NC-2009 EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems

  • NC, Schools, CS EAc3 & EAp1 Enhanced Cx Diagram
  • Benefits of commissioning

    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 and 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.

    What is fundamental vs. enhanced commissioning?

    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.

    Mechanical system imageCommissioning 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.

    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 the CxA to 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.

    Scope of commissioning

    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 or fundamental commissioning

    LEED divides the commissioning process into two parts, with the commissioning process for both enhanced and fundamental starting at or before design documents. 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 CxA, 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 $0.90–$1.20/ft2 for LEED-NC and LEED for Schools projects. These fees represent a 25%–40% cost increase over fundamental commissioning, while providing almost double the scope of work. All projects benefit with enhanced commissioning, though it can be more obvious for large or more 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.

    Scope of work for LEED Commissioning credits

  • FAQs for EAp1

    For a building with individual systems per unit, does every single system need to be commissioned?

    ASHRAE Guideline 0 and 1 provides information about the use of sampling in such a case to balance commissioning rigor with cost-effectiveness.

    Can the CxA authority be a member of the design or construction team?

    For fundamental commissioning and project area less than 50,000 ft2, the commissioning agent can be an employee of the design or construction firm. For enhanced commissioning and projects larger than 50,000 ft2, CxA must be independent of both teams. The CxA must be appointed by the Owner.

    What type of certification is the commissioning agent required to have?

    USGBC does not require any certifications at this time. The commissioning agent must demonstrate experience on two prior projects.

    What level of authority does the CxA have towards correcting inaccurate or erroneous construction?

    The CxA cannot directly authorize construction change orders or changes to the design documents. The commissioning agent’s responsibility is to inform the project Owner of findings and their effect on building performance. The Owner will choose a proper course of action.

    The comissioning process turned up a few issues with the commissioned systems that should be corrected. Do we have to correct these issues and include documentation of that as part of our LEED documentation?

    According to GBCI, any significant issues uncovered during the commissioning process should be noted in the required commissioning report. A narrative and/or supporting documentation must be provided to summarize the corrected issues and outline any outstanding issues, as well as include detailed information on the plan for correcting any outstanding issues. However, evidence that the follow-up was completed and systems corrected is not be required.

    Our project is considering LEED after construction has begun. Can we meet the EAp1 requirements and thus be eligible for LEED certification?

    Maybe. LEED Interpretations #2389 issued 1/23/2009,  #2401 issued 2/9/2009, and #5277 issued 9/18/2007 all speak to this, and projects in this situation should review them for details. Some projects have been able to “fast track” fundamental commissioning, while other projects may be too far along.

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.)


  • The cost of fundamental commissioning services may vary from $0.35/ft2 to $0.75/ft2 depending on project type, variety of uses, complexity of systems and location of the project to name a few parameters. You may find it most helpful to get multiple proposal of fees and compare the scope to make sure everything required by LEED is covered without additional tasks.

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.

Design Development

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  • 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.

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.

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.

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 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.


  • 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. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental commissioning of building energy systems

    Required

    Intent

    To verify that the project’s energy-related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the owner’s project requirements, basis of design and construction documents.

    Benefits of commissioning include reduced energy use, lower operating costs, reduced contractor callbacks, better building documentation, improved occupant productivity and verification that the systems perform in accordance with the owner’s project requirements.

    Requirements

    The following commissioning process activities must be completed by the project team:

    • Designate an individual as the 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 the 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 project’s design and construction management, though the CxA may be an employee of any firms providing those services. The CxA may be a qualified employee or consultant of the owner.
      • The CxA must report results, findings and recommendations directly to the owner.
      • For projects smaller than 50,000 gross square feet (4,500 gross square meters), the CxA may be a qualified person on the design or construction teams who has the required experience.
    • The owner must document the owner’s project requirements. The design team must develop the basis of design. The CxA must review these documents for clarity and completeness. The owner and design team must be responsible for updates to their respective documents.
    • Develop and incorporate commissioning requirements into the construction documents.
    • Develop and implement a commissioning plan.
    • Verify the installation and performance of the systems to be commissioned.
    • Complete a summary commissioning report.
    Commissioned Systems

    Commissioning process activities must be completed for the following energy-related systems, at a minimum (if they are installed as part of the core and shell project):

    • Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems (mechanical and passive) and associated controls.
    • Lighting and daylighting controls.
    • Domestic hot water systems.
    • Renewable energy systems (e.g. wind, solar).
    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 performance of energy consuming systems. Complete the commissioning reports with recommendations prior to accepting 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 that impacts energy consumption, occupant comfort and indoor air quality. While this prerequisite does not require building envelope commissioning, an owner can achieve significant financial savings and reduce risk of poor indoor air quality by including it in the commissioning process.

    The LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, 2009 Edition provides guidance on the rigor expected for this prerequisite for the following:

    • 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.


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.


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.


ASHRAE Journal, February 2000: Establishing Commissioning Fees

This article, featured in ASHRAE Journal, February 2000, reviews the costs associated with commissioning of new building mechanical and electrical systems, using data from 19 facilities. Its purpose is to provide a means to estimate and justify commissioning costs.

