For the best experience of the NCBC website, please upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 or later.


NCBC 2011

August 10-12, 2011

Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

19th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC 2011) agenda.
Time Session Summary & Description
10:30 AM5:30 PM Registration Open
12:002:00 PM

GovEnergy Closing Ceremony / NCBC Opening Session (lunch provided)

Doug McKenzie Mohr
behavior economist, founder of community-based social marketing and the author of ”Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing.”

Dr. Dorothy Robyn
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, US Department of Defense

2:002:30 PM Travel via sky bridge from one facility to next
2:30 PM5:30 PM

Defining the Partnership Between the Federal Government and the Cx Industry

Tim Unruh
Program Manager, Federal Energy Management Program, U.S. Department of Energy

Bradley Brooks, Ph.D.

Mary L. Snodderly
GSA, Facilities Maintenance & Hardware Acquisition Center

Robert Austin
Eaton Energy Solutions

Robert J. Knoedler, PE, CxA
Hanson Professional Services Inc.

Federal representatives will have the opportunity to meet commissioning and energy efficiency experts in this interactive session for both NCBC and GovEnergy participants. Topics include:

  • An overview of commissioning and energy efficiency in federal buildings
  • New research and developments in identifying the skill set needed to be a proficient commissioning authority
  • Contracting with the federal government
  • Writing a scope of work
  • Integrating the CxA in the team

Achieving Sustainable Built Environments: Rating Systems & the Role of Cx


Gerald Kettler
Facility Performance Associates

H. Jay Enck, CxAP, HBDP, LEED-AP
Commissioning and Green Building Solutions, Inc.


Ed Faircloth
Gilbane Building Company

Mark Miller, PE, CCP
Strategic Building Solutions

Rod Rabold
University of North Carolina

Brian Walters
Page Southerland Page, LLP

This session provides an overview of current sustainability rating systems along with some currently under development. Commissioning application under these systems will be emphasized. You’ll learn how these various systems can enhance the performance of your building portfolio. An example case study of a building commissioned and certified under the LEED system will be presented.

This session will also include a panel discussion on how to utilize the sustainability systems, codes, standards and guidelines for a successful project.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

19th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC 2010) agenda.
Time Session Summary & Description
7:30 AM5:00 PM Registration Open
7:30 AM8:15 AM

Breakfast Session: Building Cx in Japan

Motoi Yamaha
Director, BCSA

Ryuji Yanagihara
Professor, University of Tokyo

Enjoy your breakfast while learning about how commissioning is similar and different abroad. The Directors of the Japanese non-profit organization, Building Services Commissioning Association (BSCA) will speak about the activities of their organization, their position on the necessary qualifications for commissioning engineers, as well as the state of the art commissioning industry in Japan.

8:3010:00 AM

BCA’s Best Practices and Perspectives on Industry Trends

Bruce Pitts
BCA Best Practices Committee Co-Chair
Wood Harbinger, Inc.

Mark Miller, PE, CCP
Strategic Building Solutions
President, BCA International Board of Directors

This Session will present the New Construction Building Best Practices just completed by the BCA. The BCA is committed to defining best practices in the building commissioning industry and to providing documents that describe these practices and offer practical solutions to issues and concerns in the industry. Defining best practices creates a benchmark against which the market can gauge quality and professionalism. These Best Practices define commissioning initiatives, processes, training curriculum and certifications, etc. The documents improve the high quality building commissioning process and promote standardization of commissioning practices.

Considerations for Building Controls

Bernard Keister, PE
Guttmann & Blaevoet

Natalia Camblor
Sustainable Engineering Group LLC

Want to understand what to consider when planning for the maintenance, operation, and upgrade of a Building Management System? This session will discuss options and strategies for implementing common controls improvements that pay for themselves in savings. The speakers will also take a critical look at one common controls measure: nighttime building heating and cooling setback. Though research and building simulations have yielded recommended night setback temperatures for various climate regions and building construction types, other in-building experiences were found to have significant discrepancies between simulated energy saving and achieved operating savings. In some cases, even penalties were present. This session will examine those discrepancies.

Customized Dashboards: From Board Room to Mechanical Room

Wayne A. Dunn, PE
E. W. Dunn

Amber Buhl

Wade Berner

Users of data acquisition and data visualization systems are typically broken into three categories:

  1. Executives and/ or public that are seeking a big picture representation of ongoing performance.
  2. Analysts that utilize large volume trended data to find opportunities for optimization or seek root cause answers in failure analysis.
  3. Occupants and/ or Facility Operators that benefit from immediate knowledge of behavioral impact or schedule errors.

