Testing of technical building installations
- Design-Build Contracts
- Technical Specification (Requirement Specifications)
Many buildings do not function as they should upon handover. This may result in unnecessary energy consumption, a poor indoor climate and poor comfort, as well as require resources to remedy and follow-up the situation.
One of the reasons why this happens is that construction projects and technical systems are becoming steadily more complex; another is that users do not receive training in operating the buildings; a third reason is a failure in the interface between the project organisation and operating organisation meaning that the operators are not familiar with the finished building.
Testing with interdisciplinary integration throughout the entire construction process may be a solution to these challenges. Before takeover, technical installations in the building should be tested together and it is important that sufficient time and resources are set aside for testing and documentation. The testing must be carried out over several seasons such that the interaction between technical systems is assured at varying levels of performance and internal conditions.
Testing must be conducted in accordance with the current standard for testing, NS 6450 Commissioning and testing of technical building installations.
Documentation of the Requirement Specification:
During the detailed design project, and by no later than four weeks prior to handover, a report must be submitted showing that the building has been tested and that it functions in accordance with the requirements from the preliminary project and pursuant to the current NS 6450.
Information about the Requirement Specification:
Standards Norway describes NS 6450 as an aid for the building and construction industry that helps it deliver advanced technical building installations "right first time". A testing phase is sensible for most buildings. It is especially important if multiple systems have to work together:
The standard must:
- ensure good planning, correct pricing and implementation of the testing
- minimise the risk of increased costs due to delays and defects that result in higher operating costs and a poor indoor environment by ensuring:
- clear definitions
- a shared understanding of the conditions for testing
- defining what testing involves
- defining what the results of testing should be
The standard describes the processes that must be implemented to achieve a successful commissioning and testing process for technical building installations. The standard describes integrated tests of all technical systems in the building, followed by full-scale tests and stability and performance tests. It then describes the testing phase, which is intended to confirm that the contract's specified requirements for the performance, quality, functionality, capacity and stability of the building installations are satisfied for a given period with users in the building and with external climatic impacts. See NS 6450 Annex A for recommendations concerning the content of tender documentation. The standard describes the obligations of both client and contractor in the various phases and how testing should be documented.
Depending on the type of contract, various actors will perform the work processes. What must be tested will vary depending on the type of building and the complexity of the technical installations.
Reference should be made to the requirements and descriptions in the standard when purchasing in different phases.