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Three Things You Didn't Know About BECx in LEEDv4

Anyone who has ever had to resolve issues in a leaky building knows if the building enclosure is not designed and constructed as intended, it becomes very difficult to balance and optimize the mechanical performance systems. The lack of a building enclosure action plan during the design and construction was a common complaint over the course of project audits under previous versions of LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design verification, widely recognized for green building accreditation.

Like my Dad taught me, if you can learn from other peoples’ mistakes rather than your own, then you are truly wise. Using recommendations of industry professionals, the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) has now implemented three important pieces to ensure building enclosures meet LEED v4, a “bolder and more specialized” approach to building performance.

  1. Fundamental Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) is now a prerequisite for the Energy and Atmosphere Credit category. This means BECx must be performed to pursue any credit in the LEED Energy & Atmosphere category.)
  2. BECx has its own option now within the Enhanced Commissioning Credit
  3. Enhanced BECx is worth up to two points.

Stepping Back: What is Building Enclosure Commissioning?

Blower Door TestingEssentially, the building enclosure becomes another system to review during the commissioning process. Much like the intent of traditional commissioning, the underlying theme of BECx is to verify performance of the building enclosure. Performance is a key word for all aspects of commissioning under LEEDv4.

The highpoints of BECx are:

  • Multiple Drawing and Specification Reviews (design review and participation)
  • Product Submittal Reviews
  • Construction Installation Observation
  • Performance Verification Testing

If you are already familiar with BECx, you’ll recognize these key pieces seem quite familiar when compared to traditional commissioning and follow a similar ebb and flow during the design and construction process.

How are you planning to implement BECx on your next project with LEEDv4 now being required for newly-registered LEED projects? For additional information on our Facilities Services, click here.


Kris Linster, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, RRO, is the Facilities services manager in our Jacksonville, Fla., of?ce. He has been involved in more than 15 building enclosure commissioning projects with Terracon in the last ?ve years. His experience in the investigation, design, and observation of building enclosure systems has become a springboard to providing building enclosure commissioning services to national commissioning ?rms, owners, and end users. These projects include renovations, additions, and new construction projects with construction costs up to $100 million.