Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kovac Lab Commissioning

Jesse Foote, Kevin Sheehan, and I visited the Kovac Lab on Thursday to do some of the functional testing / witness testing. The lighting controls weren't ready yet, but we confirmed the air balancing for supply and exhaust, went over the heat pump and condensate pump checklist, verified fire dampers and access panels, checked as-built drawings, looked for pipe insulation and labels, and reviewed the thermostat settings. The project looked really good and the gentleman from Comfort Air Solutions out of Framingham was really helpful. We found a large wall penetration above the ACT for cables that should be filled in (the lab calls for negative pressure and deck-to-deck partitions). We also found one fire damper that was covered up and made inaccessible as well as some un-labeled piping. The biggest concern was a lack of control dampers on the two outside air ducts. We drilled holes for a traverse in one and found the outside air to be over 37% higher than called for by the design engineer, which would result in a lot of extra heating and cooling energy. We didn't bother testing the second intake because of the lack of a control damper made making changes impossible at this time. A couple of issues were outside of the scope of work of the current project team, like no air being exhausted from the restrooms (despite supply air being delivered and an exhaust air grill) and existing air diffusers in one room directing supply air directly at the exterior wall and windows (we suggested rotating the diffuser 180 degrees). Our final recommendation was to review the thermostat schedule with the occupants and include occupant training as part of building turnover, as it seemed like the current occupied hours setting of 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM for weekdays and 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM for weekends might be unnecessarily long. We'll return soon to confirm the lighting controls.

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