Buildings with the potential for realizing cost-effective energy savings opportunities are strong candidates for this credit. The credit will take some effort, but buildings with an Energy Star rating between 40 and 70 are particularly good candidates for seeing a healthy payback.
This credit gives you the choice of engaging in commissioning or performing an ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit, so start by deciding which is best for your project. Both processes are very doable and likely to result in energy and cost savings for your project building.
The auditing process is akin to an annual checkup where the doctor does some basic tests and asks you if you’ve noticed any problems. Commissioning is more like a full-fledge physical with stress test that allows you to uncover and tease out problems that wouldn't be evident otherwise.
For either commissioning or auditing, projects teams can perform the work in-house or hire a third-party professional.
Commissioning investigates the operations of building systems including HVAC, lighting, domestic hot water, and renewable energy systems. Photo courtesy Synergy Engineering.As one of the first steps, determine if the team has the expertise to undertake either commissioning or the audit, or if the project would be better served by hiring a third party. The following are marks of teams prepared to do the work in-house:
Commissioning is generally a more rigorous and technical process as well as costing somewhat more, while also leading to greater long-term operational savings compared with the audit. However, the audit path typically is easier to do with in-house staff, and is the more common path taken for this credit.
Commissioning is effective at uncovering situations like this one where the dropped-ceiling grid is blocking the ductwork access panel from opening. Photo Courtesy Synergy EngineeringCommissioning is often appropriate for buildings with the following characteristics:
Auditing may be more cost-effective for all other buildings.
Projects that pursue this credit generally also pursue EAc2.2: Existing Building Commissioning—Implementation. In EAc2.1, the project team investigates energy conservation measures, and in EAc2.2 all low-cost and no-cost measures are implemented.
EAc2.3: Existing Building Commissioning—Ongoing Commissioning creates an ongoing commissioning program. Projects pursuing EAc2.3 should use the commissioning path to pursue this credit. The auditing option of this credit does not support EAc2.3.
The expectation is that the audit methodology outlined in the ASHRAE document be used to guide the audit procedure and the approach to understanding building performance, energy use and opportunity for improvement. However, teams are not required to use the ASHRAE forms for reporting results.
Refer to the Reference Guide and the EAc2.1 credit form for checklists and outlines of documentation that is required for LEED documentation. Audit reports commonly are flagged for not including certain data required by the credit form, such as demand savings and maintenance cost savings.
Yes, the ASHRAE Level II audit can be performed in-house. The auditor must have the skills necessary to perform the audit, but otherwise does not need to hold specific credentials or be a third party. Audits for LEED-EBOM projects are commonly conducted by a third-party auditor, commissioning agent, or building engineerA qualified engineering professional with relevant and sufficient expertise who oversees and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the project building..
There is no minimum number of capital improvement measures that must be identified by the audit. What is important is that project teams use the findings of their audit or commissioning to look forward and identify further opportunities, beyond the immediate low- or no-cost measures. This exercise helps to make the auditing or commissioning results relevant on an ongoing basis, and to understand what impact capital improvements might make, beyond their cost.
If you suspect that a Level II audit will not yield much in the way of results because the building is already very high performing, you might considering investing the resources needed to perform the audit into another sustainability initiative that might have more impact.
For EAc2.1, M&V doesn’t necessarily refer to BAS systems or sub-metering, but your ongoing plan to implement the recommendations and strategies established by the audit and monitor performance, improvements and cost savings over time. Be sure to provide a detailed narrative that addresses this and don’t just refer to the content of the 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. plan and Cx report. Commonly, the measurement and verification program will involve a monthly review of utility invoices to determine if the anticipated savings are being realized.
Gather documentation related to the building systems including the building operating planA general documentation summarizing the intended operation of each base building system described in the systems narrative; the building operating plan may also be known as "Owner's Operating Requirements" or similar. The operating plan includes the time-of-day schedules for each system for each of the eight day types (Monday to Sunday plus holidays), the mode of operation for each system when it is running (occupied vs. unoccupied; day vs. night, etc.), and the desired indoor conditions or setpoints for each schedule or mode. The operating plan accounts for any differences in needs or desired conditions for different portions of the project building, as well as any seasonal variations in operations patterns. The plan accounts for all the monitored space conditions used to control the base systems, i.e., air temperature, relative humidity, occupancy, light level, CO2 levels, room pressurization, duct static pressure, etc., systems narrative, sequence of operation, and preventative maintenance plan according to EAp1: Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance. This will support your work on either option for this credit.
