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2016 Title 24, Part 6 & mechanical acceptance testing: The basics
California's Title 24, Part 6 building energy code is complex and can be confusing. Here's the basic run-down to help you and your customers ace mechanical acceptance testing.
What is mechanical acceptance testing?
- Mechanical acceptance testing is functional testing and is associated with most mechanical equipment changeouts and/or new installs.
- Title 24, Part 6 breaks down mechanical equipment as either:
- Simple: unitary or packaged equipment that services one zone or a 2-pipe system serving multiple zones or
- Complex: anything that is not considered simple.
- Acceptance testing is required for all projects that trigger Title 24, Part 6 and it is documented in Certificate of Acceptance (NRCA) forms.
Who does the acceptance testing?
- Mechanical acceptance testing is performed by the onsite field technician (installing contractor).
- Certified Acceptance Test Technicians are NOT yet required for mechanical acceptance testing compliance.
- The Energy Commission would prefer people testing this equipment to be certified, but that requirement has not been put in place yet.
- Per Section 10-103.2 of Title 24, Part 1 (the administrative code), this will happen when 300 or more Certified Acceptance Test Technicians are available as demonstrated by Acceptance Test Technician Providers (ATTCP) and approved by the Energy Commission. This has not happened yet.
When does the testing happen?
- Mechanical acceptance testing must be done before the final permit is issued for all projects that trigger Title 24, Part 6.
How do you document mechanical acceptance testing?
- The applicable NRCA-MCH form must be completed to document mechanical acceptance testing.
- After it's completed, the form must be but made available on the project site for the building inspector and then provided to the building owner when the project is complete.
- It is a good idea to review the form and its requirements before going out in the field, because many times it requires testing with other system features, such as the thermostat and other controls that may require the control contractor and/or others to perform the test properly.
Where can I find resources to help me comply with this requirement?
- The Title 24, Part 6 nonresidential, appendix 7.5 goes through the requirements in a comprehensive way.
- The NRCA-MCH forms indicate what needs to be tested and how.
- Energy Code Ace has many free resources available to help you "decode" mechanical acceptance testing requirements, including:
- 2016 nonresidential HVAC trigger sheet: Speaks to which system feature replacement triggers energy code compliance and also helps you determine which NRCA-MCH form to use for each system feature.
- 2016 nonresidential HVAC and plumbing application guide: Free electronic version for download of this short manual including compliance requirements and recommendations for implementing Title 24, Part 6 in nonresidential new construction, additions and renovation projects.
- To order printed copies: Amazon.com and search for "Energy Code Ace" in "Books"
- Decoding 2016 HVAC: Let's talk mechanical acceptance testing: View the recording and download the handout of this originally live online training event.
- 2016 Title 24 Part 6 essentials - nonresidential standards for small commercial AC quality installation contractors: A "traditional classroom" course offered through the utility training centers - or you can request a training for a date and location that better fits your needs. (Certain minimum requirements will need to be met for the class to be offered.) Use the Energy Code Ace "training request" page to learn more and submit a request.
Visit EnergyCodeAce.com to find out how the program's free tools, training and resources can help you play your cards right by complying with California's building and appliance energy efficiency standards. And while you're there, register to receive updates about new offerings, and Title 20 and Title 24, Part 6 news.
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