The Commissioning activities during the Acceptance and Post-Acceptance Phase include:
Operational Performance Test Protocols
Operational Performance Testing is the dynamic testing of systems and system integration (rather than just components) under full operation (e.g., The HVAC system is tested interactively with the VFD). The systems are tested through all of the modes of operation and components are verified to be responding and functioning as intended.
The purpose of the Operational Performance Test (OPT) is to ensure that the system/equipment and all of it’s sub-systems and components are operating to satisfy the Owner Project Requirements.
Execute & Review Operational Performance Test Protocols
The contractor executes the Operational Performance Test protocols. The owner, particularly those responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the equipment, is encouraged to witness and participate in the execution of the tests. There is a lot to be learned about equipment operation, design intent, and those quirky details that never get documented in the maintenance manuals.
The Commissioning Authority will be available to answer any questions or address issues that arise during the OPT execution. Although the CxA may witness all or part of the testing and is involved, along with the owner, in facilitating resolution of deficiencies that may be uncovered during the test execution. The contractors submit the completed OPT protocols to the CxA for review and inclusion in the Commissioning Summary Report. Completion of the performance testing forms the basis of Owner Acceptance and commences the warranty period.
Project Record Documents
The contractor prepares project Record Documentation inclusive of As-Built documents, Installation & Maintanance Manuals, Spare Parts Lists, Warranty Letters, Contact Information, etc.
Occupant & Operator Training
Using the reference documentation (verified prior to FIV testing), commissioning lessons learned, and updated Record Drawings; the contractor conducts training of the facilities operations team and the facility occupants. The CxA and Owner review and approve Training Agenda’s and/or Training Outlines prepared by the contractor. Training Agenda’s along with attendance records are submitted to the CxA for inclusion in the Commissioning Summary Report.
Commissioning Summary Report
A Commissioning Summary Report is assembled by the Commissioning Authority. This report includes the executed test protocols and training records. It also summarizes any findings, resolutions, and outstanding items as well as the CxA’s assessment of each of the commissioned system’s compliance with both contract documents and the OPR. Each of the outstanding items are presented with a follow-up plan, timeline, and responsibilities.
Although it is ultimately in the owners interest to resolve any outstanding commissioning issues identified in the Commissioning Summary Report, the Commissioning Authority may be retained to facilitate, coordinate, witness or confirm that the issues resolved.
The Systems Manual is a comprehensive package of documentation that assists the owner in better understanding, operating, and maintaining the building’s systems. This document is assembled by the CxA, if it is in the commissioning scope of work. The Systems Manual should not be confused with the O&M Manuals, which is only one part of the more comprehensive package. The Systems Manual includes information collected during the commissioning process and provides a perspective on the building that is system-based, rather than equipment-based.
Maintaining the building’s optimal performance requires periodic Re-Commissioning. A Re-Commissioning Plan will help owners and building staff plan and prepare for Re-Commissioning. The Commissioning Authority can help draft the plan, if it is in his or her scope, that includes the test protocols for re-affirming the performance of building systems. The plan may also include forms and methods for establishing baseline performance metrics (i.e. energy consumption, water consumption, etc.) and the periodic recording of ongoing operating data against the baseline. The best time to produce this plan is at the end of the initial commissioning process, because the Owner’s Project Requirements and the building system performance are well documented at this point.
Seasonal testing is conducted to verify proper system operation during different seasons – at minimum winter and summer. Some testing of heating and cooling systems can be performed under simulated conditions during the off-season, but natural conditions usually provide more reliable results. Testing that was delayed due to site and equipment conditions or inclement weather will also be completed during occupancy.
Shortly before the expiration of the contractor’s one-year warranty, the Commissioning Authority may return to the building to review system operation and interview building staff. The CxA can assist staff in addressing any performance problems or warranty issues and may also add information about the facility to the Commissioning