As many building owners know, design and construction of a building is only part of the process. Definition of the owner’s project requirements, the functional operation of the facility, and the assurance of continued energy and operational efficiency will all contribute to a more effective facility that has the lowest life-cycle costs possible. For existing and new facilities, Viridian can give the services to ensure a functional facility that provides a productive working environment at the lowest possible costs.
Commissioning is an all-inclusive process for all the planning, delivery, verification, and managing risks to critical functions performed in, or by, facilities. Commissioning ensures building quality using peer review and in-field or on-site verification. Commissioning also accomplishes higher energy efficiency, environmental health, and occupant safety and will improve indoor air quality by making sure the building components are working correctly and that the plans are implemented with the greatest efficiency. Commissioning is a quality assurance-based process that delivers preventive and predictive maintenance plans, tailored operating manuals and training procedures for all users to follow. Essentially, the commissioning process formalizes review and integration of all project expectations during planning, design, construction, and occupancy phases by inspection and functional performance testing, and oversight of operator training and record documentation.
Viridian is a leading provider for independent building commissioning services. Our comprehensive approach ensures a functional facility that provides a productive working environment at the lowest possible costs. Viridian’s commissioning process and implementation has been developed to meet and exceed the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating system for both fundamental and enhanced commissioning. Our process is also recognized by most federal, state, and local agencies commissioning guidelines.
The USGBC recognized the effectiveness and benefits that commissioning would provide in green buildings, and included commissioning in the LEED certification system. LEED certification not only includes building commissioning as a way to earn a credit, but requires it. Commissioning for LEED certification is divided into two levels: “Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning” and “Enhanced Commissioning.” Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning is a prerequisite for LEED certification, while Enhanced Commissioning is one of the 69 optional credits that can be selected to help reach the 26 credit minimum needed to earn a LEED designation.
The Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning prerequisite, as its name implies, requires six tasks that are generally considered more traditional or fundamental commissioning tasks. These six particular tasks were selected because each was considered vital to the success of any commissioning effort, and therefore vital to the success of the building project itself. The Additional Commissioning credit requires an additional five tasks that are more typical of the full commissioning process approach. These tasks were selected for the additional credit due to the enhanced benefits and value they add to projects.
NEW BUILDING COMMISSIONING
New Building Commissioning is a quality assurance process to verify and document that building systems function as designed and meet the operational needs of the building owner and building users. It is important to realize that building commissioning is not standard practice, although it is becoming more common for large or complicated buildings. Building commissioning goes beyond standard testing, adjusting, and balancing and beyond traditional inspections.
The commissioning process can be applied to existing buildings that have never been commissioned to restore them to optimal performance. Retro Commissioning typically focuses on energy-using equipment such as mechanical equipment, lighting and related controls and usually optimizes existing system performance, rather than relying on major equipment replacement, typically resulting in improved indoor air quality, comfort, controls, energy and resource efficiency.
BUILDING ENVELOPE COMMISSIONING
Building Envelope Commissioning provides documented confirmation that exterior building systems function according to criteria set forth in the project documents to satisfy the owner’s operational needs. Commissioning of existing building envelope systems may require developing new functional criteria to address the owner’s current requirements for system performance.
The interior and the building enclosure are interdependent. Envelope Commissioning is different than Forensic investigation, which is conducted when a problem is identified usually after occupancy.
Building Envelope Issues:
- Roofs – Uplift due to high winds, water leakage
- Walls – Damage due to improper water drainage and water proofing
- Doors – Water leakage, Ability to open per ADA guidelines
- Windows – Air and/or Water leakage
Exterior Enclosure Performance Objectives:
- To Control – Heat Flow, Air Flow, Noise, Fire, Light, Infrared, Ultraviolet
- To Eliminate – Rain Penetration, Moisture Build-up
- Structural Performance – Durability, Security, Reliability, Aesthetics, Value, Constructability, Maintainability, Sustainability