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LEED v4
New Construction
Energy and Atmosphere
Enhanced commissioning

LEED CREDIT

NC-v4 EAc1: Enhanced Commissioning 2-6 points

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To further support the design, construction, and eventual operation of a project that meets the owner’s project requirements for energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

Requirements

Implement, or have in place a contract to implement, the following commissioning process activities in addition to those required under EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification. Commissioning authority

  • The CxA must have documented commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work. The experience must extend from early design phase through at least 10 months of occupancy;
  • The CxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.
Option 1. Enhanced systems commissioning (3-4 points)
Path 1: Enhanced commissioning (3 points)

Complete the following commissioning process (CxP) activities for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and renewable energy systems and assemblies in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0–2005 and ASHRAE Guideline 1.1–2007 for HVAC&R systems, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

The commissioning authority must do the following:

  • Review contractor submittals.
  • Verify inclusion of systems manual requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify inclusion of operator and occupant training requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify systems manual updates and delivery.
  • Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
  • Verify seasonal testing.
  • Review building operations 10 months after substantial completion.
  • Develop an on-going commissioning plan.
Include all enhanced commissioning tasks in the OPR and BOD.

OR

Path 2: Enhanced and monitoring-based commissioning (4 points)

Achieve Path 1.
AND
Develop monitoring-based procedures and identify points to be measured and evaluated to assess performance of energy- and water-consuming systems.

Include the procedures and measurement points in the commissioning plan. Address the following:

  • roles and responsibilities;
  • measurement requirements (meters, points, metering systems, data access);
  • the points to be tracked, with frequency and duration for trend monitoring;
  • the limits of acceptable values for tracked points and metered values (where appropriate, predictive algorithms may be used to compare ideal values with actual values);
  • the elements used to evaluate performance, including conflict between systems, out-of-sequence operation of systems components, and energy and water usage profiles;
  • an action plan for identifying and correcting operational errors and deficiencies;
  • training to prevent errors;
  • planning for repairs needed to maintain performance; and
  • the frequency of analyses in the first year of occupancy (at least quarterly).

Update the systems manual with any modifications or new settings, and give the reason for any modifications from the original design.

AND/OR

Option 2. Envelope commissioning (2 points)

Fulfill the requirements in EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification as they apply to the building’s thermal envelope in addition to mechanical and electrical systems and assemblies.

Complete the following commissioning process (CxP) activities for the building’s thermal envelope in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0–2005 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3–2012, Exterior Enclosure Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

Commissioning authority must complete the following:

  • Review contractor submittals.
  • Verify inclusion of systems manual requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify inclusion of operator and occupant training requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify systems manual updates and delivery.
  • Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
  • Verify seasonal testing.
  • Review building operations 10 months after substantial completion.
  • Develop an on-going commissioning plan.
See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

Can non-design consultants on the project provide enhanced commissioning services?

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Can the same commissioning authority complete both Option 1 (enhanced commissioning) and Option 2 (envelope commissioning)?

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See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

7/1/2016Updated: 7/9/2018
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE:
In Step 3. Engage Commissioning Authority, replace the third bullet with the following text:
"The CxA will lead, review, and oversee the Cx process for all systems to be commissioned, including both Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning activities if Enhanced Commissioning is pursued (see Further Explanation, Systems to Be Commissioned)."

After the end of Step 3. add the following text:
"Exception: For projects pursuing Enhanced Commissioning Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required as long as the BeCxA meets all of the enhanced commissioning credit requirements for the Commissioning Authority relative to the envelope systems that will be commissioned.

The use of the phrase “lead, review and oversee” defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project.

Therefore, at a minimum, the lead commissioning agent should be participating in ALL commissioning activities including BOTH fundamental and enhanced commissioning activities. The exact level of leading, reviewing, and overseeing can vary based on individual project scenarios. However, for enhanced commissioning, the entity selected as the lead CxA must complete the following tasks at a minimum:

Fundamental commissioning tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review owner’s project requirements and basis of design during the early design phase.
• Conduct commissioning design review prior to mid-construction documents
• Confirm incorporation of Cx requirements into construction documents.
• Develop or approve construction checklists.
• Develop or approve system test procedures.
• Witness at least a portion of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and (if applicable) renewable system functional testing that verifies installation and performance of commissioned systems. Refer to ASHRAE Guideline 0 for additional guidance.
• Review an issues log throughout the Cx process. If the CxA does not directly update the log, the CxA must approve all updates to the log on a continuous basis.
• Report findings directly to the owner throughout the process.
• Develop or approve the summary commissioning report.

