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Commissioning Of Plumbing Systems

Today even plumbing systems are getting to the integrated building system action and are taking on complexities previously unknown. Most of the new plumbing system designs are a result of the desire for sustainable buildings, particularly with respect to water conservation, waste water reduction, and energy/carbon footprint savings.

The United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program requires that a building’s domestic hot water system(s) be commissioned as a prerequisite for certification. The LEED rating system has also been directly responsible for many of the innovative plumbing systems currently being designed and installed in buildings. These include, but are not limited to:

•    Rain water collection and use for flushing toilets, irrigation, and other non-potable applications;
•    Gray water collection for flushing toilets, irrigation, and other non-potable applications;
•    Solar water domestic water heating;
•    Waste energy recovery for domestic water preheat; e.g., transferring heat from chiller condensers, boiler blow-down, boiler exhaust stacks, etc.;
•    Irrigation system flow and pressure monitors;
•    Sub-metering water consumption;
•    Time-of-day scheduling of domestic water distribution; and
•    Composting toilets.

Each of the above systems, partially because of their unique nature and partially because of their inherent controls complexity, are excellent candidates for the commissioning process.