The Role of Factory Inspections in the BECx Process

Factory inspection visits are vital; and they unfortunately have a habit of being overlooked. The factory inspection process during the Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx) is especially important when it relates to fenestration systems, when any prefabricated components are being installed or when complex architectural glazing is being utilized on a project.

As more and more systems are being fabricated off-site (to minimize not only rising costs of field labor, but also to improve general quality) the importance of reviewing these components in the factory is critical to ensuring that they ultimately will meet the project’s goals. While this process starts on paper with the review and commenting on Quality Control/Assurance plans and discussions with the contractor and their team, it is most important that these steps and processes are verified in the factory setting with project specific materials. Critical components that are commonly verified in factory settings are as follows:

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Mission Critical Commissioning: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Every project is different; all of the variables at play make for unique situations and dynamic experiences. The same can be said about specific pieces and parts of the project, including commissioning services. In commissioning, there are different players, different issues and different challenges. To help deal with dynamic projects and diverse scenarios, lessons learned can serve as powerful tools for helping to make the next project a success. With over 20 years of commissioning services, we put together a list of common pitfalls to successful commissioning, the cause of these pitfalls and ways to avoid them in the future.

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Matthew Grisi

Q/A with Matthew Grisi, Field Engineer Employee of the Month: April 2017 1.If you could vacation anywhere on the planet, where would you go? Australia. I still regret not visiting when I lived in Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef is the... Read More
 

Mission Critical Commissioning: The Value of an Owner Advocate

No person is an expert in everything; regardless of our skill level and/or experiences. Finding others that can be called upon as resources will always yield dividends. This is especially true when approaching the problems and challenges that exist while operating in mission critical environments. We all develop our own personal networks of technical resources; when you find yourself responsible for a portfolio of systems or facilities, calling on that personal network can become a lifeline to help you solve an issue or get yourself out of a bind. Working in the industry, participating in projects, it should be a goal of every provider of services to

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Maintaining Building Comfort and System Efficiency


by Nicholas Neiley, Senior Project Engineer

As we head into the shoulder heating season in the Northeast many facility operators struggle to maintain building comfort and system efficiency. The shoulder heating seasons typically extends from March through May and October through December. Temperature swings of 30-40F in a single day are not uncommon which place stress on facilities system’s ability to maintain comfort and efficiency through the wide range of outdoor conditions. This is also a perfect time to observe how efficiently your systems are at reacting to a wide range of conditions.

One of the greatest challenges in any facility is the transition between heating and cooling modes. This is a situation that often occurs daily during the should season as outdoor air temperature rise and fall. The first key to improving system efficiency is understanding how your system is intended to work. Review your buildings design and as-built documents to gain an understanding of the intent. Documents to review would include design intent/basis of design narratives, control sequences, one line diagrams, and systems manuals. 

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The College of New Jersey - Brower Student Center

HEA was engaged by The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) to provide both MEP and Building Envelope Commissioning Services (BECx) for the Brower Student Center Project in Ewing, NJ. This project includes a major renovation that will provide a transformative change to the interior and exterior of the building, as well as a 25,000 sf addition. The program includes meeting and event spaces; student spaces; co‐curricular support; lounge / social spaces; and dining in addition to mechanical/circulation/building support.TCNJ was particularly vigilant about ensuring that the BECx is performed by qualified personnel with building envelope experience.

HEA was first engaged during the design phase and continued through the completion of construction and post occupancy. In regards to the BECx process, HEA played a role in ensuring that the systems were designed in accordance with the owner’s requirements. In addition, HEA confirmed that the systems were installed in a manner that met the high expectations of the University.

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Alexandra Rimler

Q/A with Alexandra Rimler, Proposal Coordinator Employee of the Month: January 2017 1.If you could vacation anywhere on the planet, where would you go? Costa Rica or Iceland. 2.What is something about you that would surprise people? I ... Read More
 

Mykhaylo Hroshko, Project Engineer

Q/A with Mykhaylo Hroshko, Project Engineer Employee of the Month: February 2017 1.If you could vacation anywhere on the planet, where would you go? Peter Island - Located in the British Virgin Islands. 2.What is something about you that... Read More
 

How-To: Easy Spring Building Check-Up

By: Scott Lance, EBCP, LEED AP O+M, Engineering Manager

Now that winter is close to an end in the norther region of the United States, it’s time to start thinking about entering back into the cooling season.

Many facilities shut down their cooling operations in the winter; this includes items such as draining down cooling towers and exterior condenser water piping, shutting down chilled water and condenser water pumps for the season, and stopping chemical treatment of these systems. Now is the time to start performing some operational checks before that first warm day in late March or early April happens.

The easiest things to do while chilled water systems are shut down, is to start-up pumps and recirculate water through the entire interior chilled water system. This will break-up any rust scale that might have settled in the system throughout the winter and collect this material in wye strainers and suction screens of pumps. Once the recirculation has taken place, clean out the strainers and screens. During the recirculation operation, check motor voltage and amperage for all three phases of power; this will help determine if the pump motor has any issues. You’ll see it in the amperage readings, or it will determine if there is a phase imbalance issue with the incoming power.

Also, look for leaks while the system is running; when pumps sit for an extended period of time and then start back up it may cause a shaft seal to start to leak. Identifying a leak now and repairing it will be more convenient then when chilled water is actually required to be online and stable.

This is also a great time to do

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Expansion, Mount Pleasant, NY

Description of the project: This project added two new buildings (connected via an enclosed walking bridge) with 300,000 sf of laboratory and office space to the Regeneron complex at the Landmark at Eastview in the Town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York. This project is officially certified LEED Gold.

What services we are providing: HEA provided building commissioning services for all Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection systems. Over 500 deficiencies were reported and addressed by the contractors during construction, start-up and functional testing. With HEA leading the commissioning team the building is operating per design.

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