Appendix D: Commissiong Guide
- The Commissioning Agent effort will be paid for by Auburn University. The
Commissioning Agent will perform this work under separate contract direct to the
University. These guidelines are intended to notify the Contractor of the role of the
Contractor with respect to coordination and assistance to the Commissioning Agent and
the role of the Commissioning Agent with respect to the Contractor. The
Commissioning Agent will work for the University and will not provide direction to the
Contractor, except as forwarded through the Project Manager or their representative.
- This guideline requires training for the University employees in the use of certain
equipment specified. This training shall include videotaping of all required training. All
vendors and manufacturers providing training shall agree to be video ta ped without
condition, unless approved by the Contracting Officer in writing.
- Commissioning must be scheduled and performed for each phase of the project prior to
- The Commissioning Agent will be certified in Building Systems Commissioning by the
National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB).
- Commissioning shall be performed in accordance with the following Guidelines and
- ASHRAE – Guideline for Commissioning of HVAC Systems, Guideline 1-1989.
- DOE – Building Commissioning Guidelines, document DOE/BP-1574.
- NEBB – Procedural Standards for Building Systems Commissioning.
- AABC – ACG Commissioning Guideline
- Building Commissioning work is a joint team effort to ensure that building electrical and
mechanical equipment, controls, and systems function together properly to meet design
intent, and to document system performance parameters for fine-tuning of control
sequences and operational procedures. The process of commissioning, as defined here,
goes well beyond typical HVAC system startup, both in detail of testing and in detail of
- The commissioning process shall encompass and coordinate the traditionally separate
functions of system documentation, equipment start-up, control system calibration,
testing and balancing, performance testing, and training.
- The Commissioning Team shall be made up of the following parties:
- University Project Manager (PM)
- University Mechanical Engineer (ME)
- University Energy Manager (EM)
- University Director of Maintenance and Operations (DMO)
- Architect/Engineer of record (A/E)
- Commissioning Agent (CX)
- Construction Contractor (Contractor) and subcontractors, including the
Building Automation System Contractor (BAS)
- Construction Manager (CM)
- Manufacturers’ representatives.
- Where noted in this guideline, the term “Owner” shall mean the University Project
Manager, Mechanical Engineer, Energy Manager, and Director of Maintenance and
Operations. Where the term “Owner” is used, all members of this University team shall
be involved in the process.
- The Commissioning Agent (CX) Responsibilities:
- The CX shall review Design Documents to have full understanding of the project. The
Commissioning Agent shall notify the PM of any found design discrepancy and
coordinate resolution of these issues through the PM.
- The CX shall review Construction Shop Drawing and Operation and Maintenance
Manuals to verify that the systems and equipment identified on these documents are
consistent with the design intent and performance criteria. The Commissioning Agent
shall notify the PM of any discrepancy with the Design Documents and coordinate
resolution of these issues through the PM
- The CX shall be responsible for developing the Commissioning Plan, InstallationVerification checklists, Functional Performance Tests, Preventative Maintenance Program
and Training plans. Acceptance of these items is subject to the approval of the Project
Manager, Mechanical Engineer, Energy Manager, and University Director of Maintenance
and Operations. The plan will be forwarded to the Contractor and/or CM for inclusion into
the project schedule.
- The required training will be performed primarily by the Contractor as provided for in the
other specifications. The CX will coordinate with the Contractor to provide a complete
and orderly training effort, supplementing this effort as required to produce effective
training sessions for the University.
- The CX shall be responsible for performing and documenting each step of the
commissioning process and for recommending acceptance or non-acceptance to the
University. The Commissioning Agent shall complete test records and reports.
Acceptance of these items is subject to the approval of the Project Manager, Mechanical
Engineer, Energy Manager and the Director of Maintenance and Operations. Equipment,
tools, materials, and personnel required to complete the commissioning work shall be
provided by the Commissioning Agent. Materials, tools, and equipment required shall
remain the property of the CX.
- The CX shall be responsible for developing a commissioning specification to be
incorporated into the bid documents prepared by the A/E.
- The CX shall attend a regularly scheduled monthly meeting between Auburn University,
Johnson Controls and commissioning firms working on campus to discuss project
- Design Architect/Engineer Resposibility:
- The A/E shall incorporated comments of the CX reviews into the design documents at the
direction of the Owner.
- Shall incorporate the commissioning plan and specification into the bid documents.
