Awards presented at the 2021 BCxA Annual Conference represent people, programs, and projects that exemplify successful implementation of the commissioning process.

This year, BCxA President Ryan Lean and Executive Director Liz Fischer presented nine well-deserved awards in the form of the Benner Award, Presidents Award, and the Building Commissioning Excellence Awards. 

Benner Awards

Executive Director Liz Fischer presented two Benner Awards at the BCxA Annual Conference, recognizing an organization and an individual for significant contributions to the building industry and commissioning profession. Dr. Jessica Granderson, Mechanical Staff Scientist and Engineer, accepted the organization award on behalf of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Individual recipient Tom Poeling, PE, CCP of US Engineering, was also present to receive his award in person.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), recipient of the organization award, has championed commissioning for more than 28 years. As early as 1985, Mary Ann Piette started a 7-year program, “Energy Edge,” with Bonneville Power Administration to study new building performance efficiency.

Scientists and researchers including Dr. Evan Mills, Dr. Jessica Granderson, Eliot Crowe, and others have also led Berkeley Lab’s periodic trend and technical analyses on the cost-effectiveness of commercial buildings commissioning over decades, often in collaboration with the BCxA. The latest, "Building Commissioning Costs and Savings Across Three Decades and 1,500 North American Buildings." was published in the scientific journal “Energy and Buildings” (2020).

Our individual Benner Award recipient, BCxA member Tom Poeling, PE, CEM, CCP, of US Engineering, is a Past President of the BCxA, attending the conference as always. He was “humbled and surprised” to be named for this prestigious award, but his actions speak for themselves. Tom has worked tirelessly to promote the value of commissioning. His colleagues say, “a true master of bringing order to chaos,” and “His intellect is only matched by his quick-witted sense of humor and his tireless energy for problem-solving.”

Tom has experience both as a commissioning provider and contractor. He has led major BCxA commissioning projects that benefit building owners and commissioning providers alike. His work with Berkeley Lab on the 2018 Commissioning Cost/Benefit Study. “He pushed this project through with unstoppable enthusiasm and desire to update the excellent work of LBNL,” said one colleague.

He created and led the BCxA Advocacy Committee, which produced industry documents that define and illustrate “Third Party Commissioning,” and created a “Regulatory Updates” website resource for members to lookup local building codes and laws. Tom takes on the toughest challenges, which many others would avoid.

President’s Award

We secretly engaged Kevin Thurston’s family to surprise him at home with this award, since he wasn’t able to attend the conference in person. As a member since 2010, Kevin has been active in the Western Canada Chapter from its inception and served as the Chapter President. Kevin has served on the Building Commissioning Certification Board (BCCB) for four years — one as the President and currently as the Treasurer. He has recently been named as Chair of the BCxA Membership Committee.

Here’s what happened:

Building Excellence Awards

Six awards were presented at the conference for excellence in commissioning across five categories: New Construction Cx, Major Renovation Cx, Existing Building Cx, Ongoing Cx, and Program Implementation Cx. See the winners, crisscrossing the country from New York to Seattle, project photos, and descriptions.

To learn more about BCxA’s award programs, please visit