NC-v4 EAp1: Fundamental commissioning and verification

  • Benefits of commissioning

    Disconnected damper actuatorCommissioning is a quality-assurance process that is applied to systems to prove that performance meets a specification. Commissioning has a long history going back to analog technologies (its origins are in shipbuilding), but digital control of building systems makes it even more crucial today. Computer control of building systems means that it is impossible to see by observation if HVAC and other systems have been programmed correctly. Are sensors sensing what they are supposed to? Testing and documenting is the only way to confirm the operation and performance of today’s buildings.

    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.) verifies 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 responsible for checking minor construction details, and subcontractors, who may inadvertently err on key items like fan power settings or sensor locations or program codes. 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 or highly experienced technician.

    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 or wrong or poorly written code, avoiding occupant complaints and callbacks, indoor air quality and thermal comfort problems, premature equipment failure, and litigation.

    Consider going beyond fundamental

    LEED divides the commissioning process into two parts, with the commissioning process for both fundamental and enhanced starting prior to the completion of design documents.

    Note that this division has changed in LEED v4, so review the scope carefully. Fundamental commissioning requires a review of project documents (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.) and review of project design drawings, and then focuses primarily on the construction phase, with the CxACommissioning authority: 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. verifying the installation and operation of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and renewable energy systems.

    In LEED v4, this has been expanded. For example, fundamental commissioning includes developing a Current Facilities RequirementsThe implementation of the owner's project requirements, developed to confirm the owner's current operational needs and requirements. (CFRCurrent facilities requirements: the implementation of the owner's project requirements, developed to confirm the owner's current operational needs and requirements.) plan, which is a slimmer version of the Systems Manual that is a requirement of enhanced commissioning.

    Enhanced commissioning in v4 has a slightly broader scope with greater involvement by the CxA before and after construction as one option. Before construction, the CxA reviews contractor submittals, and verifies that owner requirements for the systems manual and operator training are incorporated in construction documents. After construction, the CxA compiles and then verifies the systems manual delivery, verifies the completion and effectiveness of operator training, verifies seasonal testing, develops an ongoing commissioning plan, and conducts a warranty phase review within 8–10 months of building occupancy. Enhanced commissioning expands the role of the CxA during construction and after completion.

    Also, envelope commissioning has been added as an option in v4, which brings both fundamental and enhanced commissioning techniques to the envelope of the building. The envelope of the building represents the future fixed cost of energy for the life of the building: commissioning it is effort well-spent. Envelope commissioning is very different from mechanical commissioning, though, because a major part of the benefit occurs during design review. Testing is imperative during early construction, be it of a mock-up assembly or an initial assembly completed within the building. Testing may still be done during construction and at completion, but remediation at those stages could be difficult and expensive.

    The Enhanced Commissioning credit is open to any project, but project teams sometimes choose not to pursue it due to the increased cost and uncertainty around its benefits. However, with the increase in scope of fundamental commissioning in LEED v4, the cost difference between the two has narrowed. That could make enhanced commissioning more attractive.

    Commissioning costs can vary widely depending on the size and complexity of a given project. Some estimates show the cost ranging from $0.19–$1.50 per square foot. By another metric, the cost may be 1.00%–1.25% of the total project cost. The enhanced commissioning scope will certainly fall into the higher end of these cost spectrums In LEED 2009, enhanced commissioning carried a predictable premium over fundamental; but only time will tell what the premium looks like under LEED v4.

    What’s new in LEED v4

    The updates to this prerequisite boil down to changes in three areas:

    • Clarification around requirements related to the commissioning authority’s experience and employment, and the timing of their involvement in the project
    • Expanded scope of required services relating to commissioning mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; and addition of limited scope related to building envelope
    • Inclusion of systems review and documentation development, which was previously part of the enhanced commissioning credit scope

    Which systems must be commissioned?