Assign at least one in-house operations staff person to work on the commissioning and auditing project. They should have expertise surrounding the building system controls, HVAC equipment, and lighting. Participation of in-house staff ensures that lessons learned through the commissioning and auditing processes are carried forward in the building operations.
Determine whether commissioning or the ASHRAE Level II Audit is more appropriate for the building, taking into account the following considerations.
Most buildings will benefit from commissioning or auditing activities but buildings with an Energy Star rating of 40–70 generally have the best opportunity to uncover cost-effective energy savings.
Commissioning is often appropriate for buildings with the following characteristics:
The testing associated with commissioning is particularly good at finding hidden problems, like the plenum here which has been cut through to allow for a straight run of piping. Photo courtesy Synergy Engineering Commissioning involves rigorous equipment and systems testing to identify any hidden deficiencies and opportunities for energy savings. This level of testing exceeds that of the ASHRAE Level II Audit.
Although auditing activities can approach the level of rigor and investigation of commissioning, the specific procedures of the ASHRAE Level II Audit employs lower levels of equipment testing compared to commissioning.
Because commissioning is generally a more rigorous and technical process, the ASHRAE audit may present the easiest opportunity to meet the requirements of this credit with in-house staff.
Projects interested in pursuing EAc2.3: Existing Building Commissioning—Ongoing Commissioning should use Option 1 (commissioning) to pursue this credit. Option 2 (auditing) does not support EAc2.3. EAc2.3 requires an ongoing commissioning plan that effectively extends the commissioning process into perpetuity.
Upfront costs for commissioning are likely to be greater than those for the ASHRAE Level II Audit. However, the additional testing involved in commissioning can lead to additional long-term operational savings beyond those generated by the ASHRAE Level II Audit.
In-house audits can fall short of the credit intent if conducted by inexperienced staff. In-house audits sometimes identify few meaningful energy conservation measures. More successful audits uncover low-cost, high-payback opportunities in the reconfiguring of operations schedules, system set-points and lighting technologies (such as adjusting or recalibrating system controls, replacement of T12s with T8s, use of low-wattage lamps, and other strategies) during the audit. Note that a very well-operated building may have already identified and implemented such measures, reducing the amount of “low-hanging fruit” available for energy savings.
Determine whether your team has the resources and expertise to perform the commissioning in-house.
Teams best-suited to perform this work in-house are teams with prior experience performing energy audits or commissioning, that have a sophisticated understanding of how the building systems work together and are intended to operate under various conditions, and that have a strong understanding of energy efficiency measures in building operations.
If you want to work with an external provider, look for commissioning providers using the following Resources: local utilities, state and local government agencies, or the membership of the Building Commissioning Association.
Solicit proposals and select a commissioning provider.
Select a commissioning provider with experience with your building type and contact references to help evaluate competing firms.
Commissioning costs will vary depending on the local market and the complexity of the building systems.
Sign a contract with the commissioning provider. This generally covers the following:
Determine whether your team has the resources and expertise to perform the audit in-house.
Teams with prior experience performing energy audits or commissioning, that have a sophisticated understanding of how the building systems work together and are intended to operate under various conditions, and that have a strong understanding of energy efficiency measures in building operations will be best suited to perform this credit in-house.
Solicit proposals and select a third-party firm to perform the Level II Energy Audit, if desired.
Review the requirements for the ASHRAE Level II Audit in the ASHRAE document “Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits.” (See Resources.)
Coordinate Level II Audit efforts with those implemented in support of the ASHRAE Level I Audit for EAp1: Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance. It’s a good idea to perform these audits in tandem and they can be conducted by the same contractor if desired.
The ASHRAE Level II Audit includes the following components beyond the ASHRAE Level I Walkthrough: proposed changes to operations and maintenance procedures; savings and cost analysis of all practical measures; potential capital-intensive improvements.
For both options, consider engaging in the process early in the performance period so that energy saving measures implemented are reflected in the building’s Energy Star score, which is used to assess compliance with EAp1: Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance and EAc1: Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance.
Complete the following steps, whether using an outside commissioning agent or in-house staff.
