Building Envelope Commissioning
Ensuring Long-Term Performance of the Building Envelope
Many aspects of long-term building performance are linked to the durability, water-resistance, airtightness and energy-efficiency of the exterior walls, roofs and floors, including windows, doors, skylights, and envelope penetrations and transitions. Building envelope commissioning ensures long-term performance of a building’s most critical and liability-prone components and can make a project eligible for a LEED Innovation credit.
Building envelope commissioning, just like mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) commissioning, is a third-party process of verifying the design and construction of the building envelope per the owner’s needs and the design intent. Portions of this process have been commonplace, such as waterproofing consulting or blower door testing, for many years; however, the ideal building envelope commissioning process begins early in the design phase and continues through the warranty phase. Additionally, the bar has been raised for building energy performance.
Although it has not enjoyed the same exponential growth that MEP systems commissioning has over the past decade, building envelope commissioning is becoming more popular due to increasingly stringent envelope performance requirements for energy and infiltration. Building envelope commissioning has now become a necessary service in the building construction industry, and only continues to grow in popularity. This is especially true for buildings in the southeastern United States, and Epsten Group is proud to have provided building envelope commissioning services for many of these projects.
Epsten Group offers comprehensive services for the commissioning of the building envelope:
- Design reviews (schematic design, design development, construction documents, bid addenda, shop drawings)
- Commissioning plans
- Envelope commissioning specifications
- Review or development of testing requirements
- Recommendations for mock-ups
- Installation checklists
- Pre-installation conferences
- Mock-up observation
- Mock-up testing Site observation
- Testing of installed components
- Test reports
- Tracking of correction items
- Commissioning reports
- Training of staff for operations and maintenance
- Warranty follow-up
Our team maximizes the value of the building envelope commissioning process by beginning early in the design phase of a client’s project, with at least one full review of the design documents. As experts in the building envelope commissioning process, Epsten Group focuses on continuity for air and water tightness, as well as potential points of failure and constructability. In addition, we target complicated interactions of building assemblies through thorough reviews of envelope elevations and details.
Once a project is under construction, we work to ensure that the design intent is met for envelope components. One of the main activities necessary to accomplish this is to conduct pre-installation meetings for each envelope assembly (waterproofing, air barrier, roofing, curtainwall, etc.).
As construction of a facility is nearing completion, one of the last major undertakings for building envelope commissioning is envelope performance testing. There is an exhaustive amount of envelope testing available to any new facility, and Epsten Group will make recommendations for the testing procedures that are right for your project.
We have proudly served our clients with building envelope commissioning services since 2006, with a focus on buildings owned for many years by the same entity, such as universities, governments and corporations. Epsten Group also has special expertise with building types that rely on superior building envelope performance, such as laboratory buildings, healthcare facilities and arts/archival buildings.
Building envelope commissioning can help projects earn a LEED credit. Learn more about our firm’s LEED consulting services.