Planning, delivering and operating large and small buildings that perform as intended are the goals behind a newly proposed standard.
The proposal would require commissioning for all buildings designed and built under a green building standard from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).
National Institute of Building Sciences
|Under a new addendum, commissioning would be required on all buildings designed and built under a green building standard from ASHRAE, USGBC and IES.|
The proposal would remove the “Acceptable Testing” provision for small buildings from ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. That standard provides design guidance on key topical areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.
The proposed addendum p is open for public review until Nov. 18.
Changes at Helm
The addendum would remove the “Acceptance Testing” provision (Section 10.3.1.1 Building Acceptance Testing) for buildings less than 5,000 square feet.
The current standard provides that when a building is less than 5,000 square feet, it is considered to have “simple building systems” and thus requires a reduced level of commissioning effort, referred to as “Acceptance Testing,” according to Jeff Ross-Bain, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee.
However, many buildings less than 5,000 square feet can be complex and therefore require more in-depth processes, ASHRAE said.
“Commissioning is a robust and well-supported discipline with established guidelines (ASHRAE and others), a long history of use, and with many practitioners,” Ross-Bain said.
He added that the commissioning process was adapted to the specifics of a given building.
“A ‘simple’ building would only require ‘simple’ commissioning regardless of size,” he said.
Issues with ‘Acceptable Testing’
Ross-Bain notes that “Acceptance Testing” is not a universally defined activity and does not appear to have specific instructions or guidelines within the industry detailing how the activity is formally completed.
Furthermore, the current “Acceptance Testing” section would not meet the minimum commissioning prerequisite of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which requires all buildings to undergo the commissioning process, Ross-Bain said.
For more information and to comment, visit http://www.ashrae.org.