To recap from the last two weeks, we reviewed assigning unique IDs to model objects, both in base authoring tools, such as Autodesk Revit, first and in aggregating tools, such as Autodesk Navisworks, after the fact. Then, we reviewed the three key elements of a unique ID for equipment identification and tags: 1. Location; 2. Equipment Type; 3. Equipment Sequence. Today, let’s continue with equipment identification in Field BIM for commissioning and owner handover programs, and discuss the GSA National Equipment Standard.
The GSA National Equipment Standard for equipment identification and tags has two formats, the standard format and the enhanced format.
1. The standard format is as follows:
- Building Number + Equipment Acronym + Equipment Sequence
- For example, DC0000-AHU-001 identifies Air Handling Unit or Air Handler (AHU) 001 located in Building DC0000.
2. The enhanced format is as follows:
- Building Number + Equipment Acronym (Parent)+ Equipment Sequence (Parent) + Equipment Acronym + Equipment Sequence
- For example, DC0000-AHU-019C-MOT-019C identifies Motor 019C for Air Handler 019C located in Building DC0000.
Depending on the needs of your commissioning programs and requirements of your owner and operator for handover deliverables for ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M), you and your team may opt for either the standard format or the enhanced format, or both formats where required.
On one hand, some simpler equipment, such as pumps, may only need basic identification with the standard format, where components make up the general equipment assembly. On the other hand, other more complex equipment, such as air handlers, may necessitate advanced identification with the enhanced format, where components, sub-components, assemblies and sub-assemblies are manufactured, constructed, installed, commissioned, handed-over and maintained both independent of the “parent” equipment and codependent with the “parent” equipment, depending on the operation.
For example, on a “parent” air handler, you may opt to break out and uniquely identify “child” equipment and components such as the motors and valves that serve that air handler. The best practice of relating “parent” equipment to “child” equipment and components also extends to interconnections between sets of equipment in both the same system and across different systems. In turn, relating different sets of equipment also includes interdependencies between systems, which is critical for an “integrated” commissioning process beyond basic start-up, testing, adjusting, balancing and pre-functional and functional performance testing.
Additionally, the GSA National Equipment Standard then requires the equipment identification to be translated into a 128-bit barcode, as part of the project equipment database. The equipment tag with its encoded equipment identification barcode may then be printed on a heavy-duty, commercial-grade label and adhered next to the equipment nameplate, for example.