    Include at least the following systems in the scope of commissioning:

    • Mechanical – including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration, plus associated controls
    • Electrical – including lighting and controls, daylighting, service, and distribution, plus associated controls
    • Plumbing – including domestic hot water systems, pumps, and controls
    • Renewable energy systems

    Note that the scope of commissioning activities required for electrical and plumbing systems has been expanded in LEED v4. There’s also a new requirement for the CxA to verify that building envelope requirements are described in the owner’s project requirements (OPROwner's project requirements: a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) and basis of designThe 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. (BODBasis of design: the 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.) during the design phase. However, full envelope commissioning is not required unless Option 2 in Enhanced Commissioning is pursued. These changes from LEED 2009 are described in more detail below.

    Selecting a commissioning agent

    For most projects the CxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, an employee of the design or construction firm who is not directly involved in the design or construction of the project, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design or construction team.

    The intent is to hire a CxA with no conflicts of interest so they can provide clear, objective leadership in executing the commissioning process and ensuring that both the owner’s goals and 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. are achieved.

    There are a few exceptions to the above:

    • The CxA maybe a qualified member of the project’s design or construction firm if:The CxA may notbe an employee of the design or construction firm if the project is also pursuing Enhanced Commissioning. However, the CxA may be a subcontractor to the general contractor if certain conditions are followed—see more under the FAQs below. Typically it is advisable for projects pursuing both fundamental and enhanced commissioning use the same CxA for all tasks.
      • The project is less than 20,000 square feet (this is a change from LEED 2009, where the threshold was 50,000 square feet).
      • The project is a small data center or space requiring specialized knowledge of systems. “Small” in this case means that the computer room cooling load is less than 2,000,000 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./h (600 kW), or the total computer room peak cooling load is less than 600,000 Btu/h (175 kW). 

    No matter who fills the role of CxA on your project, or how they are contracted, they should note all conditions that are not aligned with the owner’s requirements and design intent, and report these findings and any recommendations directly to the owner.

    How can be the commissioning agent?

    Requirements for the commissioning agent’s qualifications

    You must select a “qualified” commissioning agent to order to meet this prerequisite. In this case, “qualified” means that the individual must have experience performing commissioning tasks from early design through at least 10 months of occupancy on at least two projects that are similar to the LEED project. Similar in this case does not only mean project size, though that may certainly be a factor. More importantly, the CxA’s experience should include projects with similar or more complex system types and/or space use. 

    When to engage a commissioning agent

    To meet the prerequisite requirements the CxA needs to be engaged before the end of the design development phase. This gives the CxA the opportunity to review the OPR, BOD, and design documents; provide valuable insight into potential design optimization strategies; and begin implementing the commissioning process to ensure a coordinated effort during construction.

    Required systems documentation

    The CxA is responsible for developing a current facilities requirements (CFR) document and operations and maintenance (O&M) plan. The CFR and O&M plan serve as a reference for the owner and the building operating personnel throughout occupancy, providing a comprehensive source of information that can be used to diagnose whether a system is operating to its intended settings. See the Reference Guide for the items that must be addressed in the CFR and O&M plan.

    Scope of Work for LEED v4 Fundamental Commissioning

    Predesign

    • Owner develops Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR)

    Schematic Design

    • Design team develops Basis of Design (BOD)

    Design Development

    • Owner designates CxA by the end of the design development phase, sooner if possible
    • CxA reviews OPR and BOD
    • CxA conducts commissioning review of design drawings
    • CxA develops initial commissioning plan
    • Owner and Design Team update OPR and BOD as necessary 

    Construction Documents

    • Project team incorporates commissioning requirements into construction documents 

    Construction and Installation

    • CxA verifies the installation and performance of commissioned systems
    • CxA performs systems 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.

    Occupancy and Operation

    • CxA develops final commissioning report
    • CxA compiles Current Facilities Requirements (CFR) and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Manual

    Expanded requirements for electrical, plumbing, and envelope systems

    The requirements for commissioning these systems have been expanded in LEED v4.

