Got a Roof and Walls? Then You Need BECx
I like my walls the same way I like my humor- dry. Rainwater intrusion and condensation account for approximately 80% of all construction-related claims in the US. Black mold has made news headlines as a public health nightmare and represents a huge liability for building owners. And energy waste is a common enemy of owners, operators, and tenants alike. These are not new problems, and the solution is neither new nor complex. All that’s needed to mitigate risk and save energy is this: An Expert.
Lorax recently had the pleasure of welcoming Intertek employee Adam Ugliuzza, a building science and envelope specialist, into our office for a highly informative discussion about Envelope Commissioning, also known more comprehensively as Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx). We explored the ways in which a BECx agent becomes intimately involved in a project from it’s very conception, through design and construction, and into occupancy. Perhaps more so than with standard equipment commissioning, early (think: conceptual design) involvement by a BECx agent is crucial, and can save Owners money and headache down the road. BECx agents can guide a team to selection of higher performing, more cost effective, and less error-prone envelope designs. They can add detail and intricacy to the design that preemptively addresses common construction defects. And when, inevitably, construction deviates from design, they have the keen eye to spot problems others won’t see.
While LEED v4 may dangle a carrot (2 points) for teams to pursue envelope commissioning, we’re certain the value goes far beyond LEED credit. Take a field-tested mock-up wall, couple it with a whole-building blower door test, and show off your utility bills to the neighbors. BECx can massively reduce air leakage, at worst saving you energy. At best, you can account for it in design, and downsize mechanical systems accordingly. Ears always perk up at the mention of first-cost savings.
BECx can range in scope from a quick design review to extensive laboratory testing. The building type and the Owner’s goals will play a major role in determining the right fit for a given project. Lorax and our network of BECx specialists, like Adam Ugliuzza, are here to help make that evaluation. If your next project has a roof or some walls, give us a call.