Technical Guides

Whole Building Design Guide (Building Commissioning Association)

This webpage provides an overview of commissioning drivers, benefits, goals, and principles and general commissioning guides, standards, and resources.


Applications Team, Energy-Efficiency Design Applications: Measurement & Verification Documents

This website provides a list of resources to help teams implement an M&V program, the content ranges from guidelines to checklists.


International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol, Volume I

IPMVPThe International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides best-practice protocol for measurement and verification of new construction. This standard is referenced in LEED's measurement and verification credits. is the standard in which this credit is based on and these documents should be used in designing the M&V system and plan.


ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process

This technical guideline was put together by technical committees at ASHRAE.


International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol, Volume III

IPMVPThe International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides best-practice protocol for measurement and verification of new construction. This standard is referenced in LEED's measurement and verification credits. is the standard in which this credit is based on and these documents should be used in designing the M&V system and plan.


Building Commissioning Handbook, 2nd Edition

The handbook on best practices to follow during commissioning is published by the Building Commissioning Association.


M&V Guidelines: Measurement and Verification for Federal Energy Projects

These M&V guidelines are written for federal buildings but could be helpful for many projects.

Web Tools

Cx Assistant

A commissioning tool from Energy Design Resources that can estimate costs and develop sample scopes, 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. documents, BODs, and specifications.


California Commissioning Collaborative

The CCC develops cost effective programs, tools, techniques and a service delivery infrastructure to encourage the use of the building commissioning process in new and existing buildings.


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 Toolkit for Small Buildings

A free resource from the State of California, with commiissioning templates you can use.

Organizations

Building Commissioning Association

The Building Commissioning Association makes available a number of publications on commissioning.


Oregon Department of Energy, Conservation Division

The Oregon Dept. of Energy has assembled commissioning case studies of a number of Oregon buildings.


The National Environmental Balancing Bureau

NEBB offers publications, seminars, and certification of commissioning agents.


The AABC Commissioning Group

AABC offers training and certification of commissioning agents and publishes 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. Journal.

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 Agents

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

Construction Submittal

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

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 EA

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-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 restrictsions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

249 Comments

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jorge torres coto Building Systems Commissioning Engineer Empirical Engineering, LLC
Jul 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
369 Thumbs Up

VAV terminal unit modulation

I have a Tenant Improvement that has 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. terminal units connected to an existing VAV 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.. The contractor and owner decided to save money and utilize stand alone control. Though the problem with their solution is that the thermostats only have ON-OFF function and cannot modulate between dead band and full cooling (since the project does not have re-heat). I have looked and cannot find much, aside from ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Addendum h, that states that a VAV TU has to modulate. I do not think I am wrong in assuming this control logic, since the opposite is both uncomfortable for occupants and a waste of energy for the tenant.
Thanks

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Jorge, I am no expert on the systems you're describing but your logic sounds reasonable.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Nov 07 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

I would have to agree, to spend the money required for the 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. terminal, then turn it into an on/off device is terrible! There would also be an issue with ventilation and compliance with ASHRAE 62.1 as well, since ventilation would be shut off if the terminal is closed.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Jul 08 2013
LEEDuser Member
5216 Thumbs Up

Signatories

With LEED 2009 came mandatory online signatories for Owner, 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., Contractor, etc. Now that we are in version 4.0 and 5.0 forms, many of those signatories remain on the credit forms but are no longer designated "mandatory" nor do they indicate who is supposed to sign them.

When I queried GBCI about these new form signatory blocks, I received the following response: "If there is a signatory box on a prerequisite or credit form, you need to have a project team member initial it. If the role of the project team member is likely to raise questions among the review team, you should explain the rationale."

EApr1 is one of these forms. It has three signature blocks on it. Historically, two of them were assigned to the CxA and one of them was assigned to the Owner. The Owner was signing off that they had actually reviewed 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. document. Many of my CxAs tended to sign off all the boxes, even when one of them was clearly marked for the Owner. That was easy enough to fix.

So now is it okay for the CxA to sign this block affirming that the Owner reviewed the OPR? Or not? Would the CxA initials "raise questions" in this case? And how would you define a situation where the team member initialling would raise questions?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jul 09 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

I was hoping that some of the GBCI that haunt the forum would answer you. I have not used the v4 forms yet, so took a look at the sample. In my opinion, as 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., I am supposed to be seeking this document from the Owner and making sure that it represents their goals and criteria for the project, so I would be willing to initial that box in our process. I could also see the LEED Administrator or Prime initially that block, as they are typically heavily involved in 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. development as well.

Now, on projects where we are the EOR, I would sure think the owner should initial this, or at least the prime. That is my opinion.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Jul 09 2013 LEEDuser Member 5216 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Scott. I appreciate the response. It is a little aggravating to have to use a trial and error approach to things like this to find out what will work and what won't, especially after a direct question to GBCI. We very much prefer to get things right the first time, and clear direction is obviously a big part of that equation. I'll post what happens on the next project going thru review.

