The Envelope Commissioning in LEED and WELL

The Envelope Commissioning in LEED and WELL
June 1, 2019 MDS

Building Enclosure Commissioning – BECx – is a quality assurance process, utilized to validate that the performance of as-built building enclosure meets the Owner’s Project Requirements.

The importance of BECx stems from the fundamental role played by a high-performance envelope within a sustainable project, as more efficient envelopes mean more complexity due to the technologies, materials and professional figures involved, and leaves a lot less room for errors. Hence the need for a process that helps to prevent and control possible design and construction mistakes and to ensure that the building functions as a perfect machine, even for the envelope.

The Commissioning process, better known for its application in mechanical and electrical systems, provides for the envelope a series of procedures for  checking the design and installation, through checklists, inspections and performance tests, to ensure the Owner that the enclosure has been designed, installed, tested and managed in order to meet the  performance, durability and maintenance requirements.
The performance tests included in the BECx process aim to verify the actual performance of the as-built envelope, with a focus on air tightness, through blower door test, waterproofing, through water barrier test, and thermal performance, by thermal imaging through infrared camera.
The expected durability of the envelope system is guaranteed by a System Manual with a focus on operation and maintenance and a training manual for operators and occupants, towards a correct use and operation of the envelope over the time.

The relevance of this best practice in terms of project sustainability has led LEED to give it more and more space within the certification, indeed in LEED v4 the EA Enhanced Commissioning credit also includes OPZ. 2: Building Enclosure Commissioning with a weight of 2 points.
We can find this criterion also in WELL certification v2 
Feature A09 Pollution Infiltration Management.

Macro Design Studio is specialized in BECx activities and performs both as Commssioning Agent on the client side and as construction team Consultant on the contractor side.