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According to Evan Mills, PhD, a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, building enclosure commissioning (BECx) should be viewed as “the single-most cost-effective strategy for reducing energy, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings today.”

 Mills studied the benefits of BECx, noting that commissioning has a payback period of as little as 14 months. Savings associated with using BECx from both maintenance and energy savings average about 16% for existing buildings and 13% for new construction. The main benefit is that whole-building energy savings are guaranteed, thanks to the pivotal role of the enclosure in determining efficiency performance.

BD+C, June 2013 Edition

In addition to traditional Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) Commissioning, HICAPS’ building enclosure experts perform Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) as well as Building Envelope Forensics and Building Enclosure Consulting. 

HICAPS follows the BECx process described in the National Institute of Building Science’s (NIBS) Guideline 3 and adopted by the USGBC for LEED:

  • Devise a plan early in the project cycle that describes testing requirements, acceptance criteria, and documentation.
  • Review details in the construction documentation to check for overall performance, continuity of weather barriers and insulation, and constructability.
  • Conduct observations on the job site as required for critical milestones in enclosure installation, from field mockups to trades startup to field testing.
  • Use mockups to benchmark workmanship requirements and ensure compliance with specifications and manufacturer’s installation requirements.

Systems included in HICAPS’ Building Enclosure Commissioning include:

  • Wall Systems
  • Roofing Systems
  • Fenestration Installations
  • Door Installations
  • Flashings
  • HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical Penetrations
  • Thermal Insulation
  • Vapor Barriers
  • Air Barrier Systems