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Sara Heppe Senior Sustainable Designer, Clark Nexsen Oct 23 2013 LEEDuser Member 466 Thumbs Up

I'm also finding that I am questioning exactly who is supposed to sign their initials in the template. Did you ever figure out what was acceptable?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Sara. I answered your other question as well (see http://shar.es/ImcX3), but to me it is pretty straight forward. The person that signs should be the one that is required to answer the question. I am guessing you are wondering if someone other than the owner can answer the approval 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., and that is an open question. The Owner would be for sure, but the question of if the LEED Administrator or 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. can initial that is probably still open. With the new option to gain that approval using a separate document, it seems like you should be able to get the Owner without requiring them to log on and do it themselves (which I understand could be an issue with some clients).

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
May 01 2013
LEEDuser Member
2362 Thumbs Up

Chiller

Should the chiller be considered part of the commisioning and M&V metering even if it's serving other tenants as well?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC May 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

The quick, but probably unsatisfactory answer, would be “yes”. All energy using systems should be commissioned that serve the building, but there are some other aspects if dealing with a District Energy System (DES), but even that has some requirements.

To give better guidance, I would need a little more information. You mention “tenants”, does that mean you are doing a core and shell project, or is the chiller plant in your building feeding other buildings? Is the plant existing or being installed with your project?

The metering is a whole different question, and again depends on how it is being fed. If part of a DES, then the metering would likely be a BtuA unit of energy consumed by or delivered to a building. A Btu is an acronym for British thermal unit and is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units. meter for water used by your part of the project. Again, just do not have enough information to give you much more information.

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Ameet AA
Apr 29 2013
LEEDuser Member
1192 Thumbs Up

CxA Experience

LEED online template/ form require the following:

"Enter information for two projects commissioned 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. which are similar in scope and type to this LEED project building"

I am working on LEED 2009 for School campus project so does that mean, I can only appoint someone with similar TYPE (Core Learning Space: K-12, Elementary/Middle School) commissioing experience? Please advise.
Thank you

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 29 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Ameet, first, you do not have to post to every version of commissioning on LEEDuser. Most of us that are active will see it pretty much no matter where you post it. We will see it and answer it.

As for your question, perhaps someone from GBCI might reply, but at this point, we have tended to show projects of similar or larger scope, but not necessarily type. So if we are doing a school of approximately 50,000 sf, we would show schools if our 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. had them, but if not, then we would show projects that are of that or larger size, and with similar systems if possible. We would not assign someone to a 250,000 sf project if they had only done a 25,000 kind of scope…not alone for sure. Likewise, if we had someone that had pretty much only worked on large central plants with chillers and boilers, we would not assign them alone to a geothermal project. We have enough people that we can help all our commissioning agents to gain experience on a lot of different project types and systems, but I know not all firms have that ability.

Up to this point, I have not heard of GBCI pushing back on our CxAs. We tend to show other LEED projects, thinking that if they wanted to, they could look them up and confirm our people worked on those project.

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Ameet AA Apr 29 2013 LEEDuser Member 1192 Thumbs Up

Thank you Scott!
I am just confuse due to three different versions/ statement from the "Official" references as stated below,

1. FIRST VERSION : From “Who Can Be the Commissioning Authority?” 01/03/06 LEED 2.2 Commissioning Subcommittee, posted under LEED Reference Documents,

Regardless of who employs 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., he or she “shall have documented commissioning authority experience in at least two building projects” and ideally meet the minimum qualifications of having “a high level of experience in energy systems design, installation and operation, commissioning planning and process management, hands-on field experience with energy systems performance, interaction, startup, balancing, testing, troubleshooting, operation, and maintenance procedures and energy systems automation control knowledge.”

2. SCOND VERSION : LEED 2009 Guidebook Page 221
“For LEED projects, a qualified CxA should have experience with 2 other projects of similar MANAGERIAL and TECHNICAL complexity”

3.THIRD VERSION : LEED online template/ form require the following:

“Enter information for two projects commissioned by the CxA which are similar in SCOPE and TYPE to this LEED project building”

Thanks once again for your reply
Regards

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Benj Herrera LEED AP BD+C
Apr 29 2013
Guest
731 Thumbs Up

uploading OPR and BOD in the LEED On-Line

Who is allowed to upload 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. in the LEED On-Line?When can we upload these documents ?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 29 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Typically we have uploaded all the documents required for the commissioning credits. Remember for EAp1, you do not have to upload a lot of documents, depending on which way you are showing documentation. The documentation has changed with v2009, and is more streamlined in my opinion.

First, the owner will initial that they have approved 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..

Second, 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. will confirm that the OPR includes all the necessary items in the check boxes on the template.

Third, you confirm the systems that were commissioning.

Last, there are two options related to the commissioning report. First, if the report is complete (perhaps with just a few open items), then you upload an executive summary of the commissioning report, making sure to address the systems commissioned, summary of issues corrected, and listing any major outstanding or unresolved issues.

If the report is not done, then you are given the direction to upload a few more documents; an executive summary 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, signed contract with scope and timing described, and some sample prefunctional checklists and functional performance tests.

So under v2009, you do not have to upload the OPR at all, but you have to confirm it. Our full Cx Report that goes to the owner always includes the OPR 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. of course.

