What is Building Enclosure Commissioning? Benefits and Tips

By Horizon Engineering Associates, LLP

HEA loves to stay ahead of the curve – who doesn’t? This is why we’ve put a lot of effort into our newest service offering, Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx). This process will deliver an efficient building and can also keep your facility in tip top shape.

What is Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)?

BECx is a quality-oriented process implemented to provide a building enclosure that meets (and most times, exceeds) Owner’s Project Requirements. Building enclosure includes all materials, components, systems and assemblies intended to provide shelter and environmental separation between interior and exterior.

Today’s building enclosure systems are complicated and getting more so by the minute. This fact, coupled with expectations of improved performance, makes BECx the perfect tool to achieve both goals.

What are the Benefits of Building Enclosure Commissioning?

  • Ensure systems are properly detailed and specified.
  • Ensure proper material fabrication methodologies (improves material longevity).
  • Ensure systems are properly installed on-site.
  • Ensure systems are meeting the specified performance criteria post installation.
  • Avoid issues post occupancy.
  • All of these benefits can help you to save money and energy!

Tips for Ensuring Proper Building Enclosure Commissioning

We have put together the following tips to ensure that you are well covered and versed in what you should expect when moving forward with this service:

  1. Is the BECx Provider Qualified? A qualified BECx Provider should not only have experience in the Commissioning process, but also demonstrate a vast knowledge in the fundamental principles of building envelope design, engineering, fabrication, installation, and testing of a variety of cladding systems.
  2. Understand the standards. Your BECx Provider should be well versed in the accepted industry standards which include ASTM E2813, Standard Practice for Building Enclosure Commissioning; ASTM E2947, Standard Guide for Building Enclosure Commissioning, NIBS Guideline 3-2006 and ASHRAE Standard 202, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems.
  3. Comprehensive Building Envelope Commissioning Plan. Your BECx Provider should not only provide you with a plan for how they will handle the testing and inspection of you envelope systems, because if an issue arises at that time in the process, you may be at risk for significant schedule delays or cost overruns. Ensure that your BECx Provider is prepared to be fully engaged with the design and construction teams to ensure that details and specifications are properly developed, and that correct material choices are being made to meet the project goals.  The BECx Provider should be well versed in the Architectural Design process, ensuring that they can work together with the team throughout all of the phases to deliver not only a high performing envelope system, but also providing support in achieving the project’s overall design intent.

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