California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Testing and adjusting

Testing and adjusting is the process of evaluating temperature and environmental control systems to ensure they’re heating or cooling according to design specifications and at the equipment’s best level of efficiency. This process involves using test instruments, sensors and monitors to verify proper temperatures, airflow and other characteristics of the HVAC system.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4: Testing and adjusting.

New buildings less than 10,000 square feet. Testing and adjusting of systems shall be required for new buildings less than 10,000 square feet or new systems to serve an addition or alteration subject to Section 303.1.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.1: (Reserved)

Note: For energy-related systems under the scope (Section 100) of the California Energy Code, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls, indoor lighting system and controls, as well as water heating systems and controls, refer to California Energy Code Section 120.8 for commissioning requirements and Sections 120.5, 120.6, 130.4, and 140.9(b)3 for additional testing requirements of specific systems.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.2: Systems.

Develop a written plan of procedures for testing and adjusting systems. Systems to be included for testing and adjusting shall include, as applicable to the project:

1. Renewable energy systems.

2. Landscape irrigation systems.

3. Water reuse systems.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.3: Procedures.

Perform testing and adjusting procedures in accordance with applicable standards on each system as determined by the enforcing agency

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.3.1: HVAC balancing.

In addition to testing and adjusting, before a new space-conditioning system serving a building or space is operated for normal use, balance the system in accordance with the procedures defined by the Testing Adjusting and Balancing Bureau National Standards; the National Environmental Balancing Bureau Procedural Standards; Associated Air Balance Council National Standards or as approved by the enforcing agency.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.4: Reporting.

After completion of testing, adjusting and balancing, provide a final report of testing signed by the individual responsible for performing these services.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.5: Operation and maintenance (O & M) manual.

Provide the building owner or representative with detailed operating and maintenance instructions and copies of guaranties/warranties for each system. O & M instructions shall be consistent with OSHA requirements in CCR, Title 8, Section 5142, and other related regulations.

CALGreen Code Section 5.410.4.5.1: Inspections and reports.

Include a copy of all inspection verifications and reports required by the enforcing agency.


For construction projects less than 10,000 square feet, testing and adjusting the building systems can ensure maximum efficiency of the equipment operation as well as improve the indoor air quality for occupants. Additionally, testing and adjusting building systems can prolong the life of the systems and maximize the equipment’s intended design parameters.

Compliance Method:

Design team: Specify the systems in the project to be tested and adjusted; the testing team members and their qualifications; the procedures, including those recommended by the manufacturer; and the report forms to be used in testing and adjusting.

Contractor: Maintain evidence of the qualifications of the testing and adjusting team and install the specified building systems in accordance with the plans and specifications. Examine systems for functional deficiencies that cannot be adjusted, and for reported deficiencies discovered before and during testing and adjusting.

Prepare a testing and adjusting plan with step-by-step procedures and perform testing and adjusting of non-energy systems according to those procedures. Remedy any deficiencies that are discovered during testing.

For HVAC balancing, use the balancing procedures defined by the organizations listed in the regulations, and perform additional testing and balancing as required to verify that balanced conditions are being maintained.

Complete testing and adjusting reports as required.

Prepare the Operation and Maintenance Manual to be given to the owner to encourage proper maintenance and optimum performance of the systems after certificate of occupancy.


Plan intake: Confirm that the testing and adjusting requirements are specified for the applicable building systems.

On-site enforcement: The inspector should collect copies of the testing, adjusting and balancing reports after all functional testing has been completed.

(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2019 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Chapter 5)

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