Each of these perspectives will be represented in this dynamic panel about how to work with a dashboard to view the data you need.

10:0010:30 AM Break

Existing Building Cx: Processes & Results

George Bourassa
Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Rob Bucey
Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

Barry Abramson

Two commissioning providers bring their individual experience in retro-commissioning of existing buildings and will share their in-the-field results of programs across a variety of climates, building types, and building sizes. Building owners, facility managers, system operators and commissioning providers alike will find value in this session, as the presenters will discuss the process of identifying energy conservation measures, to evaluate those opportunities, measure implementation, and how to assess results.

Methods & Applications to Monitoring Based Cx

Michael English, PE, CCP, LEED-AP
Horizon Engineering Associates, LLP

Boban Ratkovich, P. Eng., CEM, BESA, LEED-AP ID+C
CES Engineering Ltd

Monitoring-based commissioning is the key to smart energy use and cost control within a facility. This relatively new process consists of collecting, storing, analyzing and reporting data that is used to optimize energy performance and efficiency by giving end users the ability to make informed, effective energy decisions. This presentation will discuss the commissioning provider’s role throughout the process, specifically in developing and applying a systematic process for improving and optimizing overall building operations.

This session will also include a case study of MBCx application on a number of boiler plants retrofit projects. Energy Management Information System was utilized as a diagnostic and optimizing tool on these projects. This presentation will also attempt to provide clear distinction between “Measurement” and “Verification” process and commissioning provider’s role in these activities.

Functional Testing: Post-Occupancy & Lighting Controls

Michael J. Dooley
AKF Engineers, LLC

Ryan Stroupe
Pacific Gas & Electric, Pacific Energy Center

This session will walk through the challenges and solutions of performing post-occupancy testing in non-peak seasons, testing multiple modes of operation, while maintaining the project schedules and communication channels with other members of the team.

You will also see step-by-step how to create a functional test for electric lighting systems, with an emphasis on precautions, pass/fail criteria and required measurement tools for each test. The lighting controls functional testing portion will also examine the differences and similarities between the content and structure of existing functional tests for lighting controls developed by different entities.

12:001:30 PM Lunch
1:303:00 PM

Utilities Perspective on Cx

Josaphine Tuchel
Pacific Gas & Electric

Dylan Matthews

Utility programs implemented across the United States have led to an increased recognition, implementation, and appreciation of commissioning and retro-commissioning. In this session we will hear from representatives of Pacific Gas & Electric in California and ComEd in Illinois about their successful commissioning programs.

PG&E has implemented a large scale RCx program in an effort to meet its ambitious energy savings goals and has valuable successes and lessons learned to share. We will see the savings claimed to date from this program categorized by measure and industry segment. Furthermore, PG&E will share various insights into the issues of program scalability, expansion beyond the traditional commercial building sectors, and areas for future growth and program improvement.

Going on its third full year, ComEd’s retro-commissioning (RCx) program has grown into one of the largest in the nation. As they share their accomplishments to date, they will showcase studies on a variety of building types, describe the lessons learned so far and the reasons behind some design changes they’ve made. They will also provide the new goals set for the program and the challenges they face.

Cx Solutions for Small and Mid-sized Buildings

James Zarske, PE, CEM, LEED-AP
Nexant, Inc.

Kevin Afflerbaugh, LEED-AP
Nexant, Inc.

Patrick J. O'Neill
NorthWrite, Inc.

Small and mid size buildings often get less attention in the commissioning industry due to cost-effectiveness concerns. However, there are programs and projects, such as the successful City of Boulder Small Building Tune Up Pilot, that have demonstrated significant savings achievable in smaller square footage existing buildings while still controlling costs. This session will also address how the use of low-cost monitoring based commissioning in existing small and mid size buildings can offer additional savings and operation benefits through long-term whole-building energy monitoring, short-term temporary environmental monitoring, and the use of web-based tools to survey/audit the facility and track energy use.

Next Generation Buildings: Smart Building Technology & Operations

Patty Anderson
McKinstry Co.

Jesse Sycuro
McKinstry Co.

Joseph Bocchiaro III, Ph.D., CStd, CTS-D, CTS-I, ISF-C
InfoComm International

David Wilts, CTS
Crestron Electronics

Smart building technologies provide countless opportunities for improved building operations, if used properly.