Enhanced Commissioning Tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned.
• Develop or approve systems manual updates and delivery.n
• Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
• Perform seasonal testing.
• Develop or approve an ongoing commissioning plan.
• Develop or approve a monitoring-based commissioning plan.
• Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion.

EA Credit Enhanced Commissioning: FURTHER EXPLANATION: Choosing an Appropriate CxA:
Replace the first two bullets with the following text:
• Multiple team members from different companies may collaborate to complete the commissioning scope of work. However, one CxA must lead, review, oversee, and coordinate all activities and deliverables provided by the commissioning team.
• The members of the commissioning team can be employees of the same company or employees of separate firms, provided they all meet the basic requirements for the task to which they are assigned.

In BD+C, add the following new bullet at the bottom of the list:
• For projects pursuing Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required. However, in this case, the BeCxA must meet all credit requirements for the Commissioning authority. Specifically:
o The BeCxA must have documented envelope commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.
o The BeCxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.


Update 7/2/18: The paragraph that reads "Exception: For projects pursuing Enhanced Commissioning Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required as long as the BeCxA meets all of the enhanced commissioning credit requirements for the Commissioning Authority relative to the envelope systems that will be commissioned", above, is only applicable to BD+C projects.
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The LEED Rating system requirements for Fundamental Commissioning include a note regarding Enhanced Commissioning: “Project teams that intend to pursue EA Credit Enhanced Commissioning should note a difference in the CxA qualifications: for the credit, the CxA may not be an employee of the design or construction firm nor a subcontractor to the construction firm.” The v4 Reference guide for Enhanced Commissioning also says: one CxA must oversee and coordinate all activities and deliverables provided by the commissioning team.”

What specific responsibilities does “oversee and coordinate” entail in a case where more than one CxA from separate companies are engaged to complete commissioning tasks?

Ruling:

The use of the phrase “oversee and coordinate” defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project.

Therefore, at a minimum, the lead commissioning agent should be participating in ALL commissioning activities including BOTH fundamental and enhanced commissioning activities. The exact level of leading, reviewing, and overseeing can vary based on individual project scenarios. However, for enhanced commissioning, the entity selected as the lead CxA must complete the following tasks at a minimum:

Fundamental commissioning tasks to be performed by lead CxA:

• Review owner’s project requirements and basis of design during the early design phase.
• Conduct commissioning design review prior to mid-construction documents.
• Confirm incorporation of Cx requirements into construction documents.
• Develop or approve construction checklists.
• Develop or approve system test procedures.
• Witness at least a portion of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and (if applicable) renewable system functional testing that verifies installation and performance of commissioned systems. Refer to ASHRAE Guideline 0 for additional guidance.
• Review an issues log throughout the Cx process. If the CxA does not directly update the log, the CxA must approve all updates to the log.
• Report findings directly to the owner throughout the process.
• Develop or approve the summary commissioning report.

Enhanced Commissioning Tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned.
• Develop or approve systems manual updates and delivery.
• Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
• Perform seasonal testing.
• Develop or approve an ongoing commissioning plan.
• Develop or approve a monitoring-based commissioning plan.
• Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion.
For projects pursuing Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required. However, in this case, the BeCxA must meet all credit requirements for the Commissioning authority. Specifically:

• The BeCxA must have documented envelope commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.
• The BeCxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This request is in regards to LEED Version 2009, EA Credit 3, Enhanced Commissioning, credit requirements. In particular, this is in regards to contracting situations such as Design Build and the hiring of the CxA for enhanced commissioning. In a design-build scenario, the A-E firm is hired by the contractor. With this in mind, can the CxA for enhanced commissioning (an independent 3rd party firm), be hired by the A-E firm who is in turn hired by the contractor? In this same scenario, the design-build contractor is providing services contracted to the Federal Government, who is the owner. Can a Federal employee, serve as the CxA for enhanced commissioning for the project?

Ruling:

In this design build scenario for a LEED NCv2009 project pursuing EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning, the A/E Firm is a subcontractor to the Contractor, forming a single Design Build Team. The A/E firm wishes to hire the CxA, but, as a result, the commissioning authority in this design build scenario would be considered a "disinterested employee or subcontractor of the contractor" and therefore not an acceptable commissioning authority for the project. Concerning whether the commissioning authority can be hired by the Architecture and Engineering (A/E) Firm, the document titled "Who Can be the Commissioning Authority" (http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1262) outlines the acceptable parties to act as the commissioning authority for various project scenarios.

