I heard from two fellow commissioning professionals in the same week about the inconsistencies between functional performance test (FPT) procedures used on new construction projects. I know that these vary from non-existent to blank sheets of paper to generic off-the-shelf scripts to very detailed steps and acceptance criteria. As building systems commissioning has evolved over the past 20 years, I have been supportive of the idea of varying levels of commissioning rigor as required to match different owners’ priorities and budgets. This was based on the belief that some commissioning is better than no commissioning in most cases.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.