4.11      Mechanical Plan Check and Inspection Documents

At the time a building permit application is submitted to the enforcement agency, the applicant also submits plans and energy compliance documentation. This section describes the documents and recommended procedures documenting compliance with the mechanical requirements of the Energy Standards. It does not describe the details of the requirements; these are presented in Section 4.2. The following discussion is addressed to the designer preparing construction documents and compliance documentation, and to the enforcement agency plan checkers who are examining those documents for compliance with the Energy Standards.

The use of each document is briefly described. The information and format of these may be included in the equipment schedule:

NRCC-MCH-E: Certificate of Compliance

This dynamic document is required for every job, and it is required t on the plans. The following are included in the NRCC-MCH-E and only applicable forms will be required to be filled out.

      Major components of the heating and cooling systems, and service hot water and pool systems

      Outdoor air ventilation rates

      System fan power consumption

NRCC-PLB-E: Certificate of Compliance – Water Heating System General Information

This dynamic document is required for every job, and it is required t on the plans. The following are included in the NRCC-MCH-E and only applicable forms will be required to be filled out.

      All hot water systems

      Individual water heating systems installed in dwelling units in high-rise residential buildings and hotel / motels

      Central water heating systems that service multiple dwelling units installed in high-rise residential buildings and hotel/motels.

4.11.1        Mechanical Inspection

The mechanical building inspection process for energy compliance is carried out along with the other building inspections performed by the enforcement agency. The inspector relies upon the plans and upon the NRCC-MCH-E Certificate of Compliance document printed on the plans.

4.11.2        Acceptance Requirements

Acceptance requirements can effectively improve code compliance and help determine whether mechanical equipment meets operational goals and whether it should be adjusted to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

For more detailed information on acceptance tests, see Chapter 13.    Acceptance Process

The process for meeting the acceptance requirements includes:

1.  Document plans showing thermostat and sensor locations, control devices, control sequences and notes

2.  Review the installation, perform acceptance tests document results

3.  Document the operating and maintenance information, complete the certificate of installation and indicate test results on the certificate of acceptance, and submit the certificates to the enforcement agency prior to receiving a final occupancy permit.    Administration

The administrative requirements contained in the Energy Standards require the following:

1. Requirements for acceptance testing of mechanical systems and equipment shown in the table below are included in the plans and specifications:

Table 4-13:  Mechanical Acceptance Tests

Variable Air Volume Systems

Constant Volume Systems

Package Systems

Air Distribution Systems


Demand Control Ventilation Systems

Ventilation Systems

Variable Frequency Drive Fan Systems

Hydronic Control Systems

Hydronic Pump Isolation Controls and Devices

Supply Water Reset Controls

Water Loop Heat Pump Control

Variable Frequency Drive Pump Systems


2. Within 90 days of receiving a final occupancy permit, record drawings be provided to the building owners

3. Operating and maintenance information be provided to the building owner

4. The issuance of installation certificates for mechanical equipment

For example, the plans and specifications would require an economizer. A construction inspection would verify the economizer is installed and properly wired. Acceptance tests would verify economizer operation and proper function the relief air. Owners’ manuals and maintenance information would be prepared for delivery to the building owner. Finally, record drawing information-including economizer controller set points-must be submitted to the building owner within 90 days of the issuance of a final occupancy permit.    Plan Review

Although acceptance testing does not require that the construction team perform any plan review, they should review the construction drawings and specifications to understand the scope of the acceptance tests and raise critical issues that might affect the success of the acceptance tests prior to starting construction. Any construction issues associated with the mechanical system should be forwarded to the design team so that necessary modifications can be made prior to equipment procurement and installation.    Testing

The construction inspection is the first step in performing the acceptance tests. In general, this inspection should identify that:

1.  Mechanical equipment and devices are properly located, identified, and calibrated.

2.  Set points and schedules are established.

3.  Documentation is available to identify settings and programs for each device.

4.  Select tests to verify acceptable leakage rates for air distribution systems while equipment access is available. Testing is to be performed on the following devices:

    VAV systems

    Constant volume systems

    Package systems

    Air distribution systems


    Demand control ventilation systems

    Variable frequency drive fan systems

    Hydronic control systems

    Hydronic pump isolation controls and devices

    Supply water reset controls

    Water loop heat pump control

    Variable frequency drive pump systems

    System programming

    Time clocks

Chapter 13 contains information on how to complete the acceptance documents. Example test procedures are also available in Chapter 13.    Roles and Responsibilities

The installing contractor, engineer of record or owner’s agent shall be responsible for documenting the results of the acceptance test requirement procedures including paper and electronic copies of all measurement and monitoring results. They shall be responsible for performing data analysis, calculation of performance indices and crosschecking results with the requirements of the Energy Standards. They shall be responsible for issuing a Certificate of Acceptance. Enforcement agencies shall not release a final Certificate of Occupancy until a Certificate of Acceptance is submitted that demonstrates that the specified systems and equipment have been shown to be performing in accordance with the Energy Standards. The installing contractor, engineer of record or owner’s agent (upon completion of all required acceptance procedures) shall record their State of California contractor’s license number or their State of California professional registration license number on each certificate of acceptance that they issue.    Contract Changes

The acceptance testing process may require the design team to be involved in project construction inspection and testing. Although acceptance test procedures do not require that a contractor be involved with a constructability review during design-phase, this task may be included on individual projects at the owner’s request. Therefore, design professionals and contractors should review the contract provided by the owner to make sure it covers the scope of the acceptance testing procedures as well as any additional tasks.