Concerning whether it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project, the 2009 edition LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction EA Prerequisite 1 Table 2. "Who Can be the Commissioning Authority" (Page 221) states that "independent consultants contracted by the owner" and "owner employees and staff" are allowed to be the commissioning authority when pursuing enhanced commissioning. Therefore, if the commissioning authority is hired by the owner, it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project.

**Update 07/01/2014: Ruling has been reversed and revised to allow the CxA to be contracted to the general contractor or a subcontractor of the general contractor in limited circumstances.

In the design build scenario, a ˜disinterested independent third party firm may be hired by the design build contractor or a subcontractor to the design build contractor under the following constraints:

1. The commissioning firm may not be a subsidiary or partner of the general contractor or of any other firm that has been contracted to the general contractor to provide design and construction services for the project.

2. Though the commissioning firm is not contracted directly to the owner, the owner or an owner's representative must approve of the selection of the commissioning firm, and of the commissioning scope of work within the commissioning contract.

3. The CxA must directly report to the owner or owner's representative (or simultaneously report to the owner or owner's representative and other parties) throughout the commissioning process.

As noted above, the CxA must lead, manage and oversee all commissioning processes, including both fundamental and enhanced commissioning, consistent with the requirements for EA Credit 3: Enhanced Commissioning.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
3/10/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We seek confirmation that the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will accept the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. as an independent, third party Commissioning Authority on projects designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. The Jacobs organization encompasses over 57,000 personnel in hundreds of offices around the world providing services of all kinds to thousands of clients. The organization is comprised of over 125 separate companies, collectively called "Jacobs". Among these 125 companies is the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (JEG) which provides a diverse list of design services to clients worldwide, and the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. (JCI) which offers planning, facilities management, commissioning, and other building and property advisory services to mainly North American clients. JCI and JEG are separate and independent legal entities under the Jacobs umbrella of companies. They operate autonomously. The two companies have separate Boards of Directors and separate federal tax identification numbers. They have no day-to-day or annual contact for any reason. As an example of their dissimilar corporate objectives, JEG is authorized to provide professional architecture and engineering design services in all 50 states; JCI is not authorized to provide professional design services, but is registered to do business in virtually all states, certainly all states in which we intend to provide commissioning services. The two companies do not share any staff. Each company is treated financially as an individual profit center. There are no financial ties, dependence, intradependence or interdependence between JCI and JEG. There are no shared expenses, profit, sales, bonuses, or anything of the like between the two companies. There are no financial, social, personnel, or any other relationships between the two entities in any form whatsoever. Operational management of JCI and JEG are completely separate and autonomous. The convergence of corporate management only occurs at the highest levels of Jacobs as the necessary rollup of responsibility to the President of the corporation. In the corporate hierarchy, this is many levels above the operational management of both JCI and JEG. Accordingly, with regard to the independence tests established in several previous CIR\'s over many years: Management: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no operational management with JEG and the convergence of corporate management only occurs at the highest levels of the Jacobs organization as explained above. Staff: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no staff with JEG. Specifically, there is no overlap of personnel between design and commissioning teams, which have separate reporting structures. Financials: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no financial relationship with JEG. To further secure and establish the independence of the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. commissioning group on any given project designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.: 1. The commissioning contract will always be a direct and separate contract between the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. and the Owner. 2. The Commissioning Authority will always report directly to the Owner. The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. will, of course, comply with all LEED Fundamental Commissioning and LEED Enhanced Commissioning requirements on any assignment as the Commissioning Authority for a LEED registered project. Based on these facts, please confirm that the USGBC will consider the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. as an independent, third party Commissioning Authority on projects designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Ruling:

The applicant is seeking clarification on the definition of "independent, third party" commissioning authority, where the commissioning authority\'s company shares corporate management with the design engineering company, even though each company is a separate and independent legal entity. Per LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 3/11/2003, it is not acceptable for an individual to serve as the independent commissioning authority for a project where design or construction management services are provided by a company that shares staff or management, up to and including the President or CEO. Based on the description provided, it appears that top management is shared between the two companies so the approach as described is not acceptable. Applicable Internationally.