Should any discrepancies arise in the Design Documents as identified by the Contractor
or CX, the Project Manager, Mechanical Engineer, Energy Manager and Director of Maintenance and Operations will determine what action will be required of the Design
A/E for resolution.
- The Construction Contractor:
- Shall incorporate the Commissioning Plan into the Construction Schedule by determining
when the start-up inspections, tests, or other elements of the Commissioning plan
are required. The Contractor will update the Commissioning plan as needed when the
plan develops through the submittal and construction process. The Contractor shall
coordinate their efforts with the CX and the Commissioning plan.
- Shall coordinate scheduling of inspections, tests, system start-ups through the Owner and
- The Construction Contractor shall advise he PM when required work has been
completed for each phase of the Commissioning plan.
- The Construction Contractor shall then establish a date for inspections, testing,
and startup required for that commissioning phase. The date, time and location
shall be coordinated through the PM. Tests shall be repeated until results are
approved and accepted by the Owner.
- The Construction Contractor shall advise subcontractors, manufacturer’s
representatives, and other parties designated for any work related to the
commissioning, of the date, time and location of inspections.
- Shall be responsible for creating and maintaining as-built documents per the contract
- Shall assist the Commissioning Agent in verification of Test, Adjust, Balance and
commissioning of systems identified by the Commissioning Agent.
- Test and Balance Contractor:
- Shall incorporate the Commissioning Plan into the Test and Balance Schedule by
determining when the start-up, inspections, tests, or other elements of the Commissioning
plan are required. The Contractor will update the Commissioning Plan as needed when the plan develops through the submittal and construction process. The Contractor shall
coordinate their efforts with the CX and the Commissioning Plan.
- Shall coordinate scheduling of inspections, tests, and system start-ups through the PM
- The Test and Balance Contractor shall advise the PM when required work has
been completed for each phase of the Commissioning Plan.
- The Test and Balance Contractor shall then establish a date for inspections,
testing, and start-up required for that commissioning phase. The date, time and
location shall be coordinated through the PM. Tests shall be repeated until results
are approved and accepted by the Owner.
- The Test and Balance Contractor shall advise subcontractors, manufacturer’s
representatives, and other parties designated for any work related to the
commissioning, of the date, time and location.
- Scope of Commissioning:
- Systems required to be commissioned include:
- HVAC Systems
- Building Automation Systems (HVAC and Lighting Controls)
- Other systems that may be commissioned for specific projects (Design A/E
shall consult with the Owner to determine additional systems to be commissioned.)
- Fuel Alarm Systems
- Laboratory Compressed Air Systems
- Laboratory Vacuum Systems
- Fire Alarm Systems
- Emergency Generator Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Freezer Alarm Systems
- Life Safety Systems
- Scope of commissioning shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (Many
of these same items of work, and more, should be completed by the Contractor as part of
completing the work within the Contract Documents, prior to verification by the CX.)
- Attend design meetings to discuss with A/E commissioning requirements and
verify design requirements are met.
- Review of design documents, shop drawings, as-built installation drawings,
operations and maintenance manuals.
- Maintain an ongoing comment/resolution log for all items starting with drawing
reviews and continuing through closeout for the project. Logs should be
distributed to Project Team at following intervals:
- During design – at milestone reviews.
- During construction – monthly or weekly as construction progresses.
- Witness and verify HVAC equipment and system installation for conformity to
design documents and Auburn University Design & Construction Guidelines.
Verify that installations are free of vibration, have proper alignment and
rotation, proper size and rating of overload protection, proper location of
thermometers, gauges and test plugs.
- Witness and verify testing of HVAC piping and duct systems, as specified in
the Contract Documents.
- Witness and verify hydrostatic testing of plumbing systems, including air, gas,
and vacuum, as specified in the Contract Documents.
- Verify that dampers, including fire and smoke dampers, are properly located
and fully operational.
- Verify proper electrical power wiring to HVAC equipment. Verify any direct
control wiring (signals not initiated by the BAS such as fire alarm signals that
wire directly to necessary HVAC controllers) and BAS control wiring to
HVAC equipment controllers as compared to the operational requirements and
- Witness and verify start-up of HVAC equipment. Verify that motor amperage
is under nameplate rating; compare nameplate full load amps with overload
heater ratings. (See section 9.8 for more specific requirements.)
- Verify calibration of thermostats, humidistats, differential pressure sensors,
damper settings, valve positions, and related controls.
- Verify monitoring and/or control input, output, and status points for the
Building Automation System (BAS). Assistance from the BAS installation
team shall be available to the Commissioning Agent. Provide point-to-point
verification of BAS components.
