What is commissioning?

ASHRAE describes commissioning as “A quality-oriented process of achieving, verifying and documenting that the performance of facilities, systems and assemblies meets defined objectives and criteria.”

We like to think of commissioning as a form of checks and balances process to make sure the building owner, architect and contractors are assured of the quality of their work and functionality of equipment installed. While some projects are small and easily managed with clear oversight, other projects are massive with millions of investment dollars and thousands of variables that need attention. Commissioning is required by state law for new projects over 10,000 square feet as a way to give a professional stamp of approval for work done.

Beyond new construction commissioning, 3C Engineering provides services for re-commissioning or retro-commissioning, and with over 25-years of combined engineering experience, our team can give you the peace of mind needed when completing your important projects.  

At 3C Engineering, we stay on the forefront of technology and implement the latest commissioning strategies and techniques, leveraging data analytics and fault detection to provide you with comprehensive detail that will give you confidence in knowing that every aspect of the project was executed with accuracy and with the specified equipment.

What people love about us most is that we are not just a team of engineers; we are professionals who know the importance of clear and concise communication. We cut through the details and deliver critical information to you and your team that will help you take any needed action. We also provide valuable information that will help future projects go more smoothly and improve your overall effectiveness while reducing expenses.

At 3C, all commissioning work will be performed according to the 2013 California Green Building Standard as well as the 2013 California Energy Code. The list below is a sample of the components provided during the commissioning process. For your reference, shown in parenthesis are the correlating chapters per the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code, Title 24, Part 11 and 2013 California Energy Code, Title 24, Part 6.

·        Assist in the development of the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) (5.410.2.1)

The OPR shall include the following:

o     Environmental and Sustainability Goals

o     Energy Efficiency Goals

o     Indoor Environmental Quality Requirements

o     Facility Programming, Hours of Operations, etc.

o     Equipment and System Expectations and Controllability

o     Building Occupancy and O&M Staff Expectations.

·        Assist in the development of the Basis of Design (BOD) (5.410.2.2)

The BOD shall include the following systems:

o     HVAC Systems and Controls

o     Indoor/Outdoor lighting systems and controls

o     Water Heating Systems

o     Renewable Energy Systems

o     Landscape Irrigation Systems

o     Water Reuse Systems

·        Design Phase Design Review (CEC 120.8 Item d)

o     Construction Documents Design Review (CEC 120.8 Item d.2) – Review design for consistency w/ the “Construction Documents Design Review Compliance Form”

·        Development of a Commissioning Plan (CalGreen 5.410.2.3) based on the requirements of the project documents. Included in the Commissioning Plan will be:

o     General project information

o     Commissioning goals

o     List the systems to be commissioned and the goals expected

o     Commissioning team information

o     Commissioning process activities, schedules and responsibilities

·        Meeting to discuss the design criteria and owners intent for the project. This is part of the Commissioning Plan.

·        Commissioning schedule and commissioning tasks. Included is the development of the commissioning team made up of the principals, designers, contractors and the commissioning authority.

·        Development of a Functional Performance Testing and Validation matrix with contractor sign offs. This will be created by the Commissioning Agent to verify installation and performance of all mechanical systems installed. (CalGreen 5.410.2.4)

·        The systems in this commissioning proposal are validated per CAL Green requirements and include all HVAC systems and associated mechanical sub systems consisting of controls, electrical including interior and exterior lighting systems and irrigation system.

·        Validation of Test and Air Balance. (CalGreen 5.410.4.3.1) 

·        All validation test equipment provided by 3C Engineering will carry current certificates of calibration.

·        3C Engineering shall provide all of its own data loggers for the HVAC system trending process after all work is completed. This trending is used to document actual system performance over a specific period of time.

·        Site visits during the construction phase of the project are projected as follows:

o     Kick-OFF Commissioning Meeting

o     Air Balance Validation and Functional Performance Testing

o     Training Periods

·        Commissioning Meetings – as necessary during construction phase of the project

·        A Final Commissioning Report will be submitted to the owner as part of the certification process. (CalGreen 5.410.2.6) Included in the final commissioning report will be a copy of the Operations and Maintenance Manual (CalGreen 5.410.4.5) and all field inspection reports (CalGreen 5.410.5.1)

·        Provision of a training agenda for all mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and a System Manual. (CalGreen 5.410.2.5)

3C Engineering’s team of commissioning agents consist of Professional Engineers (P.E.), Commissioning Process Management Professionals (C.P.M.P.), Certified Energy Managers (C.E.M.), Green Building Engineers (G.B.E.) and LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP).

We realize that the commissioning process is comprehensive, so please let us know what questions you have.