Commissioning – LEED V4

Commissioning for a project seeking LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council is intended to ensure that the building meets the highest green building and performance measures. Taitem’s staff of LEED accredited professionals have provided commissioning services for many projects that are seeking or have received LEED certification and have the experience to help your project navigate the process and achieve your projects potential with a minimum of paperwork.

Not sure what to expect from LEED compliant commissioning?

Here is a quick guide to help get you started:

There are three different options for LEED commissioning on new construction buildings. The first, ‘Fundamental Commissioning’, is a required part of all projects that are applying for LEED certification. Projects can choose to also perform ‘Enhanced Commissioning’ which will contribute points towards the projects goal of achieving a certain LEED ranking (Gold, Platinum, etc.). The newest version of LEED (LEED V4) includes a third option that can be used in combination with either Fundamental or Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning. This third option focuses on commissioning the building envelope and also counts towards your LEED point total.

LEED V4 Commissioning

(Changes from previous versions of LEED)

Fundamental Commissioning (LEED Prerequisite EA1)– Still Required

Our fundamental commissioning services include general construction review, prefunctional checks of equipment and functional testing of major HVAC equipment. This is a prerequisite for all projects attempting to receive LEED certification, so the following services are the minimum level of service we offer to LEED projects.

  • Provide Commissioning Specifications for inclusion in the Construction Documents
  • Review of the Owners Project Requirements (OPR)
  • Review of the Basis of Design (BOD)
  • Create and present a Commissioning Plan to contractors, designers and owner at a Commissioning kickoff meeting
  • Hold regular Commissioning meetings, as needed
  • Create, distribute and review Prefunctional Checklists (PFCs)
  • Create, oversee and document Functional Testing (FT) of equipment
  • Create a Commissioning Report
    Unless otherwise specified Taitem will plan on assisting the owner with the OPR creation, and provide assistance and templates to the design team in completion of the BOD. Taitem will inform the owner of any issues identified while reviewing project documents (drawings, specifications and submittals) and assist in resolving issues identified during testing. Taitem will provide the owner with regular reports and updates following commissioning visits and schedule testing visits to coincide with training and equipment startup whenever possible.
    What has changed with LEED V4?

  • Slight changes to underlying codes and standards
  • Comply with ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 and Guideline 1.1-2007
  • Previous requirements were guided by 0-2005 only
  • New Requirements for the CxA
  • The CxA must have experience on two similar buildings (similar work scope) AND experience must extend from early design to 10 months of occupancy
  • In essence this means that the CxA must have completed two enhanced cx projects of similar scope.
  • Changes to commissioning scope
  • Now building envelope info must be included in the OPR and BOD
  • CxA must check energy distribution systems (power)
  • New Facilities Requirements, Operations and Maintenance Plan required- This must include:
  • a sequence of operations for the building; (from A/E – Part of BOD)
  • the building occupancy schedule;(from Owner – Part of OPR)
  • equipment run-time schedules;(from Owner/ Contractors and A/E – as-builts)
  • setpoints for all HVAC equipment; (from Owner/Contractors and A/E – as-builts)
  • set lighting levels throughout the building; (from A/E and possibly Owner)
  • minimum outside air requirements; (from A/E – part of BOD and drawings)
  • any changes in schedules or setpoints for different seasons, days of the week, and times of day; (from Owner – part of OPR)
  • a systems narrative describing the mechanical and electrical systems and equipment;(from A/E – part of BOD)
  • a preventive maintenance plan for building equipment described in the systems narrative; (from contractors – part of Training and O&M)
  • a commissioning program that includes periodic commissioning requirements, ongoing commissioning tasks, and continuous tasks for critical facilities.

    Enhanced Commissioning (LEED Credit EAc3) – Now 3-4 points!

    Enhanced commissioning services include additional drawing and submittal reviews, training and documentation assistance, a 10 month post-construction inspection to check equipment prior to warrenty expiration and general enhanced presence throughout the project. How is it different from Fundamental Commissioning?