    • Electrical systems: In addition to the usual testing of lighting systems and controls, electrical commissioning now requires a review of the electrical service and distribution. Whereas commissioning under LEED 2009 focused on energy efficiency and system functionality, goals now extend to system durability and reliability. As such, the CxA must now look for design and construction documentation to clearly show the path of electricity from the service entry to switchgear to distribution panels to equipment, for electrical panels to be balanced, and for information such as grounding specifications and emergency power requirements to be included. During the performance phase, the CxA may coordinate the measurement of voltage and amperage readings across phases at the power supply to a given piece of equipment.
    • Plumbing systems: The plumbing systems commissioning scope now extends from just domestic hot water (DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating.) systems to any energy-consuming plumbing equipment and its associated control. This mainly means pumps. In addition to DHW circulation pumps, the scope should now include pumping and any automatically controlled valves associated with house water systems and non-potable systems such as stormwater, irrigation, sump, and vacuum return.
    • Building envelope: LEED v4 places a greater emphasis on building envelope commissioning (BECx) to support optimization of envelope performance. To that end, Enhanced Commissioning now includes an option to increase points by executing a full envelope commissioning process in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3-2012. While this is not required for the prerequisite, EAp1 does lay the groundwork for envelope commissioning by requiring the CxA to review the envelope design and verify that the requirements and specifications for the envelope are included in the OPR and BOD. Note that BECx can be done and points achieved without performing enhanced commissioning on energy systems.

    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. Past experience of the CxA should also factor in related to issues seen in similar systems or units.

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

    Projects pursuing only the prerequisite and with area less than 20,000 ft2 may employ a qualified member of the project’s design or construction firm to act as CxA. To be fully qualified, the individual must have experience performing commissioning tasks from early design through at least 10 months of occupancy on at least two similar projects. For any project exceeding 20,000 ft2 or any project pursuing Enhanced Commissioning, the CxA must be independent of both teams. In either case, the CxA is appointed by and reports directly to the owner.

    What type of certification is the CxA required to have?

    USGBC does not require any certifications. The commissioning agent must demonstrate experience on two similar projects, with direct involvement spanning from the early design phase through at least 10 months of occupancy. There are several certifications available, but ultimately it will be the direct personal qualifications of the CxA that matters. One recommended way to check qualifications is to follow up on references of any CxA.

    What kinds of projects must the CxA demonstrate experience on?

    The CxA’s prior project experience should be similar to the project for which the CxA is being hired. Project size is one aspect to consider, but certainly not the most important or only consideration. The experience should include projects with similar (or more complex) system types or space types. For example, if your project involves the construction of a hospital with complex systems serving multiple critical zones with a vast array of controls, it would be most beneficial to employ a CxA with documented experience commissioning a project with similar characteristics. But a CxA with extensive experience in commercial office space which has central systems and ventilation systems would most likely be able to handle a school.

    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 authority’s responsibility is to inform the project owner of findings and their effect on building performance. It is the owner’s responsibility to choose a proper course of action. The CxA will document all issues and resolutions over the course of the project.

    The commissioning 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 GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)., 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 required.

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

    It doesn't appear possible, no. While previous LEED Interpretations permitted “fast track” fundamental commissioning beginning during the construction phase, the LEED v4 requirements explicitly state that the CxA must be engaged before the design development phase has been completed.

    Can the CxA be contracted through the general contractor if the owner requires a single contract for the project?

    There are some owners that require a single contract for all work related to a project, as in design-build delivery. Typically, the general contractor will then hold the contracts for all design and construction team members.

    LEED Interpretation #10244 was updated to apply to both v2009 and v4 to allow a CxA to be contracted through the general contractor with some restrictions. This Interpretation would also apply to newer contracting methods like Integrated Project Delivery, where there are multiple signatures to a single overall contract. It states that the CxA can be “contracted to the general contractor or a subcontractor of the general contractor in limited circumstances.” Since the design team will likely be a subcontractor of the general contractor, they could hold the CxA contract. Constraints include: 1) the Cx firm cannot be a subsidiary or partner of any firm in the project; 2) CxA must be approved by owner; and 3) the CxA must report directly to the owner.

  • EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental commissioning and verification

    Intent

    To support the design, construction, and eventual operation of a project that meets the owner’s project requirements for energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

    Requirements

    Commissioning Process Scope

    Complete the following 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.) process activities for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and renewable energy systems and assemblies, in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 and ASHRAE Guideline 1.1–2007 for HVAC&R Systems, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

    Requirements for exterior enclosures are limited to inclusion in the owner’s 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.) and basis of designThe 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. (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.), as well as the review of the OPROwner's project requirements: a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project., BODBasis of design: the 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 project design. NIBS Guideline 3-2012 for Exterior Enclosures provides additional guidance.

    • Develop the OPR.
    • Develop a BOD

    The commissioning authority The individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.(CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) must do the following:

    • Review the OPR, BOD, and project design.
    • Develop and implement a CxCommissioning: 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. plan.
    • Confirm incorporation of Cx requirements into the construction documents.
    • Develop construction checklists.
    • Develop a system test procedure.
    • Verify system test execution.
    • Maintain an issues and benefits log throughout the Cx process.
    • Prepare a final Cx process report.
    • Document all findings and recommendations and report directly to the owner throughout the process.

    The review of the exterior enclosure design may be performed by a qualified member of the design or construction team (or an employee of that firm) who is not directly responsible for design of the building envelope.

    Commissioning Authority

    By the end of the design development phase, engage a commissioning authority with the following qualifications.

    • The CxACommissioning authority: 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 process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work. The experience must extend from early design phase through at least 10 months of occupancy;
    • The CxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or an employee of the design or construction firm who is not part of the project’s design or construction team, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design or construction team.
      • For projects smaller than 20,000 square feet (1 860 square meters), the CxA may be a qualified member of the design or construction team In all cases, the CxA must report his or her findings directly to the owner.

    Project teams that intend to pursue EA Credit Enhanced Commissioning should note a difference in the CxA qualifications: for the credit, the CxA may not be an employee of the design or construction firm nor a subcontractor to the construction firm.

    Current Facilities Requirements and Operations and Maintenance Plan

    Prepare and maintain a current facilities requirements and operations and maintenance plan that contains the information necessary to operate the building efficiently. The plan must include the following:

    • a sequence of operations for the building;
    • the building occupancy schedule;
    • equipment run-time schedules;
    • setpointsSetpoints are normal operating ranges for building systems and indoor environmental quality. When the building systems are outside of their normal operating range, action is taken by the building operator or automation system. for all HVAC equipment;
    • set lighting levels throughout the building;
    • minimum outside air requirements;
    • any changes in schedules or setpoints for different seasons, days of the week, and times of day;
    • a systems narrative describing the mechanical and electrical systems and equipment;
    • a preventive maintenance plan for building equipment described in the systems narrative; and
    • a commissioning program that includes periodic commissioning requirements, ongoing commissioning tasks, and continuous tasks for critical facilities.

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..

Templates

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.

Commissioning RFP

Use this template to find and assess a commissioningThe 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. agent for your project.

Templates

33 Comments

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Risto Beatty
Apr 19 2017
LEEDuser Member
16 Thumbs Up

Envelope CxA Requirements

Do the rules for who can be 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. also apply to envelope commissioningThe 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.? That is, can the envelope consultant on a project also perform the envelope commissioning?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 21 2017 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

An interpretation from 2016 gives guidance on this issue, look for ID10447. Besides defining the role of a Prime 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 those instances where fundamental and enhanced may be done by different firms with different contractual relationships. Toward the end of the ruling (which was not in the question by the way) it clarifies the envelope CxACommissioning authority: 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 is not too long, so here you go.

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For projects pursuing Option 2, envelope commissioningThe 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., the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required. However, in this case, the BeCxA must meet all credit requirements for the Commissioning authority. Specifically:

• The BeCxA must have documented envelope commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.

• The BeCxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.
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Now your question. The scope of an envelope consultant, in my experience, varies significantly. If the role is truly consulting, ie no content or design development, then I think you could have them be the BeCxA. This is similar to previous rulings where a LEED Consultant can be the CxA. However, if the role is more design related, producing details, drawings, specifications, etc., then I do not think they can act as a disinterested party.

