Part L Building Regulations seek to improve the performance of buildings through better commissioning with the aim of achieving BREEAM credits. BREEAM is to recognise an appropriate level of building services commissioning is carried out in a co-ordinated and comprehensive manor with the aim to achieve optimum performance under occupancy conditions.
There are two BREEAM Credits available in terms of commissioning:
An appropriate project team member(s) is appointed to monitor and programme pre-commissioning, commissioning and, where necessary, re-commissioning on behalf of the client.
Commissioning is to be carried out in line with current Building Regulations and BSRIA and CIBSE guidelines, where applicable.
The main contractor accounts for the commissioning programme, responsibilities and criteria within the main programme of works.
A specialist commissioning manager is appointed (by either client or contractor) for complex systems such as:
- Air conditioning
- Mechanical ventilation, displacement ventilation, complex passive ventilation
- Building management systems (BMS)
- Renewable energy sources
- Microbiological safety cabinets and fume cupboards
- Cold storage enclosures and refrigeration plant
The specialist commissioning manager must have been appointed during the design stage and the scope of their responsibility includes:
- Design input: commissionability design reviews
- Commissioning management input to construction programming
- Commissioning management input during installation stages
- Management of commissioning, performance testing and handover/post handover stages
Where BMS specified, the following commissioning procedures must be carried out:
- Commissioning of air and water systems is carried out when all control devices are installed, wired and functional
- In addition to air and water flow results, commissioning results include physical measurements of room temperatures, off coil temperatures and other key parameters as appropriate
- The BMS/controls installation should be running in auto with satisfactory internal conditions prior to handover
- All BMS schematics and graphics (if BMS is present) are fully installed and functional to user interface before handover
- The occupier will be fully trained in the operation of the system
The first credit has been achieved.
The above appointment(s) include the following seasonal commissioning responsibilities over a minimum of 12 month period, once the building becomes occupied:
Complex Systems – Specialist commissioning manager
- Testing of all building services under full load conditions, i.e. heating equipment in mid-winter, cooling/ventilation equipment in mid-summer, and under part load conditions (spring/autumn)
- Where applicable, testing should also be carried out during periods of extreme (high or low) occupancy
- Interviews with building occupants (where they are affected by the complex services) to identify problems or concerns regarding the effectiveness of the systems
- Re-commissioning of systems (following any work needed to serve revised loads), and incorporating any revisions in operating procedures into the O&M manuals
As Commissioning specialists we offer activities to benchmark performance against data recorded at practical completion.
Once a building is occupied, internal environmental conditions may differ from those anticipated at the design stage, and seasonal commissioning of the building allows the building services engineering systems to be evaluated to provide optimum conditions under actual seasonal weather/occupancy conditions.
Commissioning Authority (CxA)
Acting as the Commissioning Authority (CxA) our role is to act as the Independent LEED Commissioning Engineer for the purpose of witnessing and reporting on the setting to work, reviewing, pre-commissioning, commissioning, proving, acceptance, verification, monitoring, functional testing and performance testing of the installed building services systems, plant and equipment as required by USGBC LEED 2009 (both fundamental and enhanced).
The LEED element works are split into two sections of work and our role covers the following:
EA Prerequisite 1 – Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems
"To verify that the project’s energy-related systems are installed and calibrated to performing according to the owner’s project requirement, basis of design and construction documents"
Review of Owners Project Requirements (OPR) Commissioning Scope
- HVAC&R systems (Mechanical and passive) and associated controls
- Lighting controls
- Day lighting controls
- Domestic Hot Water Systems
- Renewable Energy Systems
- Commissioning Report
EA Credit 2 – Enhanced Commissioning
"To verify and ensure that the tenant space is designed, constructed and calibrated to operate as intended"
- Commissioning design review
- Recheck comments raised to ensure they have been cleared
- Review commissioning related contractor submittals
- Development systems manual
- Verify completion for training operating personnel and building occupants
- Review the operating space with O&M staff and occupants within 8 – 10 months after completion. Review and plan any outstanding commissioning related issues
The CxA shall also liaise with the Consultant Engineer, Management Contractor and all other Works Contractors to co-ordinate, review, programme, witness, report writing, certification of all commissioning correlated activities to ensure the full automatic operation and integration of all installed energy related systems.