Acceptance Testing

Acceptance tests are pass/fail tests for mechanical systems and equipment for newly constructed buildings, major renovations and all newly installed replacement equipment.

What is Acceptance Testing?

Acceptance Testing is the process of performing pass/fail tests for mechanical systems and equipment for newly constructed buildings, major renovations and all newly installed replacement equipment. Mechanical Acceptance Tests ensure code compliance and promote optimization of efficiency and performance for nonresidential buildings. They serve to determine whether specific building components, equipment, systems and interfaces between systems conform to criteria set forth in the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Part 1, Article 1, Section 10-103.2.

More information about Acceptance Testing can be found in Chapter 13 of the 2019 Nonresidential Compliance Manual. The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards require the following 18 mechanical acceptance tests:

  • NRCA-MCH-02-A – Minimum ventilation controls for all constant and variable air volume systems.
  • NRCA-MCH-03-A – Zone temperature and scheduling controls for all constant volume, single-zone, unitary air conditioner and heat pump systems.
  • NRCA-MCH-04-A – Duct leakage on a subset of small single-zone systems depending on the ductwork location.
  • NRCA-MCH-05-A – Air economizer controls for all economizers that are not factory installed and tested.
  • NRCA-MCH-06-A – All demand-controlled ventilation control systems.
  • NRCA-MCH-07-A – All supply fan variable flow controls.
  • NRCA-MCH-08-A – Valve leakage for hydronic variable flow systems and isolation valves on chillers and boilers in plants with more than one chiller or boiler being served by the same primary pumps through a common header.
  • NRCA-MCH-09-A – Supply water temperature reset control strategies programmed into the building automation system for any water systems (i.e., chilled, hot, or condenser water).
  • NRCA-MCH-10-A – Hydronic variable flow controls on any water system where the pumps are controlled by variable frequency drives (i.e., chilled and hot water systems; water-loop heat pump systems).
  • NRCA-MCH-11-A – Automatic demand shed control.
  • NRCA-MCH-12-A – Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) for packaged direct expansion units.
  • NRCA-MCH-13-A – Automatic Fault Detection and Diagnostic Systems (FDD) for air handling units and zone terminal units acceptance.
  • NRCA-MCH-14-A – Distributed energy storage DX AC systems acceptance.
  • NRCA-MCH-15-A – Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system acceptance.
  • NRCA-MCH-16-A – Supply air temperature reset controls acceptance.
  • NRCA-MCH-17-A – Condenser water supply temperature reset controls acceptance.
  • NRCA-MCH-18-A – Energy management control system acceptance.
  • NCRA-MCH-19-A – Occupancy sensor acceptance.

Why do we need acceptance testing?

Acceptance tests ensure code compliance and promote optimization of efficiency and performance of qualified mechanical systems in nonresidential buildings. They serve to determine whether specific building components, equipment, systems and interfaces between systems conform to criteria set forth in the 2019 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards for nonresidential buildings. This includes offices, retail stores, factories, warehouses, schools, churches, hotels, motels and other nonresidential occupancy types. The tests are an effective tool to ensure proper installation of equipment, as well as meeting the energy goals of owners, occupants and the community. The benefits of properly installed systems include energy savings, extended equipment life, health, comfort and safety.

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