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Building Systems Commissioning
Undertaking construction of a new facility or retrofitting an existing one can be extremely burdensome for owners. The complexity of today’s building systems makes it nearly impossible for contractors and designers to deliver a facility that works. ViroCon engineers are building systems experts that have been making facilities work for Owners since 1978 through a formal commissioning process. Commissioning is a well-documented, systematic method of assuring that all building systems perform according to design standards and meet the needs/desires of the owner. More simply stated, it is a thorough “debugging” of a facility’s systems from design through occupancy. Our primary focus is on finding and correcting problems to provide a facility that works properly and meets the needs of the users. We provide professional engineering experts in each building system discipline, with design, construction, and testing experience required to perform testing and troubleshooting tasks. This includes mechanical, electrical, controls, and fire protection engineers. Many commissioning firms simply observe and document the commissioning effort (“clip-board” commissioning). With this approach, someone is hired to watch and verify the testing while a second agency conducts the actual test. With our approach, our engineers perform the testing (“hands-on” method), allowing our team to get a “feel” for the system. Our method allows the commissioning agent to become the agent for problem resolution, as opposed to just an agent for failed testing identification. We don’t just observe symptoms; we diagnose the problems and provide the solutions that make your facility work. Our Services are listed below and can be adapted to fit the needs of any individual project and client. For simple projects, the process can be abbreviated, while maintaining the key concepts. Commissioning Services: • Project review • Commissioning plan • Manufacturer’s startup • Installation Verification Certification (IVC) • Operational Performance Testing (OPT) • Functional Performance Testing (FPT) • Integrated Systems Testing (IST) • Acceptance testing (electrical) • TAB verification (mechanical) • Deficiency tracking and retesting (Action Items) • O&M manual review • Training • Documentation • LEED™ Certification
While commissioning is particularly effective in new construction, it can also be very valuable in taking a thorough second look at existing facilities. Retro-commissioning is a process similar to the commissioning of a new facility. The purpose of retro-commissioning is to identify improvements in existing facilities to optimize systems performance and return critical systems back to reliable operation. Retro-commissioning symptoms: • High maintenance costs • Failure of backup or redundant power systems • Failure of backup or redundant HVAC systems • Unreliable Building Management System (BMS) controls • BMS overrides are necessary to make systems function • False Alarms (BMS or Fire Protection) • Poor indoor air quality • Poor occupant comfort • Reduced work productivity ViroCon retro-commissioning programs find deficiencies, identify the cause(s), and develop solutions. We’ll make your existing building systems operate optimally.
LEED Commissioning ViroCon serves as a LEED® Commissioning Consultant, to certify energy use and explore renewable energy sources. In this function, we provided continuous LEED® Certification support to the Design/Construction team to insure that reasonably obtainable LEED® points were maximized.
Testing, Adjusting & Balancing
Testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) is an essential part of any heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) installation. All facilities require correct flow of air and water to provide optimum operating conditions, comfort levels, and energy efficiency available from building systems. Since 1978, ViroCon’s staff of engineers and technicians has provided the best in TAB services. Unlike other firms, we utilize professional engineers in field to test and adjust your system. Our engineering team has the knowledge and experience to make your HVAC systems work for you. We have the most advanced instrumentation and test equipment and are certified by the National Environmental Balancing Bureau, (NEBB #2517). Our careful attention to detail ensures that building HVAC systems perform as designed. TAB services we provide: • Air balancing • Hydronic balancing • Duct leakage testing and witnessing • Pipe hydrostatic pressure testing and witnessing • Sound and vibration testing • Space pressurization testing Our TAB experience lends to our expertise in related commissioning and troubleshooting projects. Our engineers are experts at TAB verification as well as diagnosing system problems and developing solutions. ViroCon’s expertise in TAB of HVAC systems is another way in which we make your facility work.
Frequently, building systems fail to perform to the satisfaction of the building owner and occupants. What doesn’t go right: • Building management control systems may not meet the needs of the O&M staff • Electrical systems may not deliver dependable power supply at varying load requirements • HVAC systems may not maintain the desired temperatures and ventilation rates in building spaces • Life safety systems may generate frequent "false alarms." • Plumbing systems may not provide hot and cold water supply at desired temperature and pressure Our first and foremost focus at ViroCon has always been troubleshooting. Since 1978, our market niche has been diagnosing and solving problems with building systems to make facilities work. Troubleshooting is at the core of our expertise. ViroCon's staff of experienced professional engineers and technicians has the diagnostic equipment and the field "savvy" to get to the bottom of any system performance problem. With our background in design, construction, commissioning and TAB, ViroCon is the firm of choice for troubleshooting building systems. We figure out how to make your facility work.
Sound & Vibration Testing
Noise control in building systems can be just as critical as building environment conditioning or providing uninterrupted power. Excessive noise and vibration from building systems can be a nuisance to occupants as well as cause early component failure and/or damage building contents (i.e. lab specimens). What does sound and vibration testing do? Sound and vibration testing determines whether a particular building system machine or component is operating within specified and acceptable vibration/noise limits. Vibration and noise sources are typically motors, fans, pumps, turbulent airflow, etc. ViroCon is a NEBB certified agency that provides sound and vibration monitoring and testing. Our engineers are experienced at troubleshooting noise and vibration problems. We can pinpoint problem sources and develop solutions for corrective action.
Highly technical installations require accurate documentation and certification. ViroCon provides certification of cleanrooms, fume hoods, and other sophisticated equipment. We can test and adjust new and existing installations to ensure maximum operating efficiency and full compliance with all applicable codes and standards. Typical certifications include the following installations: • Cleanrooms • Fume hoods • Bio-safety cabinets • Controlled-atmosphere bench equipment
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