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Building Enclosure Commissioning Could Impact Industry

Post Time:Apr 12,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:315




"Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) is the next progression in giving the owner (purchaser) a higher level of confidence that they will receive a product that they expected to receive," says Stanley Yee, building enclosure consultant with The Façade Group in Portland, Ore. "By product, it is meant the 'whole building' as a system--not only its individual components or sub-systems."


The MOA aims to incorporate all building commissioning activities into a whole building commissioning process, according to information from ASTM and NIBS. The groups are aiming to develop a process that "ensure[s] that exterior enclosures meet or exceed the expectations of owners' project requirements."


"The net effect on the glass and glazing industry can be both profound and at the same time not so significant," Yee says. "The profound change comes in the form of clearer communication from the 'purchaser' that specific levels of product/system performance is desired and is to be provided. The level of performance is predicated on what the life-expectancy and performance characteristics should be after significant events; or more importantly during its normal day-to-day operations. This previous point speaks to the purchaser's bottom line."


On a less significant effect level, those throughout the industry can be confident in the products/services that are being provided and be given the capacity to benchmark their performance through the commissioning process, Yee says. "For many, it will be business as usual, but with a capacity to be reassured they continue to be on the right track towards building better buildings."


Mic Patterson, director of strategic development at Advanced Technology Studio - Enclos, Eagan, Minn., shared his concern about the commissioning. "We understand the critical importance of building facade commissioning in achieving the performance improvements we are all working for in our building stock."


The facade is a building system of rapidly increasing complexity, and the more complex the facade the more important the commissioning process, according to Patterson. "It is, however, no trivial undertaking to develop effective commissioning standards and programs to cover the broad range of building types, and the related materials, products, and systems found in contemporary facade designs," he says.


Patternson warns that shortcomings in the process could produce ineffective results that do little but add cost to the building developer. "We hope that ASTM and NIBS will involve appropriate industry partners, material suppliers, product manufacturers, and facade contractors, in the development of their standards and programs."


The Glass Association of North America of Topeka, Kan., will be partaking in the commissioning process. "GANA has formed a task group to look into the building enclosure commissioning process and to work in conjunction with the industry standard making bodies," says Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell, technical director of GANA. "With this new MOA between ASTM and NIST, GANA will seek opportunity to work with the development of these standards."


Potentially, BECx could be good for the glass and glazing industry, according to Brian Pitman, director of marketing and communications at GANA. "Taking a holistic approach to the building envelope offers the chance for greater opportunity, more cohesive standards and an overall better product," he says. "I imagine many of GANA's members will want to be involved in the development of this exciting new endeavor."


Where end-users are calling for higher performance and more quality-driven and durable systems, those who are innovators and currently provide better products, better installations and better services will find that the Building Enclosure Commissioning process is a means for being recognized for the time, effort and resources invested in practicing their trade and work at a higher level, Yee says. "Those that are tethered to the status quo may find that reflection upon current product offerings and/or delivery mechanisms may have merit particularly in the context of a process that espouses increased transparency throughout the value chain."


Source: USGNNAuthor: shangyi

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