- Verify operation of system modes and Sequences of Operations shown in
construction documents, including damper and valve operations.
Humidification system, heating and cooling coil responses, fan and pump
operations, and other automation system points required.
- Verify system response to emergency operational modes, including fan
- Verify Test, Adjustment and Balance (TAB) readings, Verify 40% of
laboratory water + airflow quantities and 20% of offices air devices of water
flow chosen randomly by CX.
- Verify that total HVAC system is performing to meet specified design intent
under full load, part load, emergency, and seasonal conditions.
- Verify performance of filtration devices, including pressure drop measurements
and leak testing.
- Verify leak testing of supply, return and exhaust duct systems.
- Confirm as-built drawings match installation. This includes HVAC
construction as well as controls drawings.
- Coordinate and consolidate operations and maintenance information submitted
by the Contractor as spelled out in the Contract Documents. Provide to the
University a complete and well-organized Operations and Maintenance Manual for operating staff’s training sessions and future reference. Owner to review
- Coordinate and organize the training efforts required by the Contractor within
the Contract Documents. This effort by the CX is intended to provide a
complete training effort for the building operating staff. The CX shall amend
the Contractor’s efforts, if needed, to provide complete information for
- Verify that equipment is installed in a manner in which it can be reasonably
accessed for service and calibration.
- Commissioning Tests:
- Installation Verification Test - Each system shall be checked for proper
installation, shall be adjusted and shall be calibrated to verify that it is ready to
function as specified.
- Pre-Functional Performance Test - Systems shall be inspected and approved
for substantial completion and full operation prior to actual Functional
- Functional Performance Test - The objective of these tests is to demonstrate
that each system is operating and complying with specified performance
requirements through possible modes of operation.
- Pre-Construction Commission Meeting
- Before construction begins, the Commissioning Agent shall review the draft
Commissioning Plan with members of the commissioning team.
- This meeting shall be held at a time and place designated by the PM.
- The purpose of the meeting will be to familiarize parties with the requirements of the
commissioning process, and to ensure that the responsibilities of each party are clearly
- Shop Drawing Review
- The Commissioning Agent shall review shop drawings for building systems that will be
commissioned or as indicated in the Commissioning Plan.
- The review shall be summarized in a report and submitted within fourteen (14) calendar
days of receipt of each submittal to the Owner.
- The review shall be structured and reported to identify any discrepancies between the
Design Documents and the shop drawing submittals that would affect the commissioning
- Operation and Maintenance Manuals for Equipment and Systems
- The mechanical systems and equipment manuals shall contain the following:
- Itemized Equipment List: Include maintenance schedule and detailed work
description of each commissioned maintenance item.
- Each item of Equipment and each System: Include description of unit or system,
and components parts. Identify function, normal operating characteristics, and
limiting conditions. Include complete nomenclature and commercial number of
- Operating Procedures: Include start-up, break-in, and routine normal operating
instructions and sequences. Include regulation, control, stopping, shutdown, and
emergency instructions. Include summer, winter, and any special operation
- Maintenance Requirements: Include routine procedures and guide for troubleshooting;
disassembly, repair and reassembly instructions; and alignment,
adjusting, balancing and checking instructions.
- Provide servicing and lubrication schedule, and list of lubricants required.
Include manufacturer’s printed operation and maintenance instructions.
- Include sequence of operation from BAS controls contractor.
- Provide original manufacturer’s parts lists, illustrations, assembly drawings and
diagrams required for maintenance.
- Provide wiring diagrams and schematics
- Provide control diagram by controls contractor as installed.
- Provide list of original manufacturer’s spare parts, current prices, and
recommended quantities to be maintained in University stock on-hand.
- Operations and Maintenance manuals shall be provided in 3-ring binders for
hardcopies and on CD’s for electronic PDF versions.
- Construction Contractor shall furnish complete Operation and Maintenance
Manuals to Commissioning Agent and Owner for review and assimilation, as
defined by specific equipment and materials specifications, and as it applies to
commissioning. Furnish within 60 calendar days before scheduled Functional
Performance Test(s). Allow minimum fourteen (14) calendar days for review.
- Construction Contractor shall furnish reviewed and corrected Operation and
Maintenance Materials to Commissioning Agent and Owner, fourteen (14)
calendar days before scheduled Functional Performance test(s).