Post a Reply
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Candice Rogers Paladin, Inc
Feb 22 2017
LEEDuser Member
413 Thumbs Up

District Energy Cx Guidance

Project Location: United States

Hello,
We have a project that meets the requirements of District Energy Systems. There is one new piece of equipment and multiple existing that will serve the facility. In thinking through the commissioningThe 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. scopes for these two categories of plant, do we apply LEED V4 Fundamnetal 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. to the new equipment? Then, what do we apply to the existing plant equipment? LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. 2009 c2.1 and c2.2 or 2.3 as it was under the LEED 2009 rating system? Or, do we still follow the DESDistrict energy system: a central energy conversion plant and transmission and distribution system that provides thermal energy to a group of buildings (e.g., a central cooling plant on a university campus). It does not include central energy systems that provide only electricity. Guide for both plant scenarios?
Thank you,
Candice Rogers

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Feb 22 2017 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

I am a little confused by your "two different plants" notation. Once you meet the definition of a DESDistrict energy system: a central energy conversion plant and transmission and distribution system that provides thermal energy to a group of buildings (e.g., a central cooling plant on a university campus). It does not include central energy systems that provide only electricity., even if you have to add equipment to that plant, it is a DES still. In the v4 guide under Project Type Variations, it is pretty clear that "All upstream equipmentA heating or cooling system or control associated with the district energy system (DES) but not part of the thermal connection or interface with the DES. Upstream equipment includes the thermal energy conversion plant and all the transmission and distribution equipment associated with transporting the thermal energy to the project building or site. is excluded from the scope of this prerequisite." This is fundamental. If pursuing enhanced, they make it slightly more complex. Upstream is exempted if the project is not taking credit for the efficiency of the DES. If you are taking advantage of the DES, then under enhanced, then it will need to be included to various levels depending on age. Again, look under Project Type Variations in the guide for enhanced commissioningThe 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. for more detail on the scope requirements.

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Candice Rogers Paladin, Inc Feb 22 2017 LEEDuser Member 413 Thumbs Up

Scott -
I just reread the credit language in the LEED v4 manual. All questions on the requirements are listed in there. Page 401, clear as day.
Thank you -
Candice

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Peter Dishno Commissioning Engineer
Feb 10 2017
Guest
282 Thumbs Up

Data Center CxA

Project Location: United States

The LEED V4 book has the comment:

"DATA CENTERS ONLY
For small projects with computer room peak cooling loads less than 2,000,000 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./h (600 kW) or a total computer
room peak cooling load less than 600,000 Btu/h (175 kW), 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. may be a qualified employee of the design or
construction team."

I am curious if someone can explain this comment to me because the wording is a little odd. My company is designing a project that is above 600 kW. However, I did not design it. Can I be the CxACommissioning authority: 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.? the wording describes what happens below 600 kW (CxA can be member of design/construction TEAM), but not above 600 kW. Do they need someone independent of the team or independant of the company?

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Paul Swierc Commissioning Engineer, YR&G Feb 15 2017 LEEDuser Expert 67 Thumbs Up

Peter,

A couple of things should be clarified before getting to an answer. I'll assume the project in question is just the data center and that the 600 kW system is dedicated to that data center. Given that, is the project pursuing the Enhanced CommissioningThe 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. credit or just the prerequisite?

If Enhanced, then v4 is clear in 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. cannot be an employee nor a subcontractor of the design or construction firms.

If Fundamental, then a qualified individual employed by the project's design or construction firms may be considered to lead the commissioning process if that project is below the 600 kW or 175 kW thresholds stipulated by v4. Since the project in question exceeds 600 kW capacity, a CxACommissioning authority: 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 this project cannot be an individual employed by the design or construction firms.

One additional point: Even if the project is below the outlined thresholds and only pursuing the Fundamental prerequisite, v4 clearly states that in these cases, the CxA should be a QUALIFIED employee of the design or construction firms. That means that the employee designated as CxA shall have experience on at least two projects with similar scope (space use, systems, operations, size...) and that that experience extends from the projects' early design phases through occupancy.