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Benj Herrera LEED AP BD+C Apr 30 2013 Guest 731 Thumbs Up

Hi Mr.Scott,
Thank you for your response coz this is my first time to handle in the construction side this EA credit.
On the LEED online form, when is the proper time for
(a) the Owner to initial -once he approves 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
(b) 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 inital -when he reveiwed the OPR 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. even before commissioning is done OR only after the commissioning is done?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Yes, I like to fill out and save the template as information is developed. When I get the project, and as soon as the administrator assigns the credit to me, I fill in the experience and initial that. Then once 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 finalize, I review and then check that all aspects are included in the template, and then ask the LEED administrator for the project to get the owner to initial that part. This can all be done before the project is commissioned. You just need to remember to save the form as you fill it in.

Things are always in a rush as the project nears the construction submittal, so I like having as much done as possible so I can concentrate on finish the functional testing and the final report.

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Benj Herrera LEED AP BD+C Apr 30 2013 Guest 731 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much for the quick response.I really appreciate it.I already followed your response and advised our LEED Administrator to ask the Owner and 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 initial on the box for review docs.
The next step will be the commissioning process...
Thanks again...

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Bill Holub
Apr 12 2013
Guest
49 Thumbs Up

Commissioing of Process Energy Use

Thanks in advance.

I have seen conflicting directions on whether and which process system need to be 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.'ed. Based on CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide's kitchen refrigeration systems have been identified as requiring CX; however, I've seen references that process boilers are not required if supplying industrial service. How for example would a steam boiler for sterilizers or autoclaves be considered? What about a process chiller for medical or laboratory equipment?

The question came up in a discussion on an ice rink chiller, so I went looking for an answer and ended up with more questions.

Does anyone have any experiences or guidance on determining which ‘process’ loads are required to be commissioned and which ones do not necessarily need to be commissioned?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

We do not have specific experience, as in most cases we were still contracted to commission those process systems, so they operated per 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.. Most of our clients look for 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. and not just limit the scope to what is required for LEED. Your example relates to healthcare, and in most of our work in that area, the owners are wanting very complete Cx on both the scope and the systems covered, so LEED is never an issue.

There is also the long discussion to have on random testing percentages, and which systems deserve 100% testing. For example, we are recommending 100% testing on occupancy testing and daylighting, as we have experienced high rates of failure and lack of appropriate adjustments and timing. Some clients understand that, others do not. However, it is always a good discussion.

Sorry that I cannot be of more help. If you end up asking a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide, please share with this community.

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Graham Langton Building Services Engineer, PM-Group Aug 14 2013 LEEDuser Member 117 Thumbs Up

Any update on this? I'm having the same issue with steam and compressed air systems which are fundamental to a manufacturing process.

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Omar Katanani
Apr 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
7861 Thumbs Up

Partial Commissioning at the time of submission

Hi,
LEED allows to submit for Commissioning if 2 systems are completely commissioned.

LEEDOnline differentiates between "Lighting Controls" and "Daylighting Controls". The LEED Reference Guide groups these 2 together.

Can these 2 be considered 2 different systems (i.e., can we submit under the "partial commissioning" option if these 2 systems are fully commissioned?

Thanks!

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 12 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Not sure how to answer this, as I know of no “partial” commissioning. All energy consuming systems must be commissioned. We consider these as two systems, in that lighting control is normally switching or occupancy control, where daylighting is dimming or stepping. The latter requires a much different approach to 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. to make sure it is adjusted right to get the most energy savings.

What do you base your “partial” commissioning option upon?

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Omar Katanani Apr 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 7861 Thumbs Up

Hi Scott,

In LEEDOnline, you have the option of submitting the EA Prerequisite 1 for Construction Review, even if not all systems have been fully commissioned.

All you need is:
1) sample functional checklists for at least 2 of the commissioned systems, and
2) a copy of the signed commissioning contract confirming when the remaining systems will be commissioned

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 12 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Ok, it is not what you commission that you are asking, it is more a question of when you submit. Sorry, I misunderstood.

I have never used this option, we always have the report done and only have a few items left to be resolved by the time the contractors are ready with their credits. We do not like to be the last one to mark our credits ready to submit, but we also like having most of the action items resolved, and perhaps the only things left are seasonal testing and the warranty review (for enhanced).

So I cannot give you guidance, but in my opinion, lighting would be one system, there are just two aspects you are testing. But again, I have not used this option ever, so do not know how GBCI would look at this.

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Jared Silliker Owner Silliker + Partners
Feb 19 2013
LEEDuser Member
929 Thumbs Up

Standard PV commissioning?

Does anybody have a standard checklist or list of data points for commissioning a PV system?

Related, is it OK for 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. to ask the PV sub to gather data for 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. purposes vs. doing it themselves?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 26 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Jared, I don't have a checklist. Let me know if you find one so that we can post it.

Regarding data gathering, seems to me that it depends on the scope. Clearly you don't want the PV sub 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. on their own system, so the project CxA has to independently check the system.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 08 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

What you test all depends on how the system is configured. We confirm the installation diagram and what protective devices are called for by the contract documents and the system shop drawing. Then we have the electrical contractor demonstrate that the meters or other measuring devices are reading correctly through independent measurement. If there is a connection to the DDC system, we confirm the reporting, and as you indicate, get a trend log of production for a week or two.

