CalGreen commissioning is required on all new commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet.
Building Commissioning is the professional practice that ensures buildings are delivered according to the owner’s project requirements and in accordance with the design documents. Buildings that are properly commissioned typically have fewer change orders, tend to be more energy efficient, and have lower operation and maintenance cost.
What is most important to note is that the commissioning required by CalGreen codes is not as extensive as some industry commissioning standards.
We often see commissioning companies applying higher standards than is required by the CalGreen Code. While this may be beneficial on some projects, it also translates into higher costs for the owner.
At CalGreen Energy Services we limit the commissioning effort to that which is specifically mandated by the code. This helps keep our fees low, and the construction costs lower.
Our simplified commissioning process will minimize the work required by your subcontractors. The architect and building engineers will also see their workloads reduced.
Systems Requiring Commissioning
The 2019 California Green Building Standards Code specifically requires only the following systems to be commissioned:
- Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning systems and Controls
- Indoor Lighting Systems and Controls
- Water Heating Systems and controls
To be clear, the 2019 California Energy Code does have additional commissioning requirements not included in the above. These include items related to the building envelope such as insulation, windows and doors. The two commissioning requirements can be combined into a single process. This is the standard procedure at CalGreen Energy Systems.
For your permit submittal you will need to provide the following CalGreen commissioning documents at permit intake:
- The Owner’s Project Requirements report.
- The Basis of Design report.
- The Commissioning Plan.
CalGreen Energy Services can author these documents and have them ready for your permit submittal. This is another area where understanding the specific requirements of the California Building Code is critical to your project. The California code requirements are less stringent than some industry standards such as the LEED reporting requirements.
Local jurisdictions rarely review and comment on these documents. The exception may be if the building department uses third-party plan reviewers. These outside consultants frequently generate pages of comments on every section of the code. If you are unlucky enough to have a third-party reviewer on your job you will be glad you have a CalGreen specialist on your project!
CalGreen Commissioning and the Construction Process
The basic steps of the construction process for commissioning are:
- Author functional performance testing procedures.
- Inform the construction team on the commissioning requirements.
- Review of submittals, O&M manuals, and Requests for Information (RFIs) for affected systems including testing and balancing reports.
- Review functional performance testing reports.
- Provide a finalized commissioning report for affected systems.
A commissioning agent must work closely and communicate well with your construction team. At CalGreen Energy Services we have been involved in the construction of everything from single family homes to billion-dollar Kaiser Hospital projects. We understand the importance of developing a positive relationship with your contractor to minimize the impact of the commissioning process.
At CalGreen Energy Services we can save you time and money on your CalGreen commissioning requirements. We are specialists in the CalGreen Code. CalGreen is our only business. If you have a CalGreen question please feel free to give us a call. We are happy to share our knowledge.
For more information on the CalGreen Code visit the California Building Standards Commission website here:
For more information on the CalGreen fro commercial buildings see our informative article here:
Call us today and let us show you how we can help with your project.
Gary Welch has over 35 years experience in the field of sustainable building design. He is the CEO of CalGreen Energy Services. Gary is an ICC Certified CalGreen Special Inspector and Plans Examiner.