Case Study

University Science Building Requires Commissioning

A university in Michigan set out to construct a new state-of-the-art science building and required total building Commissioning (Cx). This new structure would be complete with high-end equipment to track plants in their growing rooms with scientists who understood what their critical environments needed. Temperature sensors and expensive microscopes were taken into consideration during design. Their environment was critical to their work which is why Synergy was hired as the Commissioning Agent for the University. 

The university embodies the belief that commissioning should be part of every project as they follow the FGI guidelines, which require a Commissioning Plan. Synergy was hired to do Enhanced Commissioning and Fundamental Commissioning. These services define the Owners Project Requirements early on in the project and are verified during design, construction, and occupancy, and operations phases to ensure a successful building is turned over.

The Plan

In creating the Owners Project Requirement (OPR) for the project, the university outlined some aggressive energy efficiency goals. Typically, a science building with a wide assortment of high-end equipment can be an energy drain. Setting a new standard of energy efficiency with this LEED Certified building, the owners knew this facility would be complex and had to decide on aggressive set-back temperatures. Heating and cooling set-points required occupancy sensors in order to drive the desired energy efficiency.

Synergy outlined and followed the standard Commissioning Plan which takes the client’s facility and their teams through three main phases: Design, Construction, and Occupancy and Operations. Synergy was involved in the Design phase with the OPR helping the client understand the temperature set-points. The construction phase involved static testing, installation inspections, start-ups and testing, adjusting and balancing to make sure the systems worked properly. After that, functional testing and training were held with the owner’s Building Automation System (BAS) and operations team.

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