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Dynamic Building Enclosure Commissioning: Securing Owners’ Long-term Investments

posted 10.22.2015

A key to avoiding performance issues and even costly failures in building design and construction is more than just planning – it’s establishing and validating that the exterior of the facility meets objectives as defined through a process known as Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx). It has become a major part of evaluating a facility’s future operation as building owners realize the payback of commissioning. Terracon, as a BECx provider, offers a unique and comprehensive approach to commissioning that promotes collaboration within the project team and represents the owner’s interest in designing and constructing building enclosure systems that perform as intended for the long term.

Redefining Building Enclosure Commissioning Services

IMG_3244The typical commissioning process is generally completed through a series of standard processes and checklists. By fully engaging the design and construction team in an interactive effort, Terracon’s dynamic system provides owners, end users, and developers further assurance that their building enclosure systems will perform up to their expectations.

The dynamic program starts with assisting in the development of the desired facility requirements, and continues through the formation of the building system’s operation goals, maintenance plan, and maintenance training process. Terracon’s early project involvement ensures the building’s appropriate and required functional performance testing will occur and incorporates the considerations of each consultant on the team, bridging any gaps in the testing plan.

The program also includes preparation of a hygrothermic model which is used to outline the building system’s anticipated performance. The model is completed during the design phase, simulating real-time climate data for the life of the building. This facilitates communication by allowing each team member to plan and adjust for conditions such as temperatures, rainfall, condensation, and other exterior in?uences, taking knowledge of actual location conditions into account.

At each design milestone, Terracon identifies and reviews potential building enclosure design deficiencies. Comments are addressed by the team to reach a solution as quickly as possible, or the comment remains active until an appropriate solution is identified and implemented. The traditional process often allows the commissioning provider’s deficiency comments to lag into the later phases of construction, often too late to adequately eliminate the issues. The dynamic enclosure commissioning prevents such lags.

Realizing the Payoff

1. Bldg CommUsing the dynamic enclosure commissioning system, long-term costs can be reduced and building service interruptions avoided. Owners realize a lifetime savings because they aren’t prematurely addressing typical maintenance issues such as resealing a facility because of moisture penetration or replacing an area where air infiltration occurs due to a breach in the building enclosure. Instead, these issues are anticipated and addressed during design, and validated in the construction phase with in-field performance testing and quality assurance.

Utilizing the dynamic enclosure commissioning process, Terracon helps ensure that the mission of the institution remains the primary focus in the building, giving owners and operators more security that their investment is performing at its optimum level.