- Final Operation and Maintenance Materials to be submitted to Owner within
fourteen (14) calendar days following completion of Functional Performance
- Commissiong Procedures
- 10.1 Test Procedure Development and Test Documentation
- Commissioning Agent shall prepare and submit to Owner for review the
Commissioning Plan, detailed descriptions of test procedures that the
Commissioning Agent proposes for demonstration of conformance of completed
systems to these Plans and Specifications.
Each test procedure shall include the following information:
- Purpose of the test.
- Required personnel, tools, instruments needed to perform the tests.
- Design information pertinent to the equipment or system being tested.
- Equipment description.
- Detailed sequence of operation, including any operating set points.
- Scheduling requirements.
- Special instructions or warnings.
- Expected results.
- Sampling strategies.
- The Commissioning Agent shall revise each test procedure as necessary to
incorporate information specific and particular to the equipment/systems as
shown on the Shop Drawings and Operations and Maintenance Manuals.
Changes to test procedures, field corrections to equipment or system components,
or other modifications that occur during testing must be documented.
- 10.2 As-Built Verification
- The Commissioning Agent shall review As-Built Documents for accuracy of
- The review shall be structured and reported to identify any
discrepancies between the As-Built Documents and the actual on-site
operation and hardware. Verify that system documentation is current.
- The review shall be summarized in a report and six (6) copies shall be
submitted for approval to the Owner. Once approved, two (2) copies
shall be forwarded to the Contractor from the PM.
- The Commissioning Agent shall coordinate and document the resolution of
discrepancies identified in the As-Built Verification Report with the Construction
Contractor through the PM.
- 10.3 Documentation and Reports
- Documentation, General
- The Commissioning Agent shall record and maintain detailed
inspection and testing data. The data record shall be comprehensive
- Data shall be recorded as soon as possible during the course of the
inspection and testing, changes to test procedures, field corrections to
equipment or system components, or other modifications that occur
during testing must be documented.
- Documentation shall have the date, time, weather conditions, and
names of persons participating in the inspection and testing.
- Test instruments shall be documented for valid calibration.
- The documentation format for records must be approved by the Owner
prior to the start of Functional Performance Testing.
- 10.4 Report
- The Commissioning Agent shall prepare and submit to the Owner six (6) copies
of the Installation Verification and Functional Testing Reports. Two (2) copies of
the reports will be forwarded by the PM to the Contractor with requests for
corrective action if required of the Contractor.
- Submit report after completion of commissioning period.
- Report shall document tests performed, any modifications to tests, comparison to
TAB and other agency tests, and verification of compliance with Basis of Design.
- 10.5 Training Session Requirements
- Training Sessions shall be conducted for University Personnel in University
Facilities at the Auburn Campus, with hands-on-training at the project site.
- Commissioning Agent shall identify personnel, including Construction
Contractor, A/E and manufacturer’s representatives that shall participate in
training sessions as required in the Construction Documents. Training time
requirements shall be identified in a training matrix for inclusion in
Commissioning Plan. Parties shall both attend training sessions and be available for demonstrations. The Commissioning Agent shall coordinate vendor-provided
- Commissioning Agent will develop a Training Agenda with the cooperation and
coordination of the Contractor. The CX shall submit six (6) copies to the Owner
twenty one (21) calendar days prior to initial scheduled training session. Two (2)
copies of the final agenda will be forwarded to the Contractor by the PM.
- Training Session Topics to be included:
- Equipment and system descriptions.
- Equipment start-up operation in normal and emergency modes, shutdown procedures, seasonal changeover, and manual/automatic
- Operation and adjustment of dampers, valves and controls.
- Preventative Maintenance Program: requirements and schedules for
routine maintenance on equipment.
- Special tools needed and a recommended spare parts inventory.
- Relevant health and safety issues, including emergency procedures.
- Warranties and guarantees.
- Hands-on operation of the equipment and systems.
- Common troubleshooting problems that might arise, with a description
of possible causes and corrective measures.
- Overview of information contained in the operating manuals and
location of plans and manuals in the facility.
- Videotape training session for future training needs.
- Commissioning Agent shall organize Contractor-provided training materials and
supplement or amend these training materials as needed to produce a quality
training session for the University and its employees or contractors. The
Contractor shall provide professional video production services to record these
training sessions. Provide six (6) copies of training manuals, contained in 3-ring binders, which include necessary documentation for system hardware operation
and maintenance data. Provide four (4) copies of the training session video in
VHS or DVD format.