This session will cover how to implement an effective Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx) program through implementation of smart building technologies, integration of MBCx activities with operating procedures, and establishment of best practices for the use of MBCx data for the optimization of systems. Several case studies will be included that demonstrate how MBCx has aided facility staff in the successful reduction of operating costs.

This session will also explore the commissioning of audiovisual systems and how those systems can be utilized in commissioning smart buildings. Audiovisual systems are used for a wide variety of purposes in buildings including, entertainment, education, emergency notification, digital signage, command and control, and building management. This session will broadly review the issues of integrating audiovisual systems using industry-recognized commissioning techniques.

3:003:30 PM Break
3:305:00 PM

Owners’ Perspective on Cx

Jeffry Steppe
Target Corporation

Steve Harrell

Mark Wantage
Ohio School Facilities Commission

This presentation will look at the commissioning process the the eyes of building owner representatives. A representative from Target will present the major retailer’s dynamic and adaptive strategy to commissioning at scale with more than 1,700 stores in their portfolio. Target has developed tools to aggregate, synthesize, analyze and communicate the results of the commissioned systems.

We will also hear about the methods employed by Caterpillar Financial to continue to prove energy savings through continuous commissioning and the savings successes they have achieved.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission has invested over nine billion dollars into school construction. The OSFC commissioning program has grown and evolved over the past six years and continues to be a dynamic force in helping assure that the final product meets the Owners expectations. We will discuss several key points that help provide a successfully commissioned OSFC project as well as several common factors for a productive commissioning process.

Validating Performance of Renewable & Alternative Energy Sources

Kenneth Von Bank, PE
Sustainable Engineering Group

Troy Strand
Independent Energy Solutions

Commissioning and validating the performance of renewable and alternative energy sources is an ever-moving target. Geothermal heating and cooling systems have both strong advocates and strong opponents but they are becoming more popular in schools and the commercial building industry and the commissioning industry should be prepared. These high efficiency, low maintenance systems have the potential to save building owners significant energy and money. However, if designed, installed, or maintained improperly, these systems can be a burden on the maintenance staff and building occupants. Commissioning is an effective process for minimizing design, installation, and operational issues associated with geothermal systems.

Similarly photovoltaic power systems will only benefit the facility if they are installed properly and well maintained. This technical presentation will help attendees understand what testing, maintenance, and operation procedures are required to ensure the safety of assets and tenants as well as optimum energy production.

Cx of New & Existing Building Fire Protection Systems

Jeffrey E. Harper, PE
Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.

Tony DiLeonardo
Wick Fisher White

While commissioning of fire protection systems will not significantly improve the building’s energy efficiency, proper commissioning of fire protection systems will improve your chances of securing a certificate of occupancy and maintaining the safety of building tenants and assets. Fire protection systems have grown to be complicated systems that interact with many of the building’s engineered systems. Just like commissioning of building controls requires someone knowledgeable about controls systems and the associated energy efficiency to be derived from them, fire protection systems require someone knowledgeable about the intended design and operation of those systems to properly review design documentation and set forth guidelines and specifications for commissioning these systems.

This presentation will identify key fire protection system design features to be reviewed by the CxA and provide pointers to be considered in the proper commissioning of fire protection systems and why it is needed. We will also discuss the new NFPA 3, Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, soon to be published by the National Fire Protection Association. The presenters will also review the unique fire protection systems needs for critical facilities and areas like data centers, telecommunication facilities and 911 call centers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

19th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC 2011) agenda.
Time Session Summary & Description
7:3012:00 Registration Open
8:3010:00 AM

Measurement and Verification

Doug Chamberlin

Mark Goldberg

Lia Webster

Because your commissioning project may likely come down to a few statistics communicating how much energy was saved, make sure you get a solid outcome from the months of effort by using the most appropriate M&V option. With Cx and EBCx experience across wide-scale programs and single projects, including both new construction and existing buildings, the authors have developed a consistently valued and sound approach to building commissioning M&V using Options B, C and D. The most appropriate M&V approach is a balance between time, budget, available data, project complexity, and owner or program requirements. It is up to the Commissioning Authority (CxA) to properly balance these competing demands to deliver an accurate, cost effective, and verifiable M&V outcome. When there is conflict between requirements, maintaining flexibility in the M&V approach is critical for producing a high quality, tailored M&V baseline defining the simple energy savings of the project.