As to the validity of asking for trends, we do that all the time, and use data loggers where appropriate as an independent confirmation. Asking for trend logs as part of functional testing also sets up good tools for the owner going forward, as we choose the key performance indicators for those charts, which will be useful after we are done.

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Carly Ruggieri Senior Sustainability Consultant Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Feb 18 2013
Guest
985 Thumbs Up

Commissioning for NC Tenant Fit-outs

A project of mine is a high-rise residential building with 6 floors of commercial spaces that will be fit-out by future tenants. LEED-NC is the best fit for the project since the residential portion is over 60% of the GSF; the whole building will be included in the LEED scope and the owner will be providing tenant guidelines as required for the commercial tenant spaces. Commissioning is planned to take place for the residential areas and base-building systems that will provide for the commercial tenant spaces, but since equipment installed by tenants is outside of the project scope, it is also outside of the project 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 scope.

I couldn't find any guidance on commissioning for tenant fit-out spaces within an NC project. Has anyone had success with following a similar method? I don't want any prerequisite surprises during the reviews. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Carly, have you cross-checked the LEED-CI EAp1 guidance for help?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Make that LEED-CS.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 28 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

We just completed a slightly different scenario, where the base project was CS, but a major tenant was going for CI. We were selected to be the enhanced 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 both projects, to different owners. There was no requirement in the lease that the tenant do commissioning or that they even pursue CI, but they did. Interestingly, the CS got Platinum, and the CI got Gold.

As far as I know, you can only commission what is installed in the project, and that could include some systems that are installed for the shell spaces.

Now, we also just completed an NC project that had a small shell space, and for that there was a complex requirement to ensure that a future tenant would comply with all the basic requirements of the building, basically a green lease. There was a LEED consultant on the project, and I know it was fairly intensive what she went through to get this documented, but do not know if it included a requirement to commission the project when it was done. Our only scope was to make sure the heat pumpA type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source. in that shell space was functional, and had no future scope for that space.

Perhaps someone that has some experience with green leases and how shell space is handled in a NC project can help.

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Edward Clark Sustainable Designer ZGF Architects
Jan 22 2013
LEEDuser Member
555 Thumbs Up

OPR Never Produced

I was added to the project after construction due to staffing changes. An 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. was never produced. The design meets and exceeds the owner's goals and commissioning has been completed. 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 on board at 50% DD and their comments were addressed by the design team. It seems that the intent of the prerequisite was met, but an actual OPR was not produced? Any ideas on how to adress this within the credit form? Do I have the owner not check the boxes and attach a document expalining the circumstance?

Thanks

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Jan 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Unfortunately this occurs all too often. 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. seem to be forgotten in the early part of the project, and yet are so important in establishing the sustainability expectations of the owner. I have written an article for a risk control group that is part of our professional liability insurer promoting well written and communicated OPR and BOD as not just part of the process, but a vital risk management tool.

Enough lecture, that is now what you came here for! I feel that you need to work with the owner to “recreate” the OPR based on the original project program and materials communicated early in the project. The owner should be the author of this document, but we often help our clients develop this based on information that was used early in the project and put it into a form that can be called an OPR. We have done this on projects where fundamental commissioning was brought on quite late, or on a few project where one of the early Action Items was that no OPR existed.

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Richard Woodward Associate GKV Architects
Dec 20 2012
LEEDuser Member
67 Thumbs Up

Commissioning Walk-in Freezers / Coolers

We have a mixed use new office / commercial kitchen project with owner occupiers.

Please clarify if there a requirement to include Walk-in Freezers / Coolers and associated compressors in the fundamental 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. scope?

Assuming yes:
The kitchen equipment is being specified by a specialty consultant separate to the MEP + 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. engineering consultant. The Cx team is not positioned to commission this equipment. Could a second specialty kitchen CxA be submitted to complete the terms of the prerequisite?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Dec 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Yes, all energy using systems are to be part of the commissioning scope of work for LEED. The need for specialized testing is dependent on what kind of controls are being used for these coolers and equipment. For example, in newer grocery stores, the refrigerated cases have occupancy sensors on the lighting, and there are some other controls that may adjust parameters for the compressors, but it all depends on the sophistication of the controls, not so much the equipment.

If you need special expertise, you could use a sub-consultant.

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Richard Woodward Associate, GKV Architects Dec 21 2012 LEEDuser Member 67 Thumbs Up

Thanks Scott,
The LEED 2009 NC handbook [page 217] states under 'Commissioned Systems' that refrigeration systems and associated controls are certainly included in 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. scope. However this sits under the rider "Commissioning process activities must be completed for the following energy-related systems, at a minimum (if they are installed as part of the core and shell project)."
It is this last sentence that we feel is in question. Although this is new construction which is not divided formally into C&S and CI, would not these walk-ins naturally fall into the later category, rather than C&S building systems, and hence not be included in the minimum credit prerequisite?

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Dec 21 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

I do not think you can apply the distinction of the C&S versus the CI if you are not going to pursue those two products. There are cases where a section of a building is shelled for future use or development as a 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., and there are limits to how large that space can be. For example, we have don projects for one owner, where there was a small space that ultimately is intended to be a small food vendor or snack stand, but it would be a tenant arrangement. In that case, the area was small enough it could be excluded from consideration in the LEED certification.

