UNDERSTAND NEEDS OF SPECIAL BUILDING TYPES
DETERMINE KEY PROGRAM GOALS & RECOMMENDATIONS
DEFINE THREATS, RISKS, AND CONSEQUENCES
CONDUCT KEY COMMISSIONING PROGRAMMING ACTIVITIES
The Basis of Design (BOD) is a narrative and analytical doumentation prepared by Cobeal in conjunction with the design architect and engineer along with design submissions to explain how the OPR is met by the proposed design. It describes the technical approach used for systems selections, integration, and sequence of operations, focusing on design features critical to overall building performance. Cobeal prepares the OPR for an owner/user audience while the BOD is typically developed in more technical terms. The CP will review the BOD and provide review comments to the design team. The design team should work with Cobeal to verify that the BOD complies with the OPR objectives. In some cases the OPR may need to be updated to comply with the BOD if the design team identifies approaches that better satisfy the owner's needs.
Commissioning Specifications Requirements are developed to outline commissioned systems and equipment performance benchmarks, system integration details, submittal requirements for commissioned systems, initial construction contractor inspection procedures, tests, start-up, turnover procedures, owner training, and final documentation requirements. These documents must clearly define the contractors' responsibilities in supporting the commissioning efforts for the project. A Commissioning kick-off meeting is held to review these documents. Any questions specific to the project should be handled in this meeting.
When determining commissioning requirements, it is also important to define documentation needs that will facilitate and support operation of commissioned systems. O&M Manuals are typically prepared by a construction contractor at the turn-over phase of a project, but are often inadequate to fully explain how a complex facility should be operated. ASHRAE Guideline 1.4-2014, Procedures for Preparing Systems Manual, recommends that a "Systems Manual", containing commissioning and commissioning documentation be prepared for commissioned buildings. Systems Manuals should provide all the information needed to understand, operate, and maintain the systems and assemblies. The Systems Manual should be the repository of information on updates and corrections to systems and assemblies as they occur during the Design, Construction, and Occupancy and Operations Phases. A best practice is to develop a Systems Manual Outline simultaneous with selection, design, and specification of the commissioned systems.
An important element in the commissioning process is ensuring that O&M personnel are properly trained in operation, care, adjustment, and required maintenance of commissioned systems and equipment. O&M personnel must be trained in the knowledge and skills needed to operate a facility in conformance with its design intent. Training needs must be addressed in the early planning stage to inform operating personnel about staffing budgets and hiring, qualifications, O&M contracts planning and procurement, construction contract training specification development and commissioning authority contract responsibilities.
Providing occupant safety to visitors and workers in public facilities is a driving force to deliver and commission facilities with enhanced building safety measures. Commissioning of security systems, advanced IT systems that integrate into security systems, fire life safety systems that are also integrated into IT, and HVAC systems will need additional scrutiny when commissioning. Cobeal takes the necessary care in commissioning these critical elements.
Whether your building requires certifications such as LEED, ENERGY STAR, or others, Cobeal will discuss and help you better understand certification requuirements in planning and design phases so that commissioning for certifications procedures and documentation can be included in the OPR and Commissioning Plans.
The benefits of ongoing commissioning or monitoring based commissioning (MBC) are well documented in annual energy savings in studies conducted by many institutions. Threats and risks to operational/business continuity, occupant safety, and health and systems degradation and inefficiency often warrant the added expense of ongoing commissioning.
Commissioning in the Building Code is becoming more prevenient in all levels. The Commissioning Plan is designed to ensure that the building is built to the OPR and that the Commissioning Plan meets the requirements for the respective jurisdiction.
Smart Building technology requires integration of most, if not all, of the building systems. Integration requires a high level of knowledge in IT structure, communication protocols, system registries, and systems interactions. Cobeal works with leading IT experts to provide clients an in-depth knowledge of life-safety codes that are critical if these systems are integrated into the Smart Building approach.
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