So the short answer here is that you cannot act as the CxA for the project you described, based on not meeting the defined threshold. Your company should hire a qualified, third-party commissioning agent in order to bring the greatest value to the project.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Feb 17 2017 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Agree with Paul. This language is very typical of standards and codes in describing an exception to the requirement so will only state the condition upon which the exception can be applied. Data Centers and complexity is not based solely on SF but on density, hence the different metric used.

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Peter Dishno Commissioning Engineer Feb 17 2017 Guest 282 Thumbs Up

Ok... I mostly agree ;)

Let's say they only want fundamental commissioningThe 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..

The one thing that sticks out to me is the specific words they use in this section and the table listed in the LEED book pg 328. They distinguish along the lines of an individual who is part of the firm & design team vs an individual who is part of the firm but not part of the design team.

Then when you look at the data center note (and you read it in a literal interpretation), it is talking about the design team... not the company.

In your response you substituted the word 'firm' for 'team' which changed the meaning.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Feb 19 2017 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Peter, I went back to the guide based on your question related to fundamental only and I agree that for that service only, 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. can be an "employee of the design or construction firm who is not part of the project's design or construction team..." The on-line guide is a little clearer as it states this for all fundamental services, then goes on to list the exceptions when the design team member can also be the CxACommissioning authority: 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.. Enhanced in v4 immediately means independent.

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Joshua Roy
Feb 08 2017
Guest

Cx plan

Does anyone have an example 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?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Feb 17 2017 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

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. Plans are fairly basic in construction but most providers consider their work to be their property and instrument of service so will be hesitant to share them. I am one of those people! However, there are several places that can get you started such as the BCA (Building CommissioningThe 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. Association), ASHRAE, ACG (AABC Commissioning Group), PECI, and more that have documents, templates, and forms. Some are behind membership logins, others are not.

Another great open resource is the California Commissioning Collaborative which has some great information and guides.

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Pam Lynch
Sep 14 2016
Guest
18 Thumbs Up

Authority having Jurisdiction

I just took a LEED GA pratice exam and do not understand the answer to this question: The ‘Authority having Jurisdiction’ is responsible for which of the following?

a) Completing the commissioningThe 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. requirements
b) Ensuring the project complies with local codes and regulations
c) Drafting the non‐smoking policy
d) Tracking construction waste diversion

Is there a section devoted to the term "authority having jurisdiction"? I have only heard of the commissioning authority The individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.(CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.).

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist, HGA Architects and Engineers Sep 15 2016 LEEDuser Member 2712 Thumbs Up

"Authority having jurisdiction" does not refer to a single, specific person/role so I think that's where you are getting tripped up. In general, it refers to any party/group that has the final say/authority over a specific set of rules or compliance. It also reflects the fact that only that party/group has that particular ability and can stop work/issue penalties for non-compliance. For example, in the US a local Historic Preservation Board might have authority over modifications to historic structures, local EPA Departments might have authority over remediation to brownfieldAbandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites who expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or possible presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic vitality of such areas or properties. sites, etc.

So in the example question above, the "best" correct answer would be B. I get how you could argue that some of the other answers could be correct (only really Owner could draft C; 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 primarily responsible for A, etc.). However, all of the other answers could actually be completed/reviewed by a variety of folks. Additionally, those items do not have any official stamp/sign-off by an outside party to move the project forward (like code review/permit approval does). So my advice is to always consider the "Authority having Jurisdiction" to refer back to code/zoning/approval processes/groups. The particular group in question can vary based on which specific item you are looking at (as different groups have different jurisdiction).

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 04 2016 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Kristina is correct and has a great summary of the AHJ. In the US and the construction industry, the AHJ is always the code enforcement entity. The reason we like to use this shortened form is there are many different individuals who have this kind of power over a project. Fire Marshalls, Elevator Inspectors, Building Inspectors, Plumbing Inspectors, and more. Any of them could hold up a project at any stage as related to code conformance, right up to the occupancy permit that allows the owner to use the building.

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MKK LEED
Nov 23 2015
LEEDuser Member
251 Thumbs Up

M&V credit energy model calibration

Project Location: United States

With the removal of the M&V credit under LEED V4.0, is a calibrated energy model still required under Fundamental CommissioningThe 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. and Verification credit or some other LEED credit?

