The Building Envelope Commissioning Process

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The Building Envelope Commissioning Process

Building Envelope Commissioning Process

Building envelope commissioning is an important step in ensuring that all the systems in the structure meet the requirements and ideal criteria you set forth for your building. The envelope is an important part of this process, since this includes all the parts of the building that separate the exterior from the interior.

The process of building envelope commissioning involves four major stages, all of which are crucial to the completion of the project as desired. Each stage involves specific tasks.


During the pre-design phase, you develop the requirements of the building and a commissioning plan. Though these must be developed before the next step, it can be updated throughout the other stages.


In the next stage, you develop the basis of design, and you review all plan specifications and submit necessary documents. During this step, you would also ensure that site inspections are completed, as needed. Pre-installation meetings are required to ensure the completion of tasks during the design phase.


After all preliminary tasks have been taken care of, you can move on to building construction. This phase should include system testing to ensure that everything is running according to the specifications laid out.

Occupancy and Operations

Finally, you can move on to ensuring that system manuals are in place, staff are trained, and verifying that all systems are up and running.

The building envelope is of particular importance during the design phase of building commission. Because LEED requirements do not include the building façade as one of the commissioned requirements, it is often overlooked. But the building envelope is just as important as HVAC, lighting, water, and renewable energy. It will have to be reviewed during when you establish the owner’s project requirement and the basis of design.

The process of  building envelope commissioning should include evaluating the performance of the existing design and visiting the sites in order to ensure that the building envelope is appropriately sealed. There are several kinds of tests that can be performed including checking for the intrusion of water or air, and checking with a thermal imager. This can help you determine if the building performs adequately and helps the commissioned agency determine the kinds of fixes that will strengthen the building’s envelope.

There are certain key performance objectives that are specific to the building envelope including controlling flow of air, blocking out noise, and the penetration of light, fire, and ultraviolet rays. The building envelope also determines the structural performance and durability of buildings. Buildings that have problems with air or water penetration do not have the same long-term durability as those that are air-tight. Aesthetics, value and maintainability are also key components of the building envelope. In order to ensure that your structure is impenetrable by external forced, you must analyze the results of the testing to determine what areas are weak.

When designing a building, building envelope commissioning is a great way to ensure that the project stays its intended course and meets the owner’s needs and is up to code. Envelope building commission can be an important aspect of this process since it is a key component of the performance of a building.

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