LEED™ Prerequisite 1 EA Fundamental Commissioning (Required)
The official intent of this prerequisite, as stated in the LEED Reference Guide, is to “verify and ensure that fundamental building elements and systems are designed, installed, and calibrated to operate as intended.”
GL’s Commissioning Authorities’ (CxA) and USGBC’s intent are to begin the commissioning (Cx) process early in the design phase and execute additional activities after systems performance verification is completed. GL has historically provided commissioning services for projects when we manage the LEED certification process, as it streamlines the process and increases efficiencies, and diminishes disruption during construction. Advantages are both environmental and economic. Buildings that perform as intended consume significantly less energy, improve design and construction coordination with fewer change orders, maintenance, and operation costs.
Once all the Fundamental Commissioning requirements are satisfied, GL will provide documentation to the U.S. Green Building Council as evidence of completed tasks. The Commissioning Authority (CxA) must upload a copy of the commissioning plan, with the six tasks highlighted. The CxA must also provide a letter certifying that the plan was successfully executed and the design intent for the building was met.
Building Systems That Require Fundamental Commissioning:
- HVAC & refrigeration
- Lighting controls
- Domestic hot water systems
- Renewable energy systems
- Reduces the owner’s “Total Cost of Ownership”—it pays for itself with improved operations, avoided problems, and increased energy efficiency
- Reduces change orders
- Operating personnel are better trained and provided with better O&M documentation
LEED™ EA Credit 1 Enhanced Commissioning (1 Point)
GL’s Commissioning Authorities (CxA) and USGBC’s intent are to begin the commissioning (Cx) process early in the design phase and execute additional activities after systems performance verification is completed. GL has historically provided commissioning services for projects when we manage the LEED certification process, as it streamlines the process and increases efficiencies, and diminishes disruption during construction. Advantages are both environmental and economic. Buildings that perform as intended consume significantly less energy, improve design and construction coordination with fewer change orders, maintenance, and operation costs.
- The CxA must conduct, at a minimum, 1 commissioning design review of the owner’s project requirements basis of design, and design documents prior to the misconstruction documents phase and 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 review 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 provides future operating staff the information needed to understand and optimally operate the 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 will verify seasonal testing of MEP systems.
- The CxA must be involved in reviewing the operation of the building with operations and maintenance (O&M) staff and occupants within 10 months after substantial completion. A plan for resolving outstanding commissioning-related issues must be completed.
The GL’s CxA will perform the commissioning process (CxP) activities for the building’s thermal envelope in accordance 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.
Retrocommissioning (RCx) is the application of the commissioning process to existing buildings. Depending on the age of the building, retrocommissioning can often resolve problems that occurred during design or construction, or address problems that have developed during the building’s life. Retrocommissioning improves a building’s operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures to enhance overall building performance. All forms of building commissioning share the same goals: to produce a building that meets the unique needs of its owner and occupants, operates as efficiently as possible, provides a safe, comfortable work environment, and is operated and maintained by a well-trained staff or service contractor.
Commercial buildings frequently undergo operational and occupancy changes that challenge the mechanical, electrical, and controls systems, hindering optimal performance. Unfortunately, most buildings have never gone through any type of commissioning process, and even well-constructed buildings experience performance degradation over time. For owners, retrocommissioning reduces building operating costs that can lead to an increase in net operating income. Building managers notice fewer occupant complaints and increased ability to manage systems. Building staff receive training and improved documentation, and building occupants are more comfortable.