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Paul Swierc Commissioning Engineer, YR&G Dec 02 2015 LEEDuser Expert 67 Thumbs Up

MKK,

With eliminating the M&V credit, V4 is moving toward Monitoring-based CommissioningThe 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. (EAc1, Option 1, Path 2) and Advanced Energy Metering (EAc3) as a means to monitor and verify energy performance during building occupancy. ​Neither of these credits, nor the Fundamental Commissioning and Verification prerequisite (EAp1) will require a calibrated energy model.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Dec 04 2015 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Paul is correct, M&V as it was known in v2009 no long exists, but in its place are a series of three credits that provide the foundation for robust measurement and tracking of energy use. Involving 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. in design of the on-going monitoring systems is a great step, as during the process they see the kinds of trends that are needed to ensure proper operation of the systems. I always called these key parameters, and worked with the owners and integrators to make sure if these parameters were changed, over-ridden, or went outside certain bounds, that some notification went to the management for investigation.

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Maria Camacho
Oct 28 2015
Guest
9 Thumbs Up

Commissioning Authority's LEED experience

Project Location: Spain

At the Fundamental Commisioning and Verification Prerequisite it says 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 commissioningThe 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. process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.. Do they need to be LEED building or just a random building? I haven't seen the "LEED" word in the manual, that's why I'm surprised...
Please advice!

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Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M; CxA: Green Rater in Training, Revitaliza Consultores Oct 30 2015 Guest 2414 Thumbs Up

Hola María,

As farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). as I know they can have experience in non-certified buildings and still meet the requirement. The USGBC only asks you to populate the form with the name of the projects and the floor area. We have never been asked to provide additional documentation.

Mucha suerte!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Nov 02 2015 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Gustavo is correct, it is the commissioningThe 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. experience that matters, not if it was for LEED or not. It has also been my experience that there has never been a question from GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). on the information provided on experience.

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Renee Azerbegi Ambient Energy
Sep 24 2015
LEEDuser Member
291 Thumbs Up

Electrical Commissioning Scope

Project Location: United States

We have several clients who are implementing LEED v4. While the changes in Fundamental and Enhanced Cx1. Commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. 2. The process of checking the performance of a building against the owner's goals during design, construction, and occupancy. At a minimum, mechanical and electrical equipment are tested, although much more extensive testing may also be included. are rather straight forward for the Mechanical systems, the electrical systems CxCommissioning: 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. seems to be a bit more complicated. We are working with electrical engineers and other providers who are providing a wide range of fees and interpretations for the scope of service included in the 'electrical service and distribution' commissioningThe 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.. Are you able to provide some calcification regarding the rigor and scope around electrical commissioning services required for LEED v4?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 19 2015 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Renee - sorry for delay, I have been on a travel/training binge lately. Not sure I can "calcification" the scope, or even give a clarification;)

This particular scope items is not that changed from v2009. However, since v4 brings ASHRAE 90.1-2010 into play, that standard requires commissioningThe 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. of lighting controls, and in my experience, 100% of lighting controls should be performance tested...there are too many different conditions and settings in these systems and devices to use statistical testing...in my opinion of course.

In general, the commissioning scope of LEED has always centered around systems involved in using or controlling energy or water; especially anything related to LEED credits. A simple example is that a sump pump is not typically a required item in a LEED scope, but if coupled to a rainwater capture system, it would be part of the system that is saving potable waterWater that meets or exceeds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water quality standards (or a local equivalent outside the U.S.) and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems..

So, in an electrical "service and distribution" system it would be items that relate to credits or are involved in controlling energy. One example I can think of would be the new Demand Control credit. You can get a point if you are "ready" to shed load if your local utility offers the service. This would mean there are controls in place that upon getting a signal can shed load in a meaningful way. That system would need to be commissioned.

Another would be if advanced metering is being pursued, then all those meters would need to be commissioned.

