Commissioning (often abbreviated as Cx) is a systematic process for ensuring that all building systems perform interactively according to the design intent and the owner’s operational needs. Successful implementation of HICAPS’ Commissioning Plan reduces construction and operating costs by minimizing design errors, redesign costs and construction rework; improving the efficiency of building systems; extending equipment life by verifying proper installation and operation; and improving the comfort and efficiency of occupants by enhancing indoor environmental quality.
Retro-commissioning is the process of reviewing the actual use of an existing building against original design intent and conducting testing to ensure optimum performance. Like with commissioning, the objective is to ensure that all building systems perform according to the owner’s operational requirements. Retro-commissioning is conducted on buildings and systems that were not originally commissioned post-construction. The potential for modifications or Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) with strong ROIs are often discovered during retro-Cx.
Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)
In addition to traditional Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) Commissioning, HICAPS performs Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx), Building Envelope Forensics and Building Envelope Consulting. Systems included in HICAPS’ Building Enclosure Commissioning include:
- Building Envelope
- HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical Penetrations
- Thermal Insulation
- Vapor Barrier
- Air Barrier System
(Refer to Air Tightness Testing, Window Testing, Roofing Inspections, Moisture Intrusion Forensics for some of the methods used to confirm enclosure performance.)
HICAPS provides Commissioning according to LEED EAp1 Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems which is a prerequisite for all LEED projects. The intent is to verify that the project’s energy-related systems are installed, calibrated and perform according to the owner’s project requirements (OPR), basis of design (BOD) and construction documents.
Systems to be commissioned:
- Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems (mechanical and passive) and associated controls
- Lighting and day lighting controls
- Domestic hot water systems
- Renewable energy systems (e.g. wind, solar)
LEED EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning
When this credit is included in the OPR or LEED Rating System Score Card, we execute additional activities after systems performance verification is completed. Ten (10) months after substantial completion of the project, we take a survey to see if the building systems satisfy the occupants and operators, make recommendations for corrective actions and follow up on any issues uncovered.