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Oversee and Document Functional Performance Testing

Fire Protection Engineering and Life Safety
In accordance with the requirements within the P-100, no new building or portion thereof shall be occupied until the GSA regional fire protection engineer has issued a certificate of occupancy to the GSA project manager (PM). The certificate of occupancy will only be issued to the GSA project manager after the GSA regional fire protection engineer has ensured that all fire protection and life safety systems have been completed, inspected, successfully tested and approved, and all outstanding fire and life safety deficiencies corrected to afford a reasonable degree of safety to the building occupants from fire and similar emergencies.

Functional performance testing takes over where the construction checklists ended. The intent of functionally testing the system/building as a whole is to evaluate the ability of the components in a system to work together to achieve the owner’s project requirements. For functional testing to provide valid results, first the individual components and systems have to be verified to be operating properly (see Develop and Utilize Construction Checklists). This includes start-up and testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB).

The GSA PM must coordinate start-up and installation activities with the GSA fire protection engineer’s role in occupancy permitting to include testing for compliance with life safety and code requirements.

Test Data Records

Test data records capture outcomes of functional performance testing including test data, observations and measurements. Data may be recorded using photographs, forms or other means appropriate for the specific test. Test data records shall include, but not limited to, the following information:

  • Test reference (number, specific identifier, etc.)
  • Date and time of test
  • First test or retest following correction of an issue
  • Identification of the systems, equipment and/or assemblies under test including location and construction document designation
  • Conditions under which the test was conducted (i.e. ambient conditions, capacity/ occupancy, etc.). Tests shall be performed under steady-state and stable conditions.
  • Expected performance
  • Observed performance including indication of whether or not this performance is acceptable
  • Issues generated as a result of the test
  • Dated signatures of those performing and witnessing the test

Test Issues and Follow-up

The functional performance tests are the heart of the commissioning process and they are also the most difficult and time consuming. System troubleshooting is a critical function of the commissioning agent (CxA). As inspecting and testing proceed, despite the team’s best efforts, the CxA will find a number of items that do not appear to work as intended. There will be a certain amount of system retesting that will be performed by the CxA because of system deficiencies during the initial testing. In order to assure success, the GSA PM shall allow some time in the schedule and money in the budget for retesting. The GSA PM shall be apprised that issues resolution and associated financial implications are a common point of contention between parties.

If equipment or systems are found to be malfunctioning, these problems shall be documented and listed in the issues log for team resolution. The Issues Log must be very clear about the test, system(s) involved, and tracking of the problem as it is corrected. Both the amount of retesting paid for by GSA versus the amount paid by the contractor and/or designer, as well as the parameters for which parties are responsible for correcting deficiencies shall be very clearly spelled out in the contracts.

CONTACTS

Patrick Fee
(202) 501-0038


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