We seek clarification on the meaning of the use in the context of EAc3 of the word "oversee" in the Reference Guide and other published USGBC material. Possible different interpretations of the use of that word may lead to starkly different conclusions regarding the requirements of the credit. In at least two places, the LEED-NC 2.2 Reference Guide and other USGBC material state directly that the independent Commissioning Authority (iCx) must oversee all comissioning activity, including tasks not required to be performed by the iCx. First the Requirements section of the credit itself states, "[p]rior to the start of the construction documents phase, designates an independent Commissioning Authority (CxA) to lead, review, and oversee all commissioning process activities." [emphasis added for clarity] Second, in the USGBC document "Who Can Be The Commissioning Authority" published on USGBC's web site (https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1262 for readers of this CIR not familiar with the document.), item number 4 states, "[t]he 'all' in the Enhanced Cx Requirement 1 means if one is seeking the Enhanced Cx credit, the same CxA overseeing the Enhanced Cx tasks must also oversee the Fundamental Commissioning Tasks." Our question is, in the context of both of these statements, what is meant by the word "oversee." The term is ambiguous enough to be open to differing interpretations: does it mean that the independent third party CxA needs to lead and be involved in the entire commissioning process, even if they are only contracted to provide a design and submittal reviews and assure an appropriate post occupancy review occurs per EAc3 tasks 2, 3, and 6, or just be aware and stay appraised of any tasks for which they are not directly responsible? If the Independent Commissioning Authority is indeed charged with oversight for the entire commissioning process, even if they are not performing any additional tasks beyond 2,3, and 6 of EAc3, do they need to review and approve all commissioning deliverables for the remaining EAp1 and EAp3 requirements? Do they need to sign the LEED Letter Template for EAp1? Some project teams have moved forward with the presumption that qualified members of the design/construction teams were leading and conducting most commissioning activities, that this 3rd party oversight wasn't required for their activities, and that they (qualified members of the design/contruction team) would be the signatories of the EAp1. The independent CxA would only be scoped for and sign for the 3 minimum activities in EAp3. We request the USGBC provide guidance on this scenario and issue a clear addenda stating how these scoping and EAp1 LLT signatory issues should be handled. Please in doing so also clarify explicitly. In addition to the questions above, teams would also need to know: Does this apply to NC2.1 and NC2.2 projects equally, or only NC2.2? Does it apply to projects registered prior to the issuance of the addenda, i.e. at a time in which the requirements were not clear - which might require some project teams to go back and revisit and redefine the scope of work for team members, and might also disqualify some projects from EAc3 if they did this wrong - or only to projects registered after the ruling (or proposed new addenda, once published)? So, to summarize our questions (and make it easier for you to answer all of them): Does an independent Commissioning Authority (iCx) need to review and approve all commissioning deliverables for EAp1 and EAp3 requirements, even if they are only hired to perform the 3 minimum requirements of EAp3? Does the iCx have to sign the Letter Templates for both credits? Does this apply to NC2.1 and 2.2 projects? Does this apply to projects registered prior to this ruling?
The project team is seeking clarification of the impact of the word "oversee" in the EAc3 requirements. The credit requirement states that the independent Commissioning Authority (CxA) must "lead, review, and oversee" all commissioning activities. While the level of oversight is subject to interpretation, we disagree that there is any ambiguity regarding the extent to which the independent CxA must be involved in the process. The use of the phrase "lead, review, and oversee" defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project. Thus, the answer to your first question is yes - the independent CxA must "lead, review, and oversee" all Cx activities, which includes EAp1 and EAc3. Whether the oversight role includes formal approval is subject to the process chosen by each individual project. Second, credit templates may be submitted/signed by a responsible party for each credit. The responsible party for EAc3 could be an owner, independent CxA, or other person in a position to confirm that all requirements have been met. Third, this language is unique to v2.2 and does not apply to v2.1 projects. Finally, since this ruling is confirming the stated requirements, no addendum is required, and all projects registered under v2.2 fall under this interpretation. Applicable Internationally.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)