Assign at least one in-house operations staff person to work on the commissioning and auditing project to ensure that lessons learned through the commissioning and auditing processes are carried forward in the building operations.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
Through a systematic process, to develop an understanding of the operation of the building’s major energy-using systems, options for optimizing energy performance and a plan to achieve energy savings.
Based on the building operating planA general documentation summarizing the intended operation of each base building system described in the systems narrative; the building operating plan may also be known as "Owner's Operating Requirements" or similar. The operating plan includes the time-of-day schedules for each system for each of the eight day types (Monday to Sunday plus holidays), the mode of operation for each system when it is running (occupied vs. unoccupied; day vs. night, etc.), and the desired indoor conditions or setpoints for each schedule or mode. The operating plan accounts for any differences in needs or desired conditions for different portions of the project building, as well as any seasonal variations in operations patterns. The plan accounts for all the monitored space conditions used to control the base systems, i.e., air temperature, relative humidity, occupancy, light level, CO2 levels, room pressurization, duct static pressure, etc. and systems narrative, confirm that all building systems and equipment are functioning as appropriate according to the equipment schedule. Conduct testing and analysis to ensure that building systems and equipment are functioning correctly. Identify opportunities to make no- or low-cost capital improvements to enhance building performance.
This online resource, supported by Natural Resources Canada, presents energy-efficient technologies, strategies for commercial buildings, and pertinent case studies.
Several guidelines published by ASHRAE can be used as resources in developing and implementing an existing building commissioning plan. These include Guideline 0–2005, The Commissioning Process, and Guideline 1–1996, The HVAC Commissioning Process. Both are available for purchase online.
This PDF provide building owners and managers with basic information about the retrocommissioning process and help them receive maximum value from commissioning existing buildings. See resources in Appendix A – Appendix J including a request for proposal checklist for retrocommissioning services, sample site assessment forms, sample master list, and strategies for increasing retrocommissioning cost-effectiveness.
This manual from BOMA gives insight into the newest developments in building operating efficiency and preventive maintenance.
ASHRAE Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits provides measures for an energy survey and analysis and offers a format for defining buildings and their energy use. This format will allow data to be shared in meaningful ways. The publication sets out general procedures to guide analysts and building owners, and it provides a uniform method of reporting basic information. It comes with a CD-ROM that has more than 25 guideline forms, in both PDF and Word format, and explanatory material to assist in development of a complete and effective energy analysis report. The forms can be customized and printed. The PDF of the book and accompanying forms can be downloaded in a single zip file. A description of the requirements of an ASHRAE Level II, Energy Survey and Analysis can be found within this standard.
This resource provides information about energy-efficient building operation and management practices for commercial buildings. Please note that this title is out of print.
This handbook for industry professionals includes comprehensive information about lighting concepts, techniques, application, procedures, and systems. Please note that this title is out of print.
This reference has detailed information on the relationship between mechanical and electrical systems in buildings.
This 50-page publication establishes a uniform and systematic set of criteria for a retrocommissioning process applied to existing building systems. The publication is available online.
Provides the necessary foundation for anyone considering a retrocommissioning project.
Highlights key findings from several of PECI’s retrocommissioning projects that have produced significant benefits for low costs.
This database provides current information on the service life and maintenance costs of typical HVAC equipment.
This web based tool provides project- specific building commissioning information to design teams and enables users to evaluate probable commissioning cost, identify appropriate commissioning scope, and access project-related sample commissioning specifications.
This manual is a strategic guide for planning and implementing energy-saving building upgrades. It provides general methods for reviewing and adjusting system control settings, plus procedures for testing and correcting calibration and operation of system components such as sensors, actuators, and controlled devices.
The New Buildings Institute is a nonprofit, public-benefits corporation dedicated to making buildings better for people and the environment. Its mission is to promote energy efficiency in buildings through technology research, guidelines, and codes.
PECI develops the field for commissioning services by helping building owners understand the value of commissioning and by producing process and technical information for commissioning providers. Their focus includes owners of private and public buildings and a range of building types. PECI manages the annual National Conference on Building Commissioning.
The California Commissioning Collaborative is a group of government, utility, and building services professionals committed to developing and promoting viable building commissioning practices on California. Its online library has more than 300 resources, including articles, papers, guides, and sample commissioning documents.