  • It includes everything that is part of the Fundamental Commissioning
  • It requires that the CxA be hired early in design (The owner must designate a Commissioning Agent prior to 50% CD)
  • It includes targeted submittal and design reviews performed prior to drawing release and submittal acceptance
  • Includes a review of the O+M manuals
  • It generally results in a more prolonged site presence of the commissioning agent
  • It includes a 10 month post-construction warranty review inspection to ensure equipment is still functioning correctly prior to warranty expiration
    What has changed with LEED V4?

  • Requirements for the CxA
  • Must have experience on two similar buildings (similar work scope) AND experience must extend from early design to 10 months of occupancy
  • In essence this means that the CxA must have completed two enhanced cx projects of similar scope.
  • Changes to scope
  • Requires developing an ongoing commissioning plan
  • For the 4th point – add monitoring based Cx
  • Requires a comprehensive monitoring plan that will identify conflicts between systems, out of sequence operation of system component and track energy and water usage
  • This can be purchased as a service (Taitem can provide through a partnership with SciEnergy for example)

    Building Envelope Commissioning (2 points!)

    All new with LEED V4

  • Now included in the OPR and BOD (part of fundamental Cx)
  • Can receive credit for Building Envelope Commissioning (up to 2 points) with or without doing Enhanced Cx
  • Code Requirements:
  • Comply with ASHRAE Guideline 0–2005 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3–2012, Exterior Enclosure Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.
  • Similar to fundamental basic requirements with the following additions:
  • Submittal review
  • Requires Owner Training
  • Requires seasonal testing (plan for this in schedule)
  • 10 month review
  • Ongoing Cx Plan
  • LEED V4 Changes that impact Commissioning

    There are a few changes to LEED V4- some of which, although not directly linked to commissioning categories, tie in nicely and either make the commissioning process easier, or can be at least partially covered by tasks we already perform, or can perform as part of our commissioning process.

    Integrative Process (IP)

  • A new category and credit!
  • Requirements: Preliminary energy model before Schematic Design (SD)
  • Commissioning tie in: Documentation on how this impacts the OPR and BOD
  • Commissioning tie in: Project team workshop to determine project goals (just an earlier version of OPR workshop)
  • Bottom Line: Get the Cx Team involved as soon as you get a project that sounds like it may go LEED.
  • New Water Efficiency Requirement

  • WaterSense label required (including for Aerators)
  • Commissioning tie in: Check the flow rates, under 0.6 GPM as this can cause issues for instantaneous water heaters
  • Energy and Atmosphere

  • A new prerequisite: Building level energy metering
  • Commissioning tie in: This can be useful in assessing performance for Cx
  • A couple new credits:
  • Advanced Energy Metering: All energy end-uses that contribute 10+% of the total energy consumption must be connected to a BAS.
  • Commissioning tie in: Trending and data logging will now be a bigger part of the Cx process (but the accuracy of the BAS system must first be verified)
  • Commissioning tie in: Control sequences will be a much bigger priority at the beginning of the project, and focus on owner training with the BAS system will be a priority.
  • Demand Response: Credit for implanting demand response strategies
  • Commissioning tie in: Commissioning of the logic behind the demand response actions will be required as well as commissioning the other systems interaction with the demand response controls (automated restart, reduced power mode, etc.)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Changes to Lighting
  • There is a new interior lighting credit (light levels will now likely need to be confirmed)
  • New lighting control requirements (3 levels, on/off/mid)
  • Simulation or measured light levels (in lux) required for the daylighting credit
  • Commissioning tie in: This can be measured as part of commissioning if this credit is being pursued.
  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies Credit: A mix of OA monitoring and increased ventilation.
  • Commissioning tie in: Bottom Line- more sensors and mixed mode systems which will require careful programming and confirmation that they are working as intended.