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International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Commissioning



San Antonio recently adopted the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  The 2015 IECC requires system commissioning for all commercial buildings where the total mechanical equipment cooling capacity is equal to or greater than 480,000 btu/h (40 tons).  This means that most buildings larger than 15,000 sq. ft. will now require building systems commissioning.  Many buildings smaller than this may also require commissioning depending on the load density. 

The Commissioning Process is defined as “a quality-focused process for enhancing the delivery of a project.  The process focuses upon verifying and documenting that the facility and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the Owner’s Project Requirements” (ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005). 

A 2009 study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found the following benefits of new construction commissioning within a sample size of 82 buildings:

  • 13% Median Whole-Building Energy Savings
  • Median Cost Savings of $0.18/sq. ft. – yr (based on Median Commissioning Cost of $1.16/sq. ft.)
  • 1.1 Benefit to Cost Ratio
  • Cost of Conserved Carbon of -$25/tonne
  • Improved Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality cited as reasons for Commissioning more often than Energy Savings

The City of San Antonio (COSA) requires a qualified commissioning agent to submit the commissioning plan for mechanical, service water heating systems and electrical systems.  This commissioning plan must meet specific guidelines established by COSA.  A Preliminary Report of Commissioning that corresponds to the Commissioning Plan is required by COSA prior to obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy.  Only a qualified agent may perform commissioning and submit the Preliminary Report of Commissioning. 

As licensed Professional Engineers certified in building commissioning, we meet the requirements established by COSA to serve as a qualified agent. As an independent commissioning authority we provide an unbiased perspective and additional layer of quality control.