2021 Building Commissioning Excellence Award Recipients


New Construction


International Arrivals FacilitySeaTac International Airport, Seattle, WA

  • Owner/Stakeholder Coordinator - Port of Seattle, WA
  • Commissioning Provider - McKinstry
  • Fire, Life, Safety - Jensen-Hughes
  • Architect - RWDI
  • Contractor - Clark Construction Group

The new 425,000 SF International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at SeaTac International Airport, Seattle, WA, comprises three separate building areas: the IAF Building itself, an adjacent Sterile Corridor on top of an existing airport terminal to allow transition from domestic operations to international arrivals, and a 1,000 foot long, mostly glass “Pedestrian Walkway” that is 110 feet up in the air to allow for airplane taxi below.

The IAF project required design, installation and commissioning of over 600 individual pieces of mechanical equipment, another 200 pieces of electrical equipment, 14 unique smoke control scenarios, two new firefighters control panels, a dozen new elevators, six new escalators, six moving walkways, and five new baggage carousels.

The project was a part of an operational airport; TSA, security, and operations personnel were included in everything the commissioning team coordinated. Field testing, which included 3 outside firms, was coordinated by McKinstry and often performed between midnight and 5:00 AM to minimize impact.


University of Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium
South End Zone Renovation 

  • Owner - University of Utah
  • Commissioning Provider - ETC Group

The Rice Eccles Stadium is home to the University of Utah football team, and site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The South End Zone Renovation included tearing down the existing structure and building a new 192,000 SF structure incorporating new team locker rooms, new concessions and amenities, 6,200 seats, and new VIP boxes. The scope also involved moving the 2002 Olympic cauldron to a new pedestal and accompanying waterfall served by a pool type heater and pumping system. The project was designed to enclose an existing horse-shoe shaped stadium to a full “bowl” to allow patrons to access to the full circumference of the stadium. This project had an immovable schedule in order to begin the 2021 football season.

ETC group was engaged during design and remained involved through construction. The project team (ETC Group, University Architect and Engineers) used a Target Value approach to establish the best systems. The CxP was proactively involved during all-team weekly progress meetings. Close coordination between the GC and trades required quick responses between al stakeholders.

The project is targeting a LEED Silver certification design. To meet the University of Utah’s carbon-neutral goals for 2050, the facility was designed with water-to-water heat pumps to provide heating and cooling water to the new systems with heat rejection to a geothermal well.

ETC is providing MBCx for two years post-construction to track equipment trends and verify ongoing high-performance goals in accordance with LEED and Utah’s High-Performance Building Standards.


One Vanderbilt, New York, NY

  • Owner - SL Green Realty Corp.
  • Commissioning Provider - Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B)

One Vanderbilt Avenue is SL Green Realty Corp.’s 1.7 million usable SF, 1,401-foot skyline-defining tower, located directly adjacent to Grand Central Station in the heart of East Midtown, NYC, developed with partners Hines and the National Pension Service of Korea.

Construction began in the fall of 2016. The project, including JB&B Field’s involvement with commissioning, began with design and proceeded for four years until the spring of 2020 when the building received its Certificate of Substantial Completion. As of May 2021, the building received LEED v3 Platinum and LEED v4 Gold certifications.

The commissioning process for a job of this magnitude was extremely complex due to the size of the building, the relationship to the future office and retail tenants, and coordination among myriad public transportation options connecting to the tower.

JB&B Field worked with the Engineer of Record (a separate and independent team at JB&B) to identify inconsistencies in design documentation, coordination issues between trades, and best industry practices. Progressing into construction, JB&B Field led commissioning meetings, coordinated commissioning efforts, and performed the tasks associated with equipment testing. A cloud-based construction management tool was used to submit forms, and track documents and reports to JB&B Field.

To kickstart FPTs, the team agreed to complete certain FPTs without chilled or hot water by simulating conditions and manipulating set points; JB&B Field worked with the TAB Contractor to certify floor-by-floor air handling units, despite having no downstream ductwork installed in the tenant spaces.

In early 2021, JB&B Field coordinated an occupied building pull-the-plug test, and further integrated systems testing in summer 2021, closing out 11 integrated systems over the course of two weeks.


