Balancing Your Building Enclosure: The Building Enclosure Commissioning Scope that Matters

Apr 16, 2018

Please note: The attached file below contains a paper from the BEST5 conference that is linked to a conference presentation in pdf format. Open with Adobe Acrobat for best results.

Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) is a buzzword within the construction industry. As a result, it is used in many different ways with various scopes of work. BECx is discussed in California Title 24, required in LEED v4, and mandated by many municipalities and states. But each of these different industry documents (along with municipality and state requirements) has different definitions and requirements for BECx. It is rare to find a document that references the industry standard - ASTM E2813. As a result, BECx is inconsistently performed across the industry and may not always be adding value to a project. High performance buildings are realized, in part, through the commissioning process. Since the building enclosure and the mechanical system work in tandem to provide energy efficiency, durability, and occupant comfort, similar levels of oversight must be provided throughout the design and construction phases so they are equally commissioned and balanced. Enclosure design and construction is different from the mechanical system, so the approach to BECx is necessarily different. This presentation offers guidance on building a cost-effective and efficient BECx process that provides value to projects and meets the requirements of various industry documents, including LEED. It examines the appropriate time to begin the BECx process and engage the design team, necessary qualifications for a BECx agent, and unique field testing required. It provides project specific examples and lessons learned from new buildings and renovation projects.

Emily Hopps, Associate Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., and Anna M. Burhoe
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science and Technology (BEST5) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
BEST5 Technical Committee

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