Jules Verne Secondary School    

LEED Green Building Certification Program

The LEED certification program that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council provides third-party validation of a building’s performance, considering indoor environmental quality, energy and water usage efficiency, environmental, including materials and resources, sustainable sites and greenhouse gas emissions.

The LEED program is an internationally recognized benchmark for design, construction and operation of high performance buildings. The LEED program utilizes a point based credit system as a tool to evaluate the design excellence for a project in the five categories.

There are four levels of LEED certification for building projects, including:
Certified (40–49 points)
Silver (50–59 points)
Gold (60–79 points)
Platinum (80 points) and above
When building owners decide to adopt the LEED certification program for a new building project or for a building retrofit, they demonstrate a commitment to responsible stewardship of our environment combined with financial wisdom. The life cycle cost for LEED certified projects has often proven to actually be less than those based on bottom line minimum cost for the original construction. The occupied building space is safer and healthier and more comfortable for the occupants (thus improving their performance and attendance). The value of the LEED certified buildings is generally higher. The cost of operating a LEED certified building is generally reduced because of improved energy efficiency.

Fundamental and Enhanced (Additional) Commissioning

Western Mechanical’s has had a significant role since the inception of the LEED program.

Fundamental Commissioning of building systems is a prerequisite for compliance with LEED certification at every level. Our commissioning technical team provides inspection and performance testing for the installed mechanical and electrical lighting systems from start-up to completion, utilizing a thorough check list audit to ensure that the systems are installed and operating as intended. One LEED point is achieved by having the building systems commissioned.

Enhanced Commissioning

Enhanced Commissioning is available for all levels of LEED projects and when included provides an additional LEED point for the project. When enhanced commissioning is called for, Western Mechanical serves as an independent commissioning authority and is involved along with the design team from the initial stages of design until a year after the building is completed. Western Mechanical’s professional and technical team members check the building design documents at all stages and provide review comments. The commissioning team becomes familiar with the building owner’s special requirements and evaluate whether these have been incorporated into the design. The reviewing team identifies practical issues that are often invaluable to ensure for example that there is adequate provision for access to all equipment for servicing. This process provides a “second set of eyes” to detect problem issues at a time when it is possible to avoid problems.

The enhanced commissioning services include a review of documentation such as shop drawings and maintenance manuals and final construction drawings.

When Western Mechanical is retained as a commissioning authority, their commissioning division schedules and coordinates the finishing stages of the mechanical system installation. After the systems and equipment have been started up, it is normal that there is time pressure to have all systems put into operation before the building is occupied. The commissioning authority has a valuable role to make optimum use of the available time by providing a detailed schedule so that the temperature control company, balancing agent, duct cleaning and performance testing operations happen in a proper sequence and that these are all completed before the building occupancy takes place. There is a limited one time opportunity for these finishing tasks to take place.

When the building is turned over to the building owner, Western Mechanical as the commissioning authority verifies that the operating and maintenance manuals are complete as per the specifications, that they have been turned over to the building’s operating and maintenance staff and that the building operators and maintainers have been instructed adequately.

Approximately one month before the first year of operation has transpired (while the building remains under warranty), the commissioning team returns to the site to meet with the operation and maintenance personnel to review their experience with the building systems during its first year. The commissioning team makes an inspection at this time and provides a report of their findings and also produces a recommissioning manual that is used to guide the building operators to continue to operate and maintain the building systems throughout the life of the building.

The other divisions of Western Mechanical Services also have a role in obtaining optimum system performance for LEED certified buildings.

The testing and balancing division makes the required adjustments to the balancing dampers, fan speeds, balancing valves to ensure that the systems are performing according to within ten percent of the specified quantities throughout all parts of the building under all operating conditions and that there is adequate outdoor ventilation air provided in all occupied areas. The balancing team identifies any areas where they were unable to achieve specified performance from any mechanical equipment because of performance deficiencies. Together with the commissioning authority or agent recommendations are made to resolve any system problems.

The O & M manual division produces a draft version of the operating and maintenance manuals that are used by the building operators to learn about the systems and how to operate them effectively and efficiently. The commissioning team reviews the manuals before they are turned over to the owner to ensure that they are complete. Because the commissioning tem has spent many hours on site they are aware of all changes that have occurred due to field conditions and often are able to assist the technical writes in the office to incorporate all such changes into their final descriptions and operating procedures.

When Western Mechanical’s maintenance division is retained to carry out a preventive maintenance program they have the benefit of learning special “inside” information about the building systems from other technical experts who have taken part during the design and construction phases.