The BCxA promotes building practices that maintain high professional standards and fulfill building owner’s expectations. The association offers a 5-day intensive course focused on how to implement the commissioning process and that is intended for commissioning authorities with at least 2 years of experience.
Complete LEED Online documentation for achievement of EAc2.1 on a certified Gold LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 project in Denver, Colorado.
This sample template includes sample language and guidance on crafting the Energy End-Use Profile (for EAp1), the Low-Cost Energy Efficiency Upgrades Summary (for EAp1), the ASHRAE Energy Audit Summary Report (for EAc2.1), the Sample Energy Cost Reduction Measures (ECRM) Summary (for EAc2.1), and the Performance Summary Report (for EAc2.1).
Use one of these templates to develop a request for proposal for either commissioning or auditing services for your building.
This LEED Online form with sample data and tips demonstrates how to document EAc2.1.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-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."
Reviewer comment asks us to provide "The effect on occupant service capabilities" of the capital measures identified during the level II audit.
I want to know what is the definition of "occupant service capabilities"?
Magda, I don't know—never heard that term before. Can you provide a more complete quote?
I would ask GBCI to clarify the reviewer comment.
Wanted some clarification on which(if any) credits/pre-requisites under the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. manual required an external engineer or commissioning agent to perform the tasks described.
Commissioning and/or energy auditing can be performed by anyone as allowed by the LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. reference guide. The owner may want to qualify the commissioning firm, however LEED will not require this.
LEED for New Construction has requirements for who can and can't be the Commissioning Authority.
Hope this helps!
If you go the Level II route (in lieu of RCx), does uploading a level II audit for the level I audit suffice? The level II audit is more complete, so why would you want to take out information just to show the level I?
The Level II audit can be uploaded for both EAp1 and EAc2.1 to demonstrate compliance.
The project that we are working on would like to go pursue this credit using ASHRAE level 2 commissioning audit path. However, this project has a large quantity of AHUs and FCUs (approx. 40AHUs and 450FCUs). So we would like to know:
1) Can we selectively select a few quantities of the air distribution equipment for measurement or do we have to measure every piece of AHUs and FCUs of this project? Is there a minimum quanitites of the equipement to be audited? Example: Minimum requirement = 10% of total FCU quanitites etc..
2) Also, if there are certain items like, for example, AHU cooling coil entering water temperature (EWT) and leaving water temperature (LWT) may be quite challenging to be measured on site, can the project submit the audit report without filling up the measured EWT and LWT figures? Will this be accepted? On the other hand, the project team will try to measure as much measureable items on site.
Thank you so much for the help in answering my questions.
The credit requirement does not specifically address sampling requirements, however this is a common practice when commissioning very large facilities. Furthermore this credit does not address specific key operating parameters that must be verified by the commissioning team. If your commissioning plan addresses all major energy-using systems (chillers, boilers, lighting, domestic hot water, etc.) and the plan/report includes the components listed on the LEED Online template - your EAc2.1 submittal should be approved. Be prepared though to increase your sampling rate if you find issues with the equipment commissioned within your first sample.
Looking for a Building commissioning service provider in Southern Massachusetts. We are approaching our performance period on a corporate office building (23 years old) and what to hire an outside provider to accomplish EAc2.1. Where is the best place to look for this type of provider? Do you have any guidance or recommendations as to where I should look. Also, where can I get the reference guide that is referenced in several of the thread on this topic.
Thank you --
You can purchase the LEED reference guides at the usgbc.org website.
Both LEEDUser Experts & LEEDUser Members could probably offer this service. Local A/E firms may also provide this service. Be careful though, the intent of this website is to share info and project experience, not to solicit for services.
Good luck with your project!
Can Innovation credits be achieved by commissioning the envelope of an existing building?
Shauna, given that BECx is something that USGBC is trying to incentivize in LEED BD&C, given that it's not required under this credit, and given the comprehensive effect if can have on energy and overall performance, I think there is potential here, but I could not say for sure. Have you tried initiating this yet, or received other feedback on whether it would fly?
Shauna - you might want to check out pg. 471 of the Reference Guide, which provides ideas for IO points that are more or less-preapproved. One is related to performing an infrared scan of the building to identify thermal breaches of the envelope.
