Our building Enclosure commissioning program employs thermographic cameras along with 33 years of facility design experience to ascertain flaws in the building envelope
"…we had great comfort and satisfaction with Drew’s creative ideas and methods of project delivery. He is quite adept at tailoring the work effort to fit the needs of the client. He is always an effective team leader and communicates well in structuring personnel in a way that leads to ultimate satisfaction by all parties."
M.H. - Woburn, MA
Building Enclosure Commissioning
Our building enclosure commissioning program employs thermographic cameras along with 35 years of facility design experience to ascertain flaws in the building envelope. Improperly installed thermal and/or vapor barriers can cause higher energy consumption, premature failure of the building envelope, loss of productivity, and could become a source for mold and mildew.
We work with the design team, contractors, systems commissioning agents, and building owners to ensure the building enclosure performs as intended, enhancing the over-all performance of the facility.
Commissioning is a methodical
process of assessment and verification and
is normally conducted from project inception
through the project close-out phases. Our building
envelope commissioning program provides several
elements of analysis and verification of the
exterior envelope (exterior walls and roof
assemblies). Through the design process, we
will review design documents to detect deficiencies
in the details and the coordination thereof,
providing a detailed report of recommendations
for the design team to consider. During construction,
we provide construction practices observation
to ensure that building components are installed
according to the design documents and industry
standards. We will also provide specifications
for and monitor envelope testing services to
verify the integrity of the building components
and assemblies. Finally, we will conduct thermographic
photography of the envelope to determine the
thermal integrity of the assemblies and identify
any areas of moisture or air infiltration.
Building Envelope Commissioning Services
- Assist in development of Owner’s Project Requirements and Design Intent Document
- Peer review of design documents
- Participate in design review meetings
- Provide requirements for, and monitor testing of mock-ups and/or in-situ assemblies
- Participate in construction meetings
- Provide periodic construction observations
- Assist in assemblage of project record documents
- Perform thermographic assessment of mock-ups and completed construction
- General building envelope condition assessments
- Specify and monitor envelope testing procedures
Commissioning is a process, seeking to ensure that building systems are designed to meet the owner’s performance requirements and that when constructed and operated, will perform efficiently. This is a value-added process, whereby the commissioning agent will work with the owner, the design team and the construction team to develop the best-value building systems that meet or exceed the owner’s objectives.
Building envelope commissioning (BE Cx) is the architectural-side of the commissioning process. Commissioning has typically involved only the building systems – heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical systems, etc. The building envelope is a static system that is acted upon by dynamic forces from within (heat, humidity, air conditioning) and from external environmental forces. Too long ignored as a system to be integrated into the commissioning process, the building envelope is best commissioned in concert with the building systems to ensure the best possible comfort to occupants, the best utility to the functions performed within, long-term serviceability and lowest possible operating costs.
Benefits and Value
As stated above – BE Cx is a process and should be considered at the outset of project programming to ensure the best possible benefit to the project. Our services are offered throughout the design and construction process, bringing added value to the project:
• Assist Owner in determining scope and budget for commissioning efforts
• Work with design team on building design configurations and detailing
• Provide coordination with commissioning team to ensure envelope and building systems work in concert with one another
• Perform review of design documents and commentary on envelope systems to save construction costs and ensure long-term serviceability
• Coordinate testing and commissioning milestones – all disciplines
• Coordinate commissioning milestones with construction team
• Provide on-site construction observation of critical envelope closure systems to assure compliance with design documents and industry standards
• Conduct envelope systems testing and reporting to ensure system integrity
• Assist with submittal reviews to assure material compatibility and performance
• Assist with preparation of final commissioning reports and close-out documents to aid Owner’s on-going maintenance of the facility
Considering commissioning as a process, our services would, ideally, span the full duration of the project, from programming through construction close-out and warranty. In some cases, a building owner may wish to commission an existing facility – termed “retro-commissioning”, to enhance the performance of an under-performing envelope. 3-D Building Technologies can assist an owner in developing the scope of analysis and testing that they might want to perform on their existing facilities.
Feel free to contact us for a phase by phase breakdown of our BE Cx services.
In the design and construction of new facilities, each phase of the project has unique tasks, though many tasks are common to all design phases. BE Cx services that we perform are as follows:
Commissioning the building enclosure focuses on testing, to identify problem areas of the roof, walls and/or foundation, and/or to confirm that the envelope is performing according to the OPR. Two such tests, are themographic imaging, and air & water infiltration tests. These are depicted and described below.
Assessing the performance of a building enclosure by means of a thermographic camera may reveal potential gaps in insulation and thermal bridging, as well as air / water infiltration through non-destructive imaging. 3-D Building Technologies utilizes standard thermographic images as well as “fusion” images to zero in and isolate potential enclosure trouble spots, which might lead to premature failure of the envelope, or that may cause mold and mildew problems.
Performing Thermographic Reading of building enclosure and a fusion capture image
Air and Water Infiltration Testing
3-D Building Technologies provides specifications for and observes window testing for air and water infiltration as part of its building enclosure commissioning service. We will ensure that the set-up and test procedures are performed in accordance with recognized standards, taking photographs and notes of the activities as they happen and provide documentation of the testing in a clear and concise report.
Air and Water Infiltration Test
Equipment set-up & Water spray at full pressure
Best Applications of BE Cx
To ensure long-term serviceability of a building envelope, building owners should consider building envelope commissioning as a part of the design and construction of their facilities. BE Cx services can be tuned to the requirements of any-given project, whether in new construction or existing construction, to provide the best value to the building owner. The following list includes some, but not all of the best applications of BE Cx:
• Facilities striving for LEED certification
• Buildings with human habitation
• Facilities for which building systems commissioning is being performed
• Buildings with environmentally sensitive operations being conducted within
• Facilities experiencing envelope failure (leakage, settling, drafts, higher than expected energy consumption)
• Buildings with severe differentials between interior and exterior environments
3-D Building Technologies is eager to discuss your next construction project with you to determine the commissioning services that would best benefit your facility and its performance.