Trust, but Verify: Building Enclosure Commissioning in Sustainable Design

  • October 14, 2008
  • • Written by: Daniel J. Lemieux, AIA 

Fall 2008 Vol 33, No 3
Abstract: Optimum building performance begins at conception. That is both the premise and the promise of the Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) process. The traditional Commissioning (Cx) process has long held that optimum building performance can be achieved through the proper design, balancing and operation of base-building mechanical systems. The BECx process builds upon that notion by: a) recognizing the rapid pace at which building enclosure systems and technologies continue to evolve; and b) mandating that a design professional well-versed in building enclosure design and failure is given an opportunity to positively influence the direction and outcome of a project. This article explores the changing role of the architect in the design and construction process, the building enclosure commissioning process itself, and examines a case study in building enclosure failure investigation and repair to illustrate the potential of the BECx process in sustainable design.