Update, 5/25/17: This LEED Interpretation ruling is applicable to LEED v4.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To further support the design, construction, and eventual operation of a project that meets the owner’s project requirements for energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

Requirements

Implement, or have in place a contract to implement, the following commissioning process activities in addition to those required under EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification. Commissioning authority

  • The CxA must have documented commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work. The experience must extend from early design phase through at least 10 months of occupancy;
  • The CxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.
Option 1. Enhanced systems commissioning (3-4 points)
Path 1: Enhanced commissioning (3 points)

Complete the following commissioning process (CxP) activities for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and renewable energy systems and assemblies in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0–2005 and ASHRAE Guideline 1.1–2007 for HVAC&R systems, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

The commissioning authority must do the following:

  • Review contractor submittals.
  • Verify inclusion of systems manual requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify inclusion of operator and occupant training requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify systems manual updates and delivery.
  • Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
  • Verify seasonal testing.
  • Review building operations 10 months after substantial completion.
  • Develop an on-going commissioning plan.
Include all enhanced commissioning tasks in the OPR and BOD.

OR

Path 2: Enhanced and monitoring-based commissioning (4 points)

Achieve Path 1.
AND
Develop monitoring-based procedures and identify points to be measured and evaluated to assess performance of energy- and water-consuming systems.

Include the procedures and measurement points in the commissioning plan. Address the following:

  • roles and responsibilities;
  • measurement requirements (meters, points, metering systems, data access);
  • the points to be tracked, with frequency and duration for trend monitoring;
  • the limits of acceptable values for tracked points and metered values (where appropriate, predictive algorithms may be used to compare ideal values with actual values);
  • the elements used to evaluate performance, including conflict between systems, out-of-sequence operation of systems components, and energy and water usage profiles;
  • an action plan for identifying and correcting operational errors and deficiencies;
  • training to prevent errors;
  • planning for repairs needed to maintain performance; and
  • the frequency of analyses in the first year of occupancy (at least quarterly).

Update the systems manual with any modifications or new settings, and give the reason for any modifications from the original design.

AND/OR

Option 2. Envelope commissioning (2 points)

Fulfill the requirements in EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification as they apply to the building’s thermal envelope in addition to mechanical and electrical systems and assemblies.

Complete the following commissioning process (CxP) activities for the building’s thermal envelope in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0–2005 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3–2012, Exterior Enclosure Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process, as they relate to energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and durability.

Commissioning authority must complete the following:

  • Review contractor submittals.
  • Verify inclusion of systems manual requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify inclusion of operator and occupant training requirements in construction documents.
  • Verify systems manual updates and delivery.
  • Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
  • Verify seasonal testing.
  • Review building operations 10 months after substantial completion.
  • Develop an on-going commissioning plan.

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

Can non-design consultants on the project provide enhanced commissioning services?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Can the same commissioning authority complete both Option 1 (enhanced commissioning) and Option 2 (envelope commissioning)?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

7/1/2016Updated: 7/9/2018
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
EA Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE:
In Step 3. Engage Commissioning Authority, replace the third bullet with the following text:
"The CxA will lead, review, and oversee the Cx process for all systems to be commissioned, including both Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning activities if Enhanced Commissioning is pursued (see Further Explanation, Systems to Be Commissioned)."

After the end of Step 3. add the following text:
"Exception: For projects pursuing Enhanced Commissioning Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required as long as the BeCxA meets all of the enhanced commissioning credit requirements for the Commissioning Authority relative to the envelope systems that will be commissioned.

The use of the phrase “lead, review and oversee” defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project.

Therefore, at a minimum, the lead commissioning agent should be participating in ALL commissioning activities including BOTH fundamental and enhanced commissioning activities. The exact level of leading, reviewing, and overseeing can vary based on individual project scenarios. However, for enhanced commissioning, the entity selected as the lead CxA must complete the following tasks at a minimum:

Fundamental commissioning tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review owner’s project requirements and basis of design during the early design phase.
• Conduct commissioning design review prior to mid-construction documents
• Confirm incorporation of Cx requirements into construction documents.
• Develop or approve construction checklists.
• Develop or approve system test procedures.
• Witness at least a portion of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and (if applicable) renewable system functional testing that verifies installation and performance of commissioned systems. Refer to ASHRAE Guideline 0 for additional guidance.
• Review an issues log throughout the Cx process. If the CxA does not directly update the log, the CxA must approve all updates to the log on a continuous basis.
• Report findings directly to the owner throughout the process.
• Develop or approve the summary commissioning report.

Enhanced Commissioning Tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned.
• Develop or approve systems manual updates and delivery.n
• Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
• Perform seasonal testing.
• Develop or approve an ongoing commissioning plan.
• Develop or approve a monitoring-based commissioning plan.
• Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion.

