The Building Commissioning Guide defines commissioning as a systemic process of assuring verification and documentation, from the design phase to a minimum of one year after construction that all facility systems perform interactively in accordance with the design documentation and intent, and in accordance with the owner’s operational needs including preparation of operation personnel. Typically from the perspective of someone who has direct experience in the commissioning of buildings, commissioning has different levels and different definitions according to the project requirements of the job. Five years ago commissioning was simply making sure the test and balance company made sure the HVAC system was balanced according to the engineers specifications. Today, as we move towards Green Buildings and energy efficiency a higher standard of building commissioning is being applied not only to the HVAC systemsbut also the electrical systems, life and health systems, and the building envelope itself. Today’s building commissioning scrutinizes nearly every aspect of the construction process from the design of the building to training of the operators who will operate the building after construction is complete. That is defined as total building commissioning and while this total building commissioning can add costs to the entire project over the long term if it is implemented properly commissioning can save the owner money. This article will cover the basics of electrical and mechanical commissioning and how it is beneficial for the owner to have the systems commissioned and how building commissioning benefits all parties involved in the construction process.
There are many HVAC technical guides and manuals available to help HVAC technicians hone their skills on the job and become an even better and more knowledgeable HVAC technician. We can all use improvements in everything we do in life whether it is professionally or personally and always remember one can never know everything. If you think you know everything then it is time to quit because in reality no one knows everything and if someone claims to know everything then I run as far from that person as I can and recommend you do the same. Whenever I have someone ask me a question which I cannot answer because I do not know the answer I can confidently tell that person, “Sorry, I don’t know the answer but I know where I can find an answer”. And that is far better than trying not to look bad an guessing and being wrong about the answer that can possible have detrimental effects. That happens to Mr. or Mrs. Know-it-all described above and rarely to people who have my attitude and answer for questions we do not know. Going to a manual to look up the answer is not unprofessional and does not make one look ignorant or stupid. On the contrary, I would rather someone look up the bona fide answer rather than make an educated guess. When we push the button to bring the machine alive I want to have absolute confidence it will work and work properly. In that regard I am making some recommendations for a basic library of manuals and guides that every advanced residential HVAC technician will have in his library. This will include software along with the basic book formats because in modern times an HVAC technician should be computer savvy or working to become computer savvy. Continue reading “Essential Guides and Manuals for the Advanced Residential HVAC Technician” »
Many people unfamiliar with air conditioning and heating do not know that air conditioning and heating system installation is regulated by the mechanical code many municipalities. These municipalities usually have an inspection department which sends inspectors out to inspect new HVAC air conditioning and heating system installations. A few municipalities apply there own mechanical code while many others use the International Mechanical Code or other code resource which is applicable to air conditioning and heating installations. Some use a combination on inspections and it is wise to find out before installing air conditioning and heating equipment to find out what your local municipality uses for inspections before installing and mechanical air conditioning and heating equipment. Continue reading “HVAC Mechanical Code Overview” »