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Commissioning Of Building Envelope

Building Envelope Commissioning is critical to ensure that the building envelope performs as intended and meets the established performance criteria by providing the desired thermal properties and resisting air and water migration.  Due to the increased reliance by the mechanical systems on building envelope performance, failure of the building envelope can result in reduced occupant comfort, unrealized energy savings, and deterioration of some building envelope components. These building envelope failures can also result in costly repairs to re-establish the desired performance and may damage the reputation of the sustainable building industry. In Canada and the United States, building envelope commissioning is often misunderstood due to the lack of standard terminology and practice.

This misunderstanding leads to confusion around the scope of services required to ensure that the building envelope performs as intended. Using examples from project experience and the commissioning framework provided by both NIBS (National Institute of Building Sciences) Guideline 3 and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air- Conditioning Engineers) Guideline 0, building envelope commissioning and building science consulting will be defined and their issues discussed. This discussion will include an overview of emergent and varying terminology in use in Canada and the United States, including LEED® Canada NC-1.0 Durability Credit MRc8.