All of the above is focused on scope as required by LEED, but there are lots of very good reasons to do more extensive 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. for electrical distribution systems, especially in healthcare. But that is not the topic of this reply!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 19 2015 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Oh yeah, just to be clear, all systems that relate to lighting, controls, and daylighting are required.

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Rebecca Rice Sustainability Consultant, NORESCO Aug 24 2016 LEEDuser Member 36 Thumbs Up

Hi Scott - have there been any updates or further clarification from GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). on what the electrical 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 should entail for v4, or do you feel that projects should use the approach you described in your comment above regarding electrical 'service and distribution?'
Thank you.

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Aug 24 2016 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

I have not, and typically they do not go into much more detail than they have here. The scope that I describe above should be good to meet their requirements, but I do not work for GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). either. Just an old guy who has been around a while!

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos Senior Sustainability Consultant DCarbon
Apr 23 2015
Guest
1944 Thumbs Up

Pending commissioning completion

Projects registered with LEED v3 had an option of indicating that commissioningThe 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. report is pending completion and providing a contract to ensure that the report will be completed. Additionally, the project team could provide sample prefunctional checklists and functional checklists for at least two of the commissioned systems. Would such an option be accepted with v4 for a project with extensive commissioning on the one hand for which the owner wishes to apply for LEED review as soon as possible for taking advantage of the project label on the other?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Apr 24 2015 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

I do not reviewed the v4 templates, but based on the "Required Documentation" portions of the reference guide, I am not sure what you describe would be accepted. Personally, even on v09 projects, 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. has been substantially completed by the time of submission, mostly because the construction documentation takes so long in some cases. There have often been systems or tests that were not complete, and that was communicated in the reports and accepted.

So, I cannot say if this would be accepted, and I would note that the required documentation appears to have changed with v4 for both fundamental and enhanced. You should ask for a conference call with your review team at GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). and give them you justification and intended documentation and see if they agree.

Since I can give my personal and professional opinion, I would not see this as the appropriate standard of care, and would encourage you to schedule the CxCommissioning: 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. in a way to have it significantly complete prior to occupancy or early in occupancy. That is my view.

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Dan Forino, PE, CCP, LEED AP BD+C Engineering Manager Horizon Engineering Associates
Mar 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
494 Thumbs Up

Plumbing Commissioning Scope Of Work

In LEED 4.0 it states that for plumbing all Domestic Hot Water Systems, pumps and controls. Is this saying all plumbing pumps (sewage ejector, domestic water booster, etc) are required or only pumps dedicated to the Domestic Hot Water systems?

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Mar 05 2014 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

Unfortunately I am going to have to say “maybe”. Reading the v4 guide does not give much more definition, saying under systems that must be commissioned: “Plumbing, including domestic hot water systems, pumps, and controls”. There is no mention of what is not included. Traditionally, I have focused on those systems that can be commissioned and that consume more energy if there is something not programmed or installed correctly. Everything related to domestic hot water is for sure. Pressure boosters are worthy of testing as well.

While I have not considered the sewage ejectors or sump pumps to be under LEED scope, we have traditionally tested high water alarms that are often tied into the DDC system, and making sure that floats or sensors are in correct positions to operate pumps in the correct order.

In my opinion, and that is all it is, everything with DHWDomestic hot water (DHW) is water used for food preparation, cleaning and sanitation and personal hygiene, but not heating., pressure boosters, rainwater capture, sensor faucets = YES. Sewage ejectors, sump pumps = NO, but good to do.

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Gabriela Crespo CxA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Revitaliza Consultores Oct 20 2016 Guest 392 Thumbs Up

Hi Scott!
Would water treatment plants be included?
Thanks!

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Scott Bowman LEED Fellow, Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC Oct 21 2016 LEEDuser Expert 11272 Thumbs Up

If the water treatment plant (either water coming in or going out) is part of the building systems, then I would think yes, they should be included. Typically these kinds of systems have significant requirements for testing and reporting for performance and code issues, so good collaboration with the AHJ would be important so tasks are completed correctly.

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Gabriela Crespo CxA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Revitaliza Consultores Oct 21 2016 Guest 392 Thumbs Up

Thank you Scott!

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