Jun 01, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ARE 5871 - Commissioning

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
This course introduces the process of commissioning buildings for use and occupancy. The course covers processes that can be verified by one-time measurements and with hand-held measuring devices and those requiring short-term and long-term monitoring, verification, and analyses. Topics include commissioning of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and building envelope systems; commissioning planning; recommissioning; and retro-commissioning. (prereq: ARE 5451  or ARE 5161 ) (quarter system prereq: AE 3422 or AE 3622)
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Identify the benefits that the commissioning process brings to new construction and existing buildings as it pertains to HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and building enclosure
  • Define the commissioning process and the roles that commissioning providers, design teams, contractors, facilities, and owner play in the commissioning process
  • Facilitate a successful commissioning meeting
  • Implement the commissioning process and the steps necessary to create a cohesive team environment and a successful project outcome
  • Prepare construction verification forms from design documents, specifications, and equipment submittals
  • Identify installation and implementation issues while on site
  • Explain sequences of operation in a manner understood by the entire commissioning team. Identify areas of concern or confusion
  • Develop functional test documents from existing sequences of operation and controls submittals
  • Demonstrate proficiency with hand-held measuring devices and data loggers
  • Analyze trend data from controls systems and data loggers to verify proper or improper operation of the control system; provide appropriate samples to communicate concerns; evaluate outcomes of functional testing and the next steps to take to move towards a properly functioning system
  • Compose verbal and written communication to address all levels of personnel on the commissioning team, including potential shareholders, with class participation with practice and feedback

Prerequisites by Topic
  • General understanding of at least one of the following building systems:
    • HVAC
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical
    • Fire protection
    • Construction management (from a GC perspective)
    • Envelope/enclosure

Course Topics
  • Introduction to commissioning, the role of the commissioning provider, the economics of commissioning, the benefits of commissioning, The Building Commissioning Association (BCA) Handbook, and ASHRAE Guideline 0
  • Communication skills: verbal and written, use of words
  • Participate in the process for creating an Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document through a user group meeting session, discussing the tie to commissioning, and creating an OPR
  • Review Basis of Design (BoD) documents, including a compare and contrast of BoDs to OPR
  • Perform commissioning-based design reviews at various stages of design - schematic, design, construction phase documents
  • Construction phase commissioning process, commissioning kick-off meeting, commissioning progress meetings, defining the commissioning team
  • Creating and utilizing construction verification forms; understanding what commissioning is looking for during visits to site, creating a site visit report
  • Life safety dampers: reviewing the installation and functional testing processes and tie in to fire alarm testing (2 lecture hours)
  • Firestopping review
  • Students will participate in a tour of a site TBD to see mechanical and electrical equipment in action and to understand from a commissioning perspective what is important to verify both during the installation process and functional testing processes
  • Building enclosure commissioning process from the design phase through the construction phase and field testing
  • Review electrical distribution and emergency power projects, including information gathered with one-line drawings; discuss implementation on site and commissioning testing strategies
  • Review a designer’s sequence of operation; review a controls submittal; facilitate a controls page turn meeting
  • Learn strategies for writing functional test documents for the control contractor to utilize for testing on site
  • Trends: verify trends, capture trends, review trends, analyze and understand trends
  • Tools: use of various handheld measuring devices and data loggers
  • Students will participate in functional testing on site if possible or via remote access to the BAS to see mechanical and electrical equipment performing through various control strategies
  • Reporting of test data in an effective manner
  • Operations phase commissioning process
  • Seasonal functional testing
  • Recommissioning and retro-commissioning; understand how the commissioning team dynamics differ from a new construction commissioning process, communication, planning, and facilitating the commissioning process

Rachel Rueckert, P.E.

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