How 2015 IECC Code Requirements Affect HVAC Commissioning

As technology progresses, building codes change and adapt. The International Energy Conservation Code, a global standard for building energy-efficient commercial and residential projects, made several revisions and additions in 2015 to its code requirements. Along with detailed specifications for the systems themselves, this code includes processes to document, test, record, and correct system issues and adjustments.

For building owners, this means making sure your builders, engineers, and designers are familiar with new mandates so that your project isn’t hindered because of unanticipated code violations. In this article, we will focus on Section C408 within the IECC code requirements, which focuses on documentation for system commissioning. We’ll take a mile-high look at these changes and what they mean for your current building project.

The Plans and Final System Meet the Stated Codes

Most of C408 revolves around providing evidence that the HVAC system that was originally designed, as well as what was officially commissioned, meets the code requirements outlined by IECC. Essentially, IECC wants to make sure that what your HVAC installer stated they would do is actually what they would do for your building project. This includes airflow and exchange standards, systems adjusting and balancing information, and proof of functional performance testing throughout the commissioned system.

First, IECC requires that a registered design professional or approved agency have designed the system. To establish this, the professional or agency is required to provide narrative descriptions for each phase of the commissioning, a listing of specific equipment, appliances, or systems to be tested, the functions that will be tested, and the conditions under which the tests will be performed to prove the viability of both summer and winter design conditions. Along with these requirements, the report must include measurable criteria for the performance testing.