Retail–CI-v2009 EAc2: Enhanced commissioning

  • Benefits of commissioning

    You may think of 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., 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 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. 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 EAc3

    Who can perform enhanced commissioning services?

    Generally, the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. for Enhanced Commissioning must not have any connection to the design or construction of the building.  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. can be a subcontractor to the design team or construction manager, but the preferred option is for CxA to be directly contracted by the owner. For more details on who can be the CxA, see the Design Development section of the Checklists tab.

    Can non-design consultants on the project provide enhanced commissioning services?

    Yes. Consultants who provide non-design services, such as LEED services or energy modeling, can also be the CxA for the project. However, if those firms have affected the design of the building, they should not be selected as the CxA.

    If my project uses a District Energy System (DES) is enhanced commissioning required for the DES?

    Maybe. Consult Treatment of District of Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009. Depending on the characteristics of your project, commissioning of upstream DES equipment may be required. Commissioning is required only for DES equipment utilized by the LEED project. For example, a project that utilizes district steam but not chilled water is only required to commission DES steam equipment. Commissioning of DES equipment can be performed by the owner of the DES equipment or by an independent third party.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Retail: Commercial Interiors

    EA Credit 2: Enhanced commissioning

    Intent

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

    Requirements

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

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

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

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Aug 22 2017
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