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March/April 2011

Enclosure Commissioning

Laboratory and field testing to verify the installed performance of building enclosure materials, components, systems and assemblies

The design and construction of a building envelope can have a direct effect on the performance of the building, including but not limited to, resistance to air and water infiltration as well as energy efficiency. A proposed new ASTM International standard, WK26027, Practice for Building Enclosure Commissioning, will provide a concise, technically sound and enforceable document that can be easily referenced and readily applied in the construction marketplace.

WK26027 is being developed by Subcommittee E06.55 on Exterior Building Wall Systems, part of ASTM International Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings.

“Once it has been fully developed and approved, WK26027 will provide both a road map and the technical tools and resources necessary to more effectively deliver — rather than simply promise — fully integrated and quantifiable building enclosure performance,” says Daniel J. Lemieux, AIA, principal of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. and chairman of the task group responsible for developing WK26027.

WK26027 will, for the first time, establish minimum qualifications for the BECx service provider and provide the tools necessary for a BECx authority to establish threshold levels of building enclosure commissioning intended to allow for maximum flexibility in the application of two relevant documents: the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Guideline 0, The Commissioning Process, and the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Guideline 3, Exterior Enclosure Technical Requirements for the Commissioning Process. The task group includes liaisons with each of these organizations to ensure proper alignment of the ASTM standard with each of these documents as they are updated and further refined to reflect, in part, the goals and objectives established by the task group responsible for ASTM WK26027.

Lemieux notes that two mandatory annexes in the form of Web-based adjuncts will be included in the standard to facilitate the proper development of owner project requirements and the appropriate selection of performance test standards necessary to verify enclosure durability and performance during all phases of the BECx process. Currently being developed in cooperation with NIBS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, OPR development software will address the following key attributes during the predesign phase of the BECx process:

  • Energy,
  • Environment,
  • Safety,
  • Security,
  • Durability,
  • Performance and
  • Cost.

After the initial OPR has been properly developed and refined, the software tool will then allow the owner to analyze, on a real-time basis, the relative impact of decisions made during the design phase of the BECx process so that a final OPR, BOD and quantifiable performance metrics (and an associated functional performance testing program) can be established for the project. The overall structure of the software and WK26027 will allow for additional information and/or nonmandatory appendices to be added through subsequent balloting in the future as enclosure technologies continue to advance and the understanding of building enclosure design and performance continues to evolve.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the ongoing development of WK26027.


Technical Information: Daniel Lemieux, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Fairfax, Va.

Phone: 703-641-4601

ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn

Phone: 610-832-9726