Farmland Elementary School

The Farmland Elementary School located in Rockville, Maryland is a 27,000 square foot existing building and a 33,000 square foot new addition. The project has been designed to achieve the LEED “Gold” level of sustainability (the possible ratings are Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum) under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System has directed that the commissioning process by undertaken to fulfill the requirements of Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning in support of Energy & Atmosphere (EA) Prerequisite 1 and Credit 3 for Enhanced Commissioning as described in the LEED for Schools, Version 2007.

Michael Sizemore was the lead Commissioning Authority (CxA) for this project with Glenn Johnson and Nathan Iager assisting in the process.

Commissioning Overview and Scope

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. This project includes Enhanced Commissioning; therefore, extra tasks are required to achieve the higher standards set by LEED for such a project. The LEED commissioning process is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Review the design intent and basis of design documentation
  • Develop and utilize a Commissioning plan
  • Develop commissioning specifications and other specifications language to include commissioning requirements in the construction documents
  • Conduct a focused review of the design prior to the construction documents phase and another focused review of the Construction Documents when close to completion
  • Verify installation, functional performance documentation
  • Complete a Commissioning Report
  • Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion

Commissioned Systems

This project was commissioned as a renovation with new attachment added. The equipment to be Commissioned on this project consisted of the following:

  • HVAC building automation
  • Split system heat pump units and controls
  • Energy Recovery Unit and controls
  • Rooftop Unit and controls
  • Boilers and controls
  • Chiller and controls
  • Fan Coil Units and controls
  • Air Handlers and controls
  • Electric heat and controls
  • Associated pumps and controls
  • General occupancy exhaust fans and controls
  • Distribution systems for conditioned air (ductwork and piping insulation) including VAV terminal units
  • Domestic hot water heaters and distribution system (including circulating pump and aquastat)
  • Lighting controls (time clock, occupancy sensors, and/or daylight sensors)

Commissioning Activity Summary and Schedule

Early in the design stage of this project, the Commissioning team consisting of Michael Sizemore, Glenn Johnson and Warren Isaac completed two focused reviews of the design documents.

The first was a design review conducted prior to the Construction Documents phase to ensure that each commissioned feature or system met the Owner’s Project Requirements relative to functionality, energy performance, water performance, maintainability, system cost, indoor environmental quality, and local environmental impacts. A written report was prepared by the CA for the purpose of documenting this review and communicating comments to the design team for incorporation into the Construction Documents.

The second review was a design review of the Construction Documents when they were close to completion. This review was done to ensure that commissioning was adequately specified, that each commissioned feature or system could be commissioned and met the design intent relative to functionality, energy performance, water performance, maintainability, sustainability, system cost, indoor environmental quality, and local environmental impacts. A written report was prepared by the CxA for the purpose of documenting this review and communicating comments to the design team for incorporation into the Construction Documents.

On-Site Functional Testing Activities

Functional testing was conducted on August 15 – November 16, 2011. The CxA team conducted the functional tests using the energy management system (EMS). This included running the HVAC equipment and systems, HVAC controls, and lighting controls through the sequence of operations as presented in the BoD report and in the sequences of operation on the drawings and in the approved ATC submittals. In some cases where it was required to test equipment and system response to setpoints, simulated values were used so that the expected response could be observed. Functional testing successfully concluded on November 16, 2011.

Systems Manual

A Systems Manual was created per LEED requirements for Enhanced Commissioning.

This manual included equipment specific items including (but not limited to) operating instructions, wiring diagrams, sequences of operation and warranty information.

Final Results

On June 4, 2012, this project was designated LEED Gold with 47 points achieved, including E&A Prerequisite 1 – Fundamental Commissioning an E&A Credit 3 – Enhanced Commissioning.

This project is the first LEED Gold Enhanced Commissioning project the current Commissioning team has been a part of.

 

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