EA Credit Enhanced Commissioning: FURTHER EXPLANATION: Choosing an Appropriate CxA:
Replace the first two bullets with the following text:
• Multiple team members from different companies may collaborate to complete the commissioning scope of work. However, one CxA must lead, review, oversee, and coordinate all activities and deliverables provided by the commissioning team.
• The members of the commissioning team can be employees of the same company or employees of separate firms, provided they all meet the basic requirements for the task to which they are assigned.

In BD+C, add the following new bullet at the bottom of the list:
• For projects pursuing Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required. However, in this case, the BeCxA must meet all credit requirements for the Commissioning authority. Specifically:
o The BeCxA must have documented envelope commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.
o The BeCxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.


Update 7/2/18: The paragraph that reads "Exception: For projects pursuing Enhanced Commissioning Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required as long as the BeCxA meets all of the enhanced commissioning credit requirements for the Commissioning Authority relative to the envelope systems that will be commissioned", above, is only applicable to BD+C projects.
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The LEED Rating system requirements for Fundamental Commissioning include a note regarding Enhanced Commissioning: “Project teams that intend to pursue EA Credit Enhanced Commissioning should note a difference in the CxA qualifications: for the credit, the CxA may not be an employee of the design or construction firm nor a subcontractor to the construction firm.” The v4 Reference guide for Enhanced Commissioning also says: one CxA must oversee and coordinate all activities and deliverables provided by the commissioning team.”

What specific responsibilities does “oversee and coordinate” entail in a case where more than one CxA from separate companies are engaged to complete commissioning tasks?

Ruling:

The use of the phrase “oversee and coordinate” defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project.

Therefore, at a minimum, the lead commissioning agent should be participating in ALL commissioning activities including BOTH fundamental and enhanced commissioning activities. The exact level of leading, reviewing, and overseeing can vary based on individual project scenarios. However, for enhanced commissioning, the entity selected as the lead CxA must complete the following tasks at a minimum:

Fundamental commissioning tasks to be performed by lead CxA:

• Review owner’s project requirements and basis of design during the early design phase.
• Conduct commissioning design review prior to mid-construction documents.
• Confirm incorporation of Cx requirements into construction documents.
• Develop or approve construction checklists.
• Develop or approve system test procedures.
• Witness at least a portion of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and (if applicable) renewable system functional testing that verifies installation and performance of commissioned systems. Refer to ASHRAE Guideline 0 for additional guidance.
• Review an issues log throughout the Cx process. If the CxA does not directly update the log, the CxA must approve all updates to the log.
• Report findings directly to the owner throughout the process.
• Develop or approve the summary commissioning report.

Enhanced Commissioning Tasks to be performed by lead CxA:
• Review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned.
• Develop or approve systems manual updates and delivery.
• Verify operator and occupant training delivery and effectiveness.
• Perform seasonal testing.
• Develop or approve an ongoing commissioning plan.
• Develop or approve a monitoring-based commissioning plan.
• Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion.
For projects pursuing Option 2, envelope commissioning, the building envelope commissioning agent (BeCxA) may be completely independent of the lead CxA, and oversight of envelope commissioning activities by the lead CxA is not required. However, in this case, the BeCxA must meet all credit requirements for the Commissioning authority. Specifically:

• The BeCxA must have documented envelope commissioning process experience on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.
• The BeCxA may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This request is in regards to LEED Version 2009, EA Credit 3, Enhanced Commissioning, credit requirements. In particular, this is in regards to contracting situations such as Design Build and the hiring of the CxA for enhanced commissioning. In a design-build scenario, the A-E firm is hired by the contractor. With this in mind, can the CxA for enhanced commissioning (an independent 3rd party firm), be hired by the A-E firm who is in turn hired by the contractor? In this same scenario, the design-build contractor is providing services contracted to the Federal Government, who is the owner. Can a Federal employee, serve as the CxA for enhanced commissioning for the project?

Ruling:

In this design build scenario for a LEED NCv2009 project pursuing EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning, the A/E Firm is a subcontractor to the Contractor, forming a single Design Build Team. The A/E firm wishes to hire the CxA, but, as a result, the commissioning authority in this design build scenario would be considered a "disinterested employee or subcontractor of the contractor" and therefore not an acceptable commissioning authority for the project. Concerning whether the commissioning authority can be hired by the Architecture and Engineering (A/E) Firm, the document titled "Who Can be the Commissioning Authority" (http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1262) outlines the acceptable parties to act as the commissioning authority for various project scenarios.