I am pursuing certification for an existing convention center that is connected to a hotel. The hotel has a central plant that serves the convention center. This plant along with the entire mechanical system will be upgraded in both buildings during EAp2 Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance. The hotel is not under same ownership and will not pursue certification.
That all being said, I am struggling to determine when to perform the ASHRAE energy audits - before or after the mechanical upgrade? Since the central plant is located outside the project boundary, does that affect whether or not this system may be audited and commissioned? Does the planned commissioning need to begin before the upgrade?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
The answer to your question is really more of a timing one than anything else...
Are you pursing EA 2.2 or 2.3? Also, what does the PP look like in comparison to the upgrade schedule? If you go for EA 2.2 this will be something of concern considering that you must impliment any findings - you'll have to wait for both the upgrade construction, the audit, the associated findings and then come up with a plan for the no/low findings as well as a capital plan to deal with the lower value measures (and reasoning why measures were chose and others weren't).
In terms of Certification, the upgrade timing won't matter besides the ENERGY STAR score upgrade you may receive by waiting. THat said, you'd have to wait a substantial proportion of 12 months after the upgrade in order for Portfolio Manager to see those lowered energy bills and then for the average to come down as a result.
Does that make sense?
My clients have prepared six-sigma projects for improvement that have a timeline of 5 years (since 2006). The building is 20 yrs old and even back then, facilities management had been re-assessing and implementing investigation and analysis for upgrades/maintenace to ensure system performance. The building is sizeable and since it is occupied, all upgrades and maintenance activities need to be scheduled so as not to disrupt normal operations.
1) Is it necessary that the investigation and analysis be done within the performance period, or would it be acceptable to have it even earlier (2006) with some projects being implemented within the performance period, and some after?
2) There are other improvements that were part of an audit done more recently, but the scope and documentation is not as substantial as the six-sigma projects. Should we include these projects or will including these just make it more confusing for the reviewer?
Hoping to hear from you. We intend to submit very soon.
...just to add, the guidebook mentions that a Level II Audit conducted within a 5 year period is acceptable. There is no mention of this flexibility for commissioning plans - "retrocommissioing of the building must be conducted during the performance period" (p171 LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Reference Guide)
My other query:
3) If option 1 is chosen, will the commissioning plan be accepted if this was done within the past 5 years - as is the case for Level II Audit?
we've seen some interesting feedback on this credit in reference to exactly the issue you struggle with. Here is my recommendation: Whaterver you do be very clear and follow the ref guide to a T.
We assumed that a mix of auidts and RCx activities should count as well as an updated Audit report but they came back saying that consistency needed to be taken. They essentially said we couldn't flip flop between strategies for 2.1 and 2.2 as well as between 5 and 2 year periods.
What does that mean for you...? Don't flip between RCx and Audits for what you did 5 years ago and what you are going to "update" for the purposes of LEED.
The scope and documentation will need to be very strong for 2.2 but 2.1 is relatively easy in comparison from a proof perspective so don't worry if you don't have the strongest evidence of robust PM strategies. You WILL however need to follow the ASHRAE Audit requests from the Ref Guide as letter of the law.
Audits from 5 years ago work but RCx reports from that long ago don't fly and therefore you'll need a full RCx again if you choose that route.
Follow up with any subsequent questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them - hope this helps in the meantime.
One more thing I forgot to mention - see the comment thread below from my colleague Matt Macko and Dan Ackerstein - should provide a clear example of the difference between LEED intent and what we've been hearing from GBCI.
I'm trying to compile a list of energy audit providers outside of the US. Does anyone have recommendations or know of databases that help locate auditing service providers by geography?
I checked with all my contacts and this is a stumper.
At this time I do not know if the list you are looking for exists.
If you do find such a list, or begin to create one yourself, please let me know. . . maybe I could help.
Another valuable list would be to compile "typical costs associated with an ASHRAE Level I & II energy audit". The feedback I have received from my customers is that the cost of energy audits are all over the place.
FuGu Energy out of Qatar (www.fugu-energy.com) does energy work in the Gulf. Contact Marwan Chaar.
Eaton's EMC has conducted energy audits around the world. We have audited most recently in Japan and Korea. Contact me if you would like me to put you in touch with our lead on energy audits: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi Jenny, if you're still looking for input on audits outside the US, our parent company - MMM Group - offers these services through our Buildings Division.
