What do Building Enclosure Commissioning Agents do?

by / Wednesday, 10 August 2016 / Published in Green Building Consulting
iStock_000003465141XSmall-BECx-woman-reviewing-plans

So What Exactly Does An Enclosure Commissioning Agent (BECxA) Do?

Understandably, there is a lot of confusion in the design and construction industry about the role of building enclosure commissioning agents (BECxA). Owners and architects do not know what a BECxA does during design and construction and how (or if) this discipline adds value to the project. LEED V4 mandates design phase BECx as does California’s new Energy Code, kicking in on January 1, 2017.

So I decided that I would start developing blogs based on my BECx projects and showing exactly what I do – my redline markups on drawings + review comments during various phases of Design, as well as my scope during construction. In each of the following few blogs, I will try to select review comments from a different phase of Design and a different stage of Construction. My intent here, is to provide clarity on what a BECxA does at each stage and thereby hopefully, dispel some of the confusion in the industry.

For this blog, I have selected an existing building remodel. This building was getting an extensive remodel including replacement of many of the existing precast façade panels and re-roofing. The façade panels were precast concrete with stone veneer. I made these review comments and drawing markups on a CD Phase set of drawings.

Commissioning Agents Comments:

  1. Stone veneer precast panel and stone cladding specification sections do not specify nominal stone thickness and size or specify stone testing to determine appropriate anchor spacing, location, type, etc. Recommend including this information in the specs and clarifying the stone veneer manufacturer’s scope vs. the precast panel manufacturer’s scope – i.e. who does the testing, who supplies the anchors, who drills holes for the anchors, etc.

 

  1. Do you plan to epoxy the anchors into the stone veneer to prevent water absorption and possible damp appearance on face of stone veneer? Recommend checking with stone veneer manufacturer on whether this is necessary for the type of granites selected.

 

  1. Recommend application of sealant to top and side faces of precast concrete stone panels after they are cast. The bottom should NOT be sealed so as to allow moisture to drain. This sealant should be compatible with the panel joint sealant applied after installation.

 

  1. No information has been provided on precast panel thickness, rebar information and anchorage of panels to structure. Recommend providing guidelines to facilitate pricing by GC.

 

Here are 2 snapshots of my redline markups taken from the drawings:

 

 

Commissioning Agents Review

 

(my BECx review is always a combination of review comments provided in Word format and markups on drawings. I also provide details wherever I feel that graphics will better explain the situation.)

Commission Agent Review Roof Section of Building

 

Although these excerpts of my review comments and drawing markups focus heavily on waterproofing, (largely due to the nature of the retrofit work), my commissioning agents review always has a triple focus on energy efficiency, mold mitigation and waterproofing.

Thank you for your time and stay tuned for more BECx blogs from different stages of my projects!

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