Commissioning – The Citron Apartments

By: Michael Sizemore, CxA,LEED GA – Allen & Shariff Engineering the Commissioning Authority

The Cirton Apartments project is a new five story, 222-unit apartment building. The MEP Systems were designed by Allen & Shariff Engineering to achieve the LEED “Silver” level of sustainability under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. Allen & Shariff Commissioning was awarded the commissioning portion of the project to fulfill the requirements of Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning in support of Energy & Atmosphere (EA) Prerequisite 1 as described in the LEED NC Version 2.2.

Foulger-Pratt was awarded as the General Contractor with Bryce Long as the field Project Manager. For this project, team leader Glenn Johnson appointed Michael Sizemore – CxA as the lead and Nathan Iager – CxT to oversee the commissioning tasks for this project.

Commissioning is a process of verifying that building systems perform in accordance with the design intent. This is achieved by documenting the process beginning at the schematic design phase and continuing through construction and acceptance by verifying performance. The LEED commissioning process is intended to achieve, among other items, functional verification and operation of installed HVAC equipment and how they meet or exceed the Owner’s and LEED requirements.

On this project, there were several systems that were tested including: Electric Heat, Rooftop Units, Split System Heat Pumps, Fans, Ductless Split Systems, Lighting control, Domestic Water Heater

Each system was tested using their stand-alone controls.  There was very little interaction between systems due to the function of the building.  Each apartment and common area’s HVAC equipment consisted of a Split System Heat Pump with thermostat control, toilet exhaust fan(s) and domestic water heater.  The corridors were conditioned with three Rooftop Units and were individually controlled via thermostat.  Electric heat and ductless split systems were located throughout the building in Elevator Control Rooms, Electric Rooms and stairwells.

During the functional testing we discovered a few items that needed to be addressed.  Interestingly enough, the items that were discovered were basically minor items such as Heat Pump float switches not connected.  Though at the time this seems like a minor item, if this was not discovered and the Heat Pump float switch remained inoperable, conditions could occur where the Heat Pump could produce excess condensate and potentially cause water damage to the tenant space and possibly tenant spaces below.  This item was addressed and the potential for damage has been eliminated.

At this time all information has been submitted to LEED to begin the reviewing process for certification.

 

 

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