We're based in Canada with extensive international operations, and this link will help find a relevant location: http://www.mmm.ca/About/Locations.aspx.
As well, our Commissioning group would likely be able to help with ballpark energy audit pricing for types/sizes of buildings.
I am working on a cultural center performance space in San Diego with very few HVAC system components. For ventilation, there are exhaust fans that induce outdoor air into the building through the operable doors and windows. For cooling, there are two window air conditioning unit that serve a small portion of the building (one multi-occupant office and a computer server room); the remainder of the building does not have any cooling. There is no central heating system in the building. There is a domestic hot water heater as well as a lighting system. There is also a 2 kw photovoltaic system on the roof.
We are interested in pursuing the retrocommissioning option of EA2.1, as well as EA2.3. Will these points be possible with these limited systems? Do these systems meet the intent of EA2.1 and EA2.3?
Absolutely Nate, especially since the PV system can be part of the process. The LEED reference guide does not specify a minimum quantity or size of system to qualify for the credit. Although, I would encourage your team to be diligent with whichever path is chosen. Seemingly small scale Retrocommissioning projects can sometimes turn out to be quite tricky.
I am currently working on a warehouse going for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 certification. The facility is only 5 years old and was built with energy savings in mind and has been maintained well. The facilities manager at the warehouse has been working on making the facility greener and more energy efficient now for the last 4 years. He has implemented many green practices and energy savings techniques and the facility easily meets many of the LEED EBOM requirements.
Is it reasonable to set a performance period that began a year ago and document all the improvements he has made as responses to a "theoretical" energy audit performed at that time?
Otherwise our energy audit would comprise a very short list of possible improvements, and any capital intensive improvements would have a time frame of 5+ years as equipment got older and needed to be phased out...
Since there's no criteria for finding a minimum number or type of energy conservation measures, my advice is to perform the audit in a looking-forward manner, and then include as supplemental information an overview of the measures implemented pre-LEED to explain the assumed dearth of possible measures. You might run into trouble in trying to retroactively assemble the type of information that needs to go into the audit (which could bring about avoidable risk during the review process) and also could miss out the possibility of finding new opportunities.
I don't think you can skip the audit. Was the building ever commissioned at the end of construction? Check out the LEED Interpretations for credits 2.1-2.3. There are two interesting ones there that might apply to a project of this type:
Posting Date: 5/9/2011
ID Number: 10036
Q: For EAc2.1, if the building owner implements system upgrades prior to the completion of the Master List of Findings, can these strategies still count for this credit?
A: These strategies can contribute to the credit. The project team should supply a summary of the actions, date of implementation, and include a list of the low-cost / no-cost recommendations. This can be supplied as a supplement to the Master List of Findings if not reported in that document.
Posting Date: 4/27/2009
ID Number: 2565
...The project building is eligible to earn EA Credit 2.1 without conducting commissioning or energy auditing activities within 5 years of the end of the performance period if the conditions outlined in A, B, and C below are satisfied: A) The project building can demonstrate that energy performance, when normalized for key variables such as occupancy, operating hours, and weather, has improved or remained steady since the initial commissioning activities. B) Initial commissioning activities occurred within 10 years of the end of the performance period. C) At least one of the following is true: 1. The project team's is currently implementing an ongoing commissioning program that meets the requirements for EA Credit 2.3 (e.g., rises above the level of standard preventive maintenance activities to proactive, continuous functional testing) 2. The project building currently has an Energy Star rating of 95 or greater Projects using this approach to demonstrate compliance with EA Credit 2.1...
We have already got review comments for our project.However,we now realized that in the simple payback calculations we have by mistake given a totally wrong value for the 'lighting retro fitting'.Is it acceptable by USGBC that we change the value and amend the payback period??My worry is that it will be totally different from what we submitted previously.
It's never too late to change your calculations to better reflect your project. LEED works best when dealing with the most accurate information and it sounds like your lighting retrofit calculation is better now than when you submitted it. Is your team pursuing EAc2.2?
Hi LEED users.... wondering if our EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. project chooses Option 2, to complete or update an existing ASHRAE level 2 audit and report findings, does this fulfill requirements to also complete EAc2.2 and EAc2.3? In essence, can we implement and conduct ongoing commissioning for the project if the ASHRAE level 2 audit was conducted in lieu of traditional retrocomissioning to fulfill EAc2.1? Thanks!