Existing Building Commissioning


Mascoutah High School, Mascoutah, Illinois

  • Owner - Mascoutah School District
  • Commissioning Provider - CxE Group

Mascoutah High School is a 275,000 SF two-story high school constructed in 2012, serving over 1,000 students with over 120 staff members. Since opening, the school has experienced operational issues.

CxE Group was added to the team investigating the facility’s operations to evaluate current operating modes and suggest improvements.

The 2017 engineering study identified 47.6% in estimated energy savings with a cost savings of $168,457 per year. The project cost was identified at $207,083, a utility natural gas incentive of $120,022 was applied to reduce the overall cost, and payback dropped to just over six months. In this case, only the natural gas portion of the utility cost was included in the State’s EBCx program. The proposed upgrades were implemented over the remainder of 2017.

A control system vendor implemented the recommended upgrades, retaining the primary building automation system and incorporating a new operator interface that greatly improved system scheduling options. CxE Group worked closely with the contractor and district personnel, providing clarifications and testing the revised control sequences on operation.

The lighting includes higher efficiency T8 fluorescent lighting with occupancy sensor controls. LED lighting has now been installed in the gymnasiums. This project is an excellent example of the value of teamwork to improve building operations while improving indoor environmental conditions


Northwell Health Facilities, New York/Long Island

  • Project Manager - Northwell Health
  • On-Site Energy Manager (OsEM) - Edison Energy

Northwell Health is a not-for-profit healthcare network comprising 23 hospitals and nearly 700 outpatient facilities with a mission to improve the health of the communities they serve. Headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York, Northwell Health is the 14th largest healthcare system in the United States.

Northwell partnered with NYSERDA and Edison Energy to help develop a comprehensive program to reduce energy consumption that meets their energy reduction goal of 5%. An Energy Steering Committee (ESC) was established, with the OsEM as the primary contact for the ESC on the strategic energy plan. Strategies include existing building commissioning (EBCx/retrocommissioning), LED lighting upgrades, steam system analysis, efficient equipment selection for new construction projects, improved building operations, and procurement initiatives.

Program goals are tracked on a building, initiative, and portfolio basis. Progress is reported to the highest level of the organization by a project leader who works directly with the sites to implement the initiative and attain savings. Savings are reported to the OsEM and a bi-monthly presentation summarizes program results.

This program exemplified and demonstrated the core tenets and value of BCxA Essential Attributes and the value of commissioning to this critical market sector.

Notably, this program

  • Impacted the culture
  • Went beyond just the financials
  • Opened the pathway to greater communication
  • Empowered others to do more after we, the consultants, are gone

In addition to identified savings, program costs were significantly lower than expected due to leveraging existing controls contracts to resolve issues.

The impact of these initiatives is a reduction in carbon emissions throughout the portfolio. At the completion of this initial program, Northwell's carbon footprint will be reduced by 5% and save over 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions.


Ongoing Commissioning


Gallier Hall, New Orleans, LA

  • Owner - City of New Orleans
  • Engineer/Commissioning Provider- Green Coast Enterprises
  • General Contractor - Construction Manager
  • Controls Contractor - Synergy Building Solutions, LLC,
  • Utility Incentive Program - APTIM (on behalf of The Energy Smart Program)

Gallier Hall in New Orleans, LA is a National Historic Landmark, built from 1845 to 1853. It is the former New Orleans City Hall and now serves as a venue for special civic functions such as mayoral inaugurations and Mardi Gras balls.

OCx and EBCx services at Gallier Hall have resulted in annual savings of $55,000, a 55% reduction from the baseline annual electricity consumption. Offsite access and control of the building HVAC system by GCE Services LLC (dba Green Coast Enterprises) provides ongoing commissioning and energy management services.

To update HVAC and BAS systems to current facility requirements, EBCx was needed because:

  • HVAC system was not following BAS schedules,
  • Simultaneous chilled water system cooling and heating ran continuously, and
  • Heating hot water system ran sporadically during warm weather.

The team partnered to implemented EBCx energy conservation measures, and ongoing commissioning (OCx) is ongoing to sustain and optimize system operations. The Entergy New Orleans utility energy efficiency program covered 100% of the project cost.


Click here to read the full press release