While formal measurement and verification procedures are provided by IPMVP and ASHRAE GL-14, these references provide little technical direction for specific applications. The new CCC Guideline, Guidelines for Verifying Existing Building Commissioning Project Savings, funded through the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research program, focuses on integrating measurement and verification into the EBCx process to enhance the project’s technical rigor and minimize additional costs. The wide variety of industry practices are distilled into four methods which will be presented, including key drivers of cost and risk.

Whole Building Performance: Leveraging Utility Bills & Smart Meters

Dan Harris

Phillip N. Price
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

There are many ways to analyze the data from buildings and even more ways to use that information to the advantage of the commissioning agent or building operator. With this information building managers can better understand their facility’s electricity consumption over time and to compare it to other buildings, helping them to ‘ask the right questions’ to discover opportunities for demand response, energy efficiency, electricity waste elimination, and peak load management. Commissioning agents can use the same data to diagnose problems, identify opportunities, and demonstrate savings. This session will demonstrate a few of the methodologies and tools available to utilize utility bills and smart meter data to affect whole building performance.

Cool Tools for Cx: Existing Buildings

Dave Moser

Srinivas Katipamula
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The process of accurately calculating the energy and demand savings related to existing building commissioning (EBCx) measures can be cumbersome, especially if using custom calculations. The California Commissioning Collaborative is currently expanding its online toolkit to include a new spreadsheet-based tool for calculating savings for common EBCx measures. The tool is customizable to suit actual system conditions, accepting inputs based on spot-measured values and trend data. This session will include a description of the methodology and features of the new tool, and will discuss how this tool complements other energy and demand savings calculation tools commonly used by EBCx providers.

The Energy Charting and Metrics Tool will also be presented to demonstrate how the tool can be used to analyze data from interval meters and building automation systems. This tool can be utilized to enhance building operations and make buildings more energy efficient. Smart building solutions will be presented that use automated monitoring, controls, diagnostics, optimization and soft-repair.

10:0010:30 AM Break

OPR and Systems Manual: The Most Neglected Deliverables in Cx

Michael J. Berning, PE, CEM, LEED-AP BD+C
Heapy Engineering

Kevin Knueven, PE, CPMP, CxA, LEED-AP BD+C
Heapy Engineering

Tom Voight
Purdue University

Todd L. Rindlisbaker
Rindlisbaker Commissioning, Inc.

Building owners are spending their hard earned money on building commissioning either because they feel it is a good investment or it was required to achieve LEED certification or other sustainability directives. Yet, they still do not get buildings that are problem free. This is often attributable to poorly written Owner Project Requirements (OPR) documents that contained minimal to no building performance criteria. Attendees will evaluate ways to change commissioning process requirements by writing better OPRs, and Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to incorporate performance based commissioning into a project.

Systems Manuals are the vehicle that commissioning industry has developed to try to convey important design concept and operational information from the building design and construction process to the facility operators. Results and success have varied widely with the systems manuals that have been developed thus far. Barriers to providing effective, complete Systems Manuals vary from project to project but cost and information availability are two of the most common. This session will cover the recommended format and content of a systems manual, the contractual requirements for successful system manual development within budget, and the roles and responsibilities of systems manual contributors.

Cx of Mission Critical Facilities

Trey King
E Cube, Inc.

Paul Liesman
Syska Hennessy Group

Terry Rodgers
Syska Hennessy Group

Failures and outages can have catastrophic outcomes when occurring in mission critical facilities, such as data centers healthcare, and bio-research facilities. This session will address the unique challenges and processes behind these special buildings.

Issues discussed will include: contractor involvement, test adjust and balance issues, controls contractor issues, importance of scripts and pre-testing, air flow design and construction specifics, architectural pitfalls, documentation of the commissioning procedures and documentation of non-commissioning procedures within the commissioning process. Case studies will also be presented that include examples of successes, problems and lessons learned.

Building Envelope Cx for the Everyday CxA

Mark Warren
WSP Flack + Kurtz

Anand Seth, PE, CEM, CPE
Cannon Design

This session will encompass the major activities, including testing requirements, associated with building envelope commissioning from design to post-occupancy, how the process is similar and different from traditional MEP system commissioning, and the expected outcomes of these efforts. The varying levels of complexity to be aware of when commissioning the building envelope will also be covered. Understanding the roles of the commissioning team as it relates to building envelope are integral to the success of the process and will be explored here.