You can definitely earn EAc2.2 by implementing the low-cost, no-cost measures uncovered by the audit, planning for capital improvements, and meeting the other bits of the requirements (e.g., education). But, the Reference Guide makes clear that you cannot earn EAc2.3 through repetition of audit activities. That credit can only be earned if you are undertaking the full commissioning process.
The requirements language around EAc2.1 focuses on retro- and re-commissioning, and the Reference Guide states that retrocommissioning must be conducted during the performance period (p. 171).
It seems reasonable to assume that the initial building commissioning (for a new building) can also satisfy the requirements of this credit, if done within the performance period (which can be at maximum 2 years). This isn't clearly stated, but it seems reasonable. Thoughts?
I think that may be true, as long as they initial 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. process takes care to reflect occupancy realities. Cx in EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. has a large component that is about ensuring that space uses are consistent with their imagined uses during the design process - and if they are not, that conditions in the spaces are appropriate for actual uses. It's a subtle element, but we find it is extremely important in effective retrocommissioning.
Pg. 172-173 of the Reference Guide indicates that if you've conducted an ASHRAE Level II audit within the past 5 years, you don't need to redo the audit within the performance period if no relevant chances in operations have been observed. Those this 5-year allowance is linked to Option 2, ASHRAE Level II Audit, it stands to reason that it should also apply to Option 1, Commissioning Process.
I think this question reflects to the language mentioned in the first couple pages of the Ref Guide which states that the performance period is the most recent unbroken period of sustainable operations. Since most 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. work happens before occupancy I don't think it is reasonable to assume that initial building Cx work can fly for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2.1 (think Core and Shell construction). An audit probably wouldn't work for this credit either since again, the building was not technically "operating" when Testing & Balance (TAB) occurred and Cx rarely goes farther than equipment start-up.
Here is the response I just received after taking your advice and what seems reasonable for pursuing the 5 year grace period under Option A...
Note: This was a submittal under EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. not EBOM 2009 although the language is virtually identical.
"The proposed alternative compliance path outlined by the project team does not meet the credit requirements. As stated on page 211 of the LEED-EBOM Reference Guide, 2008 Edition, retro-commissioning of the building must be conducted during the performance period as specified in the LEED-Online Submittal Template. Also stated in the reference guide, the investigation and analysis phase of the commissioning process draws careful attention to all aspects of the current operations and maintenance program. Therefore, the retro-commissioning activities performed more than two years preceding the project submittal shall not be included for compliance of this credit."
I see their point...
Boy, I'd push back on that one Matt. The reviewer seems to be really adhering to the letter of the law in this instance, rather than the spirit of the law. The original idea behind the 5-year sunset provision was to ensure that projects that completed RCx before engaging with LEED weren't asked to perform it again just to earn the points. By allowing them to leverage their existing findings and update those findings appropriately, USGBC created a sensible solution that really has no downside. Furthermore, there is no logical reason that the path should exist for an ASHRAE Level II and not RCx - even if those processes are not identical, the credit language treats them as effectively interchangeable. So, assuming your RCx work was complete in all other respects, and that you've documented updates to that report and findings as directed by the Ref Guide, I'd encourage you to stick to your guns here and ask the reviewer to reconsider. Perhaps there is a compelling argument as to the difference between RCx and an ASHRAE Level 2 that led them to this conclusion - I'd be very interested in hearing it if that's the case.
Hope that helps,
Just wondered if Matt or anyone else had any further insight on GBCI's thinking about the situation described above (updating a RCx report which is less than 5 years old, as opposed to an ASHRAE Level 2 report). It's recently come up for a project and although I still feel OK about my reasoning here, I wonder if folks have learned more about this in the interim. Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
Commissioning and auditing build on the documentation compiled and the ASHRAE Level I Walkthrough performed as a part of this prerequisite.
Energy analysis and commissioning can uncover energy saving opportunities, helping projects to achieve the Energy Star rating required for this prerequisite.
Low and no-cost measures identified through EAc2.1 are implemented in EAc2.2.
Commissioning activities taken as a part of EAc2.1 may serve as part of the ongoing commissioning plan developed as a part of EAc2.3. (The EAc2.1 auditing path does not support EAc2.3.)
Consider synchronizing outdoor air and exhaust testing with commissioning or auditing activities.
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