- 10.6 System Installation Verification and Functional Performance Testing
- General Requirements
- Operating equipment and systems shall be tested by the Commissioning
Agent, to demonstrate compliance with specified requirements. Life safety
tests shall be witnessed by the PM or other Auburn University representative
identified by Owner. Other tests may be witnessed by, at option of, the
- Prior to installation, required control system components and sensors, as
identified in the Commissioning Plan, shall have been bench calibrated.
- Prior to start-up, Installation Verification inspection checklists shall be
complete. The Contractor shall coordinate with the CX to develop this
- Before starting Functional Performance Tests, Installation Verification shall
be completed and approved by the Owner.
- Per the Commissioning Plan, testing shall be conducted under specified
design operating conditions, and in accordance with manufacturer’s
instructions. BAS testing shall be assisted by personnel of the Contractor and
the BAS Sub-Contractor. Manufacturer’s installation team shall assist in
testing of other major equipment where applicable to the Commissioning
- Elements of systems shall be tested to demonstrate that total systems satisfy
requirements of the Specifications. Testing shall be accomplished on
hierarchical basis. Test each piece of equipment for proper operation,
followed by each subsystem, followed by entire system, followed by any
interfaces to other major systems.
- Special commissioning testing materials, tools and equipment shall be
provided by and remain the property of the Commissioning Agent.
- Commissioning Agent shall provide (6) copies of test reports and records to
the PM within seven (7) days of test. The PM will provide two (2) copies to
the Contractor with requests for corrective action, if required.
- System Start-Up and Installation Verification
- Prior to HVAC system startup, the following items shall be verified by CX
and reviewed by Owner:
The CX shall for purposes of installation verification perform the
- Building is clean enough for air systems to be run.
- Building control system including metering capabilities are fully
- Temporary additional filters are installed at return air devices to
keep return air duct, plenums, and air handlers clean. CX shall
also inspect filters and air handlers to ensure that filters are
properly maintained by Contractor. CX shall provide daily
observation and weekly report of findings of condition of system.
Functional Performance Tests
- Construction Contractor shall ensure that construction debris and
dirt have been removed and that systems have been cleaned.
- Each system shall be checked for proper installation, shall be
adjusted, and shall be calibrated to verify that it is ready to
function as specified.
- System elements shall be checked to verify that they have been
installed properly and that connections have been made correctly.
Verify that each piece of equipment has been checked for proper
lubrication, drive rotation, belt tension, control sequence or other conditions that may cause damage. Verify that control devices
shall have been calibrated and control loops tuned.
- Verify that tests, meter readings and specific electrical
characteristics agree with those required by equipment or system
- Discrete elements and sub-systems shall be adjusted and shall be
checked for proper operation. Verify that wiring and support
components for equipment are complete and tested.
- Installation Verifications shall be documented in a permanent
record for each system/piece of equipment. Settings, readings
and/or calibration points shall be listed on the record. Records
shall be dated and initialed by the Construction Contractor and
stamped by the Commissioning Agent.
Owners Demonstration Phase
- A Functional Performance Test shall be performed on each
complete system after the Contractor has completed any tests
specified in the individual specifications. Each function shall be
demonstrated by the Commissioning Agent on a step-by-step basis
as detailed in the written test procedure of the Commissioning
- Functional Performance Tests shall be documented in a permanent
record for each system/piece of equipment. Settings, readings,
and/or calibration points shall be listed on the record. Records
shall be dated and initialed and stamped by the Commissioning
- The Construction Contractor shall make corrective measures of
rejected systems and equipment as directed by the COR and
witnessed by the Commissioning Agent.
- The Commissioning Agent shall coordinate re-testing of rejected
systems/equipment through the PM after corrective measures have
- The Commissioning Agent shall identify and prepare a list of offseason
systems that must be tested after the normal commissioning
period to properly establish system performance. This second
phase of testing shall take place within 12 months following
construction and when weather conditions permit proper
demonstration of systems under near-design conditions.
- The Contractor shall assist the CX in demonstration of verification of randomly
chosen test and balance readings, controls sequence of operations, and control
system points. The following demonstrations shall be performed:
- Demonstrate to Owner 10% of TAB readings to be chosen at random by
Owner. This is in addition to the TAB readings verified by CX.
- Demonstrate to Owner 15% of controls points of operation to be chosen at
random by Owner.
- If, during owners demonstration phase of TAB readings and controls points
readings, points do not perform as required, that point/reading will be retested
until it passes and one additional point/reading will be verified at no cost to
- The Owners Demonstration Phase shall be accounted for in overall construction
schedule. Demonstration shall be performed after receipt and approval of Final Commissioning