this credit to GBCI? It is often helpful, when approaching a credit not exactly as perscribed, to include a short narrative stating your reasons for deviations. Though this will not gaurentee you a positive outcome, and as Scott said, you should manage expectations just in case.

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Garrett Billings Project Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle Oct 20 2011 Guest 197 Thumbs Up

Nadav - We submitted Mech drawings (permit set) to the City, but they weren't 100%. A week or two after the submittal the LL, cxaThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. and client completed their review. So, technically the cxa did review before 100%. Our fear is that the GBCI will consider the permit set 100%, but it seems like that might not be an issue if we probide a good narrative. Thanks for the feedback.

Scott - We will work with the client to manage the expectation, I'm interested to hear how your submittal goes. Good luck.

Emily - We haven't submitted yet, but I agree with your suggestion to craft a short narrative explaining the our situation. Thanks for the feedback.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Oct 20 2011 LEEDuser Expert 14865 Thumbs Up

When was your bid set issued? It is pretty common to submit a permit set before the project drawings (and even decisions) are complete. It is common for our projects to have separate bid and permit sets and we tie the LEED deadlines to the bid set without problems.

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Carolina Vergnano LEED AP Concremat
May 06 2011
LEEDuser Member
1586 Thumbs Up

applying for the Certification before or after the 10 months

My doubt is if it´s possible to Certificate a building with the Operation and Maintenance Manual made by the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements., or if it´s needed to wait the 10 months required for the Enhanced Commissioning.
Would someone help me with this?
Thank you.

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Aug 18 2011 LEEDuser Member 11738 Thumbs Up

You don't have to wait till the review after 8-10 months. You can even submit for certification with the commissioning report still in progress. However you will have to provide a contract showing that you have contracted the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to do the work and the reviewer might asked for the completed commissioning report in between the reviews.

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Shenhao Li Atkins Jan 20 2014 Guest 272 Thumbs Up

If owner's staff become the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. of one project, how to prepare contract between them, since the requirement of Upload EAc2-2. Provide the contract between owner and CxA ensuring CxA involvement post-construction

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jan 21 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

That is not a problem, as the Owner (as long as they have the required qualifications) can be the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.. I would upload a letter from the Owner indicating the staff that will be doing the 10 month review instead of a contract.

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Mauricio Ramirez May 28 2014 Guest 559 Thumbs Up

Hello Scott

I've just received a LEED Preliminary Review from my CI-2009 Project. In this case the Owner has designed an in-house CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to make the Commissioning for Fundamental and Enhanced Scope. The Owner is a construction company, so they have in their staff many engineers with experience in Commissioning. The CxA is not part of the project team, his unique responsibility to the project is doing the Comm. project. In my submittal I add a letter signed by the CxA to the Owner in which they submit the final commissioning report, point out the open issues and states the current status of the systems. In this letter the CxA already indicates that the seasonal testing will be made and actually commits to do that in August with the results of the Comfor survey. However, in my review, they say that I need to add a contract to ensure post-occupation activities. There is no Comm. contract as it is a work assigned internally by his boss... So, what do you recommend to answer... attach an internal work order or something like that? Any comment will help! Thanks!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC May 29 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5905 Thumbs Up

Mauricio;

I have two suggestions. First, email the review team and repeat the information in your post about the relationship. My guess is there was nothing uploaded in that box, so you got a comment. That might get it resolved.

Second, and what I tell teams to do, is to upload a letter from the owner that states internal commitment of the company to this effort, what the scope is that will be done, and when. Not a contract, but it does commit the owner to that action and comes from management instead of the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements..

This is a good tactic on any credit that you are doing something a little out of the norm. Always tell the reviewers what is being done, and always submit something in any spot that requires it, even a simple document saying that something “does not apply in this case because”…and then lay out why.

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Mauricio Ramirez May 29 2014 Guest 559 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your quite quick response. I'm doing that.
I already know the tip that we shouldn't leave any box empty, so instead of the contract I put the commitment from the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.. But you're right it will be stronger if I put something from not from myself as Owner Primary contact but actually a letter from the highest position in the Office Management, and look what happens.
I let you know what the reviewers final comment is! Thanks.. Your input is really helpful!

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