Concerning whether it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project, the 2009 edition LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction EA Prerequisite 1 Table 2. "Who Can be the Commissioning Authority" (Page 221) states that "independent consultants contracted by the owner" and "owner employees and staff" are allowed to be the commissioning authority when pursuing enhanced commissioning. Therefore, if the commissioning authority is hired by the owner, it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project.

**Update 07/01/2014: Ruling has been reversed and revised to allow the CxA to be contracted to the general contractor or a subcontractor of the general contractor in limited circumstances.

In the design build scenario, a ˜disinterested independent third party firm may be hired by the design build contractor or a subcontractor to the design build contractor under the following constraints:

1. The commissioning firm may not be a subsidiary or partner of the general contractor or of any other firm that has been contracted to the general contractor to provide design and construction services for the project.

2. Though the commissioning firm is not contracted directly to the owner, the owner or an owner's representative must approve of the selection of the commissioning firm, and of the commissioning scope of work within the commissioning contract.

3. The CxA must directly report to the owner or owner's representative (or simultaneously report to the owner or owner's representative and other parties) throughout the commissioning process.

As noted above, the CxA must lead, manage and oversee all commissioning processes, including both fundamental and enhanced commissioning, consistent with the requirements for EA Credit 3: Enhanced Commissioning.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
3/10/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We seek confirmation that the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will accept the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. as an independent, third party Commissioning Authority on projects designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. The Jacobs organization encompasses over 57,000 personnel in hundreds of offices around the world providing services of all kinds to thousands of clients. The organization is comprised of over 125 separate companies, collectively called "Jacobs". Among these 125 companies is the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (JEG) which provides a diverse list of design services to clients worldwide, and the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. (JCI) which offers planning, facilities management, commissioning, and other building and property advisory services to mainly North American clients. JCI and JEG are separate and independent legal entities under the Jacobs umbrella of companies. They operate autonomously. The two companies have separate Boards of Directors and separate federal tax identification numbers. They have no day-to-day or annual contact for any reason. As an example of their dissimilar corporate objectives, JEG is authorized to provide professional architecture and engineering design services in all 50 states; JCI is not authorized to provide professional design services, but is registered to do business in virtually all states, certainly all states in which we intend to provide commissioning services. The two companies do not share any staff. Each company is treated financially as an individual profit center. There are no financial ties, dependence, intradependence or interdependence between JCI and JEG. There are no shared expenses, profit, sales, bonuses, or anything of the like between the two companies. There are no financial, social, personnel, or any other relationships between the two entities in any form whatsoever. Operational management of JCI and JEG are completely separate and autonomous. The convergence of corporate management only occurs at the highest levels of Jacobs as the necessary rollup of responsibility to the President of the corporation. In the corporate hierarchy, this is many levels above the operational management of both JCI and JEG. Accordingly, with regard to the independence tests established in several previous CIR\'s over many years: Management: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no operational management with JEG and the convergence of corporate management only occurs at the highest levels of the Jacobs organization as explained above. Staff: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no staff with JEG. Specifically, there is no overlap of personnel between design and commissioning teams, which have separate reporting structures. Financials: The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. shares no financial relationship with JEG. To further secure and establish the independence of the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. commissioning group on any given project designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.: 1. The commissioning contract will always be a direct and separate contract between the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. and the Owner. 2. The Commissioning Authority will always report directly to the Owner. The Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. will, of course, comply with all LEED Fundamental Commissioning and LEED Enhanced Commissioning requirements on any assignment as the Commissioning Authority for a LEED registered project. Based on these facts, please confirm that the USGBC will consider the Jacobs Consultancy, Inc. as an independent, third party Commissioning Authority on projects designed by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Ruling:

The applicant is seeking clarification on the definition of "independent, third party" commissioning authority, where the commissioning authority\'s company shares corporate management with the design engineering company, even though each company is a separate and independent legal entity. Per LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 3/11/2003, it is not acceptable for an individual to serve as the independent commissioning authority for a project where design or construction management services are provided by a company that shares staff or management, up to and including the President or CEO. Based on the description provided, it appears that top management is shared between the two companies so the approach as described is not acceptable. Applicable Internationally.

Update, 5/25/17: This LEED Interpretation ruling is applicable to LEED v4.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Scott Bowman

Integrated Design + Energy Advisors, LLC
LEED Fellow

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