In your case, assuming this is a single building being built for the owners use, I do not think you can depend on separating this. The danger of being rejected for a prerequisite on what I would expect to be a fairly small scope of work (but I clearly do not know your project) would be too high in my opinion. If there is some other issue not expressed here, you should definitely ask for a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide on your issue. Remember, state your intention and then justify why you feel that is the right way to go.

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ANNE JURAN Senior Engineer Summer Consultants, Inc.
Oct 10 2012
Guest
112 Thumbs Up

Can AE-1 be CxA?

We prepared the RFP (or bridging documents) for a design-build project. The owner would like us to commission the project, possibly even doing Enhanced Commissioning.

The contractor's engineering firm will be the engineer of record. Table 2 of EAp1 uses the qualification "disinterested employee of engineer". Two paragraphs above the table it says, "...have responsibility for design (e.g., be the engineer of record)..." Does this mean that the "engineer" is only the engineer of record? As AE-1 are we separate enough from the design to 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.?

It seems like one of our employees who has not worked on the project could do fundamental commissioning. Could this person do enhanced? Could a person on the team that did the RFP do fundamental and/or enhanced?

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Oct 10 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4446 Thumbs Up

Entities having the necessary experience can perform the Fundamental Commissioning on buildings less than 50,000 sqft - regardless of project responsibilities. Buildings greater than 50,000 sqft require 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. performing Fundamental Commissioning to be "disinterested" or a construction manager "not holding constructor contracts" or "independent consultant to the owner" or "owner employee".

Enhanced Commissioning requires the CxA to be either subcontracted to the A/E firm, construction manager not holding costuctor contracts, independent consultant to the owner, or directly employed by the owner (i.e. owner staff).

So in answer to your questions, the entity who prepared the RFP could perform the Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning as long as they do not have design responsibilities, have the necessary previous commissioning experience, and do not hold constructor contracts.

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ANNE JURAN Senior Engineer, Summer Consultants, Inc. Oct 11 2012 Guest 112 Thumbs Up

I guess my question is where does GBCI draw the line at "design"? Our RFP had systems sized and controls completed. In the design-bid-build realm, it would have been a good concept submission. Is "design" defined as the engineer of record?

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Jan Wei Director of Commissioning & Critical System, Edwards & Zuck Oct 11 2012 Guest 532 Thumbs Up

The "Design Team" refers to the A/E team on the project. Based on the information you have provided, it is kind of hard to understand your role in the overall scheme. I am assuming you are an architectural firm that is putting the RFP for your client. In this case you will be part of the Design Team and allow to perform Fundamental Commissioning within your firm, as long as the person is qualify and has no design responsibility. In reference to Enhanced Commissioning, both Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning tasks have to be done by an outside firm (independent of the A/E and Construction team). But the independent firm CAN be a subcontractor of the A/E firm, as long as the A/E are not holding the construction contract. In your case, the Design-Build team can't be the one that perform the Enhanced Commissioning.

Hope this helps.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 18 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

This issue was raised under CS in July, and apparently the person got a response to a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide. Now, I tried to find this CIR, and it is not posted, but I do not know how fast the posting is after decisions, or if this was a private interpretation for the project, not for the product.

Here is the link that that part of LEEDuser:

http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CS-2009/EAp1?page=0#comment-28229

Here is the answer they got, for a very similar situation:

"The project in question is a greater than 500,000 square feet, multi-building “design and build” project and is asking whether the A&E firm, who is only responsible for the conceptual design of the project, qualifies for the 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.) for EAp1 (Fundamental Commissioning) and EAc3 (Enhance Commissioning).

Please note, since the A&E firm has schematic design responsibilities for this project, for example, the drawings and written specifications required for RFP documentation and for the issuance of the building permit ["they are NOT the engineer of record" that will be shown on the "as built"] as described does not qualify for a “disinterested” party. “Disinterested” means the party has no project responsibilities other than commissioning. For projects larger than 50,000 square feet, the individual serving as the CxA on a LEED project must be independent of the project’s design and construction teams.

Note that the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, 2009 Edition (Updated June 2010), EAp1 Section 5 Table 2, Commissioning Authority Qualifications, has clearly defined the requirements for the CxA qualifications. The employee of the A&E firm who are responsible for the conceptual design of the project do not qualify for the CxA for both fundamental commissioning and enhanced commissioning tasks. If the commissioning tasks will be completed by “disinterested” employee of the firm, who do not have design responsibilities for this project, the individuals qualify for the CxA for fundamental commissioning tasks. Therefore, in this case, the project is eligible for EAp1 but not for EAc3."

So, based on this, I do not think that the firm doing the RFP or bridging documents can be the Enhanced CxA.

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Jalal Avades President AGR Consulting, LLC
Aug 20 2012
LEEDuser Member
226 Thumbs Up

Sample Commisioned Projects Criteria

What are the requirements/criteria to meet the 'Representative Projects'? to qualify as a Commissioning Agent under LEED?

When you fill the fields for sample project, does it matter what type of building (function), gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. or the kind of systems commissioned.

