Building For The Future Part V: 2018 IECC Commissioning Requirements

Building for the Future Part V: 2018 IECC Commissioning Requirements

In Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV of our Building for the Future blog posts we gave a general overview, building envelope, mechanical and electrical updates of the 2018 IECC.

Now let’s move on to Commissioning (Cx), one of the most valuable, as well as the most misunderstood, services in the AEC profession.

What is Cx?

Cx is a fairly simple concept that actually dates back to the shipbuilding industry. A commissioned ship is one deemed seaworthy or ready for service. Before being awarded this title, a ship must pass several milestones. Equipment is installed and tested, problems are identified and corrected, and the prospective crew is extensively trained. A commissioned ship is one whose materials, systems, and staff has successfully completed a thorough quality assurance process.

The way Cx is used today takes the same approach. It is the process of:

  • planning,
  • documenting,
  • scheduling,
  • testing,
  • adjusting,
  • verifying, and
  • training

to provide a facility that operates as a fully functional system per the Owner’s Project Requirements.

The goal is to enhance the quality of the delivered project by focusing the design and construction team on the Owner’s goals for a functional and energy-efficient building throughout the range of operating conditions, not just at peak design capacity.

Schemmer_Commissioning_Energy 2018 IECC Cx Requirements

2018 IECC Cx Requirements

The 2018 IECC, similar to every IECC version since 2012, puts it into simple code language. The Cx requirements are located in Section C408. It is only four pages plus the addition of C408.2.4, which is a one-page Cx Compliance Checklist.

Systems to be commissioned are the same as IECC 2012:

  • mechanical,
  • service water heating and
  • lighting controls.

As mentioned in the previous Part IV blog post, we have more to look forward to in terms of lighting controls.

CxA Early in Design Process is Key

“Owners need to know that finding a Commissioning Authority (CxA) early in the design process is key, even if most of the work is done during testing. Adding or changing a test requirement after a project is a bid can lead to unexpected costs and system performance issues that will remain for the life of the building, said Bryce Johnson, PE, LEED AP, QCxP, Schemmer’s mechanical engineer and commissioning agent.

Schemmer Commissioning_Opportunity_Cost Chart CxA Early in Design Process is Key

The CxA can be a registered design professional or approved agency that is an independent third party working in the best interest of the Owner, but ideally not adversarial to the designer or contractor. That individual or agency will ensure the Owner receives the real value over the life of the building that was invested in during construction or a major renovation. The CxA verifies that a building truly is energy code compliant or “green” as the project moves from design through construction and into operation.

Design with Purpose. Build with Confidence.

Do your building systems OPERATE to conserve energy or to provide value? They should do both. The convergence of those functions happens when we commission the systems. Optimize the performance of complex buildings by using less (resources, time, energy) to gain more (satisfaction, income, pride). Effective system solutions have a significant impact on the real and measurable value of your facility and the efficiency of your business. We believe that investing in lean solutions specific to your opportunities and challenges is vital to your success.

Our trained commissioning team will take an integrated problem-solving approach for your facility, taking into account the interaction between systems. By streamlining the operations in your building and optimizing big energy consumption items (i.e., lighting, HVAC, computers, process equipment, etc.) to only use the amount of energy needed to perform their tasks, we can save you money and create a more comfortable environment.

Services we offer:

  • Energy Modeling and Benchmarking
  • Load Matching and Peak Load Reduction
  • Water Conservation and Quality Strategies
  • Daylighting and Occupancy Controls
  • Life Safety Systems Review and Analysis
  • Building Envelope Analysis
  • Building Systems Commissioning
  • Envelope Commissioning
  • Six Sigma Process Review
  • Power Generation/Distribution Review, Testing, and Analysis

Find out more about Schemmer’s Operation Support Program.

Contact Us Today!

Sources: Complete Commissioning; Building Technology and Urban Systems Division