So having experience in commissioning of HVAC/RTU's/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.'s/Pumps/Etc. but with NO actual commissioning of chillers or cooling towers but decades of experience in designing these systems. Would that person qualify for being 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. under the LEED guidelines.

Also, the largest building they commissioined was 100kSF while this project is 150kSF would that also be an issue?

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Chris Ladner Partner, Viridian Aug 21 2012 Guest 2203 Thumbs Up

All of the things that you have mentioned are important when defining 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. experience. I think experience with the commissioned systems is the most relevant. The experience with building of similar type is also important to make sure the CxA has a background in the buildings operational systems, schedules, and idiosyncrasies of a specific type of facility.

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Andrew Cooper
Jul 11 2012
Guest
18 Thumbs Up

EAp1 Fundamental commissioning domestic hot water question

Hello, I have a project in which I commissioned and the review comments came back that I did not include the kitchen sinks in my scope of work for the domestic hot water systems? All the literature only states domestic hot water systems in the commissioning scope and to date I have only included domestic water heaters and associated recirc pumps under this "umbrella description". Has anyone else run into needing to include kitchen sinks? If so, what exactly would I need to test on a kitchen sink from a commissioning standpoint?

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David Hubka Director of Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Jul 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4446 Thumbs Up

Hello Andrew. You are correct, only DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating. heaters and associated circulating pumps need to be commissioned. On projects in which I've recieved this comment I've responded by stating that the LEED reference guide does not require the commissioning of plumbing fixtures. The reviewer has then awarded the prereq/credit.

However, if you were to commissioning a plumbing fixture you would verify the flow/flush rate is consistent the construction documents; or that auto-sensors work per the stated sequence.

Hope this help!

-dave

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner, Green Living Projects s.l. Aug 20 2012 LEEDuser Member 2145 Thumbs Up

Andrew, David,
I am doing a project that includes fixtures but no hot water system. I received a similar comment. I am planning on responding that the LEED reference guide does not require commissioning of plumbing fixtures ad you did.

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Nena Elise
Jul 07 2012
LEEDuser Member
3395 Thumbs Up

Hotel

To satisfy the LEED requirements, does every room in a hotel have to be commissioned?

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LEED Consultant Green Building and Alternative Energy
Jul 06 2012
LEEDuser Member
1376 Thumbs Up

OPR Translation

I'm from Mexico and my client ask me to translate the 120 page 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. document from Spanish to English with the argument that USGBC will need it that way.

The templates of this prerequisite and the credit don´t ask to upload the OPR, do I have to translate it in terms of LEED documentation?

I understand that OPR is a document that leads everyone's mind in 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. team and because we are in Mexico, there´s no need to work with a document in a different language. Am I right?

Thank you.

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Nicole Ferrini Director of Sustainability PSRBB Commercial Group
Jun 07 2012
Guest
183 Thumbs Up

Absolute 50% CDs for Enhanced Commissioning?

I have a project that is approximately 75% complete with CD's. Both 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 myself (LEED AP) have just been brought on board. How strict is the 50% requirement for enhanced commissioning. Is the 75% mark too late to make the attempt?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 08 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7012 Thumbs Up

Nicole,
This is actually a question for the EAc3 forum. There are no design document review requirements for the fundamental commissioning agent.
The requirement for LEED is that the Enhanced 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. conduct a commissioning design review of the "design documents prior to the mid-construction documents phase and back-check the review comments in the subsequent design submission." In my experience 75% CD is not too late to be considered a mid-CD review. There are times when project deliveries skip around and there is no 50% CD delivery, only a 75% CD delivery. This has not been an issue when we submit our documentation.

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Nicole Ferrini Director of Sustainability, PSRBB Commercial Group Jun 11 2012 Guest 183 Thumbs Up

Dylan,
Thank you so much! You're right...I was thinking of EAc3. We are working 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. now. We'll see how it goes from here.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Nicole, we still have a few projects that were either out for pricing/bidding or way past the 50% that we are performing enhanced commissioning on, but the owner understands that the odds are that they will not get the points, but understand the value of the actions this brings to the project. We did our normal peer review, and some change orders were issued to address some of the comments.

This tends to be on projects where a client has not had LEED or 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. experience yet, so everything is new. These clients then tend to understand the process and we do not see the problem again. Again, expectation is everything. When the projects came up, we focused on the value of the service, not in any way assure them they would get the points. In fact, we really told them we would document the process but are very open to GBCI on the dates and activities, but they should not count on the points.

Enhanced activities bring value, it just becomes much harder the later in the process the peer or design review comes.

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Jalal Avades President AGR Consulting, LLC
May 10 2012
LEEDuser Member
226 Thumbs Up

When Fundemental Commissioning Should start

We have a project that is currently in construction and the client would like to go LEED. When during project timelline does GBCI consider that it is too late to consider LEED because of the commissioning process had to have started by ......!
Again they are in Construction Now and we want to do the prerequisite only.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group May 15 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7012 Thumbs Up

Technically your project could likely still pursue LEED assuming you meet all the other prerequisites.

These are statements in the NC reference guide that are related to your question:
"Although EA Prerequisite 1 does not require 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 be on the project team until just before the equipment installation phase, if brought in earlier, he or she can also help the owner develop the project requirements and assist with other important commissioning tasks."

You will however still need to have created a Commissioning Spec and 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. :
"Develop and incorporate commissioning requirements into the construction documents."
"The design team must document the basis of design for the systems to be commissioned prior to approval of contractor submittals of any commissioned equipment or systems."

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Scott Rosch Simes & Rosch, LLC
Apr 10 2012
Guest
83 Thumbs Up

Confirmation of Commissioning Experience

Given the subjective nature of LEED credit reviews, and the fact that a contract for commissioning is awarded and so much of the work is done prior to review of this credit, is there a means of obtaining pre-approval of what constitutes 'two projects of similar scope and type'?

Would experience on projects of slightly greater complexity and/or square footage be acceptable, even if the occupancy type was different?

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Chris Ladner Partner, Viridian May 01 2012 Guest 2203 Thumbs Up

Scott, I am not aware of any pre-approval 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.. I feel that the intent is to ensure that the CxA has the experience to commissioning the system types found in your project. I have not experienced, or know of anyone who has, any problems if the CxA good relative experience.

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

I have had similar experience to Chris, if you show good experience, this is not been an issue.

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Patana Rattananavathong
Jan 25 2012
Guest
91 Thumbs Up

Criteria of choosing CxA

There are about 3 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. sent me their proposals. This is my first project and I wonder that are their any criteria for choosing CxA.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 06 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Patana, there aren't really any objective requirements. If it's a LEED project, then experience with LEED is a big plus. Experience, attention to detail, knowledge.... anything to assess the quality of work you can expect from them.

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E. Clark
Jan 11 2012
Guest
53 Thumbs Up

Multifamliy Residential?

If a rather large multifamily project has individual heat pumps within each unit, does each heat pump need to be commissioned? Each domestic hot water unit? Are there any assumptions that can be applied to identical units and associated equipment that may help to reduce commissioning scope and associated fee?

Thanks in advance for your time.

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Chris Ladner Partner, Viridian Jan 12 2012 Guest 2203 Thumbs Up

All the referenced commissioning guidelines allow for, and even suggest, sampling for some systems. Sampling should be used to balance rigor with cost-effectiveness. I would suggest reviewing ASHRAE Guideline 0 and Guideline 1 for more guidance on sampling.

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Jeremy Kuhre Sustainable Buildings & Operations Manager, Sustainable Solutions Corporation Oct 15 2012 LEEDuser Member 720 Thumbs Up

Chris, we have a very similar situation to Ed's: one to three PTACs per dwelling unit in a 300+ unit multi-family high rise. From your comment and LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #5125, it is fairly clear to me that a sampling rate is allowed for performance testing/functional checklist. However, can the same sampling rate (e.g. 15%) be applied to start-up/pre-functional checklist?

Obviously the mechanical contractor will be executing the manufacturer's start-up process on 100% of the units, so I guess what I'm really asking is, "can 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. simply witness/verify proper start-up of a sample of units?" If anyone has successfully documented this approach, I'd love to hear from you!

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Michael Miller Project Architect Oct 18 2012 Guest 2151 Thumbs Up

Depending on the circumstances of the project, you could also register the project under LEED for Homes Multifamily Mid-Rise in lieu of NC. It is much more cognizant of the particularities of multifamily projects, including issues like this.

(We have been told that USGBC is open to admitting high-rise projects to Homes Mid-Rise on a case-by-case pilot basis.)

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Scott Bowman Owner, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 19 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5551 Thumbs Up

Jeremy;

We always required the contractors to provide 100% of the Pre-Functional Checklists (PFC) to be submitted. We ask for the start-up reports from manufacturers to be attached to those reports. When we statistically do 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. (FPT), we are verifying the accuracy of the PFC. I do not see a separate “confirmation” of the PFC/Start-up.

Now, as part of the scope discussion with an owner, we will often suggest that there are some start-ups that we should witness, and that becomes part of the scope/fee negotiation.

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Jeremy Kuhre Sustainable Buildings & Operations Manager, Sustainable Solutions Corporation Oct 23 2012 LEEDuser Member 720 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your responses. Scott, we are intending to proceed exactly as you have described with some witnessing of critical equipment.

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Ameet AA
Jan 11 2012
LEEDuser Member
1192 Thumbs Up

Commissioning Authority (CxA) Regional experience?

LEED user guide states that 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. must have Documented commissioning authority experience in at least 2 building projects.

1) 2 Building project could be from any region? or must be from the same country/region as the project they will be appointed?

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Chris Ladner Partner, Viridian Jan 11 2012 Guest 2203 Thumbs Up

There is no restriction on which region the project experience is from. The goal is utilize 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. with experience executing the commissiong process.

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Ameet AA Jan 11 2012 LEEDuser Member 1192 Thumbs Up

Hi Chris, Thank you very much for your reply with regards to My 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. query.

I am in a middle of registering a Campus level project (football Academy) with multiple buildings using 2010 AGMBC.

The project has indoor football pitches within the stadium as well as 5 outdoor football pitches around the stadiums. Do I have to include these football pitches into the GFA while registering the project as master site?

The certification fees are based on square footage so if I include the pitches into GFA the cost would be very high.

I would be delighted if you could advise. Thank you

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