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Articles by Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.

Commissioning: Is The DID Done?

February 26, 2007
Design intent and owner’s project requirements: understand the role of each.
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Commissioning: RETROCOMMISSIONING <i>New Buildings</i>

February 1, 2007
I just completed reports for two retrocommissioning studies for different building owners. An interesting - and potentially puzzling - similarity between them was that they were both for relatively new buildings. One building had been completed just one year before the owner decided retrocommissioning would be a good idea. The other was a 4-yr-old building. Both were larger than 100,000 sq ft.
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Commissioning: Deferred or Phased Testing

January 1, 2007
Deferred testing is performing FPT after substantial completion. Whereas systems performance testing should occur prior to the owner accepting the systems from the contractors, there are some instances where testing at the end of construction is either impractical or not meaningful.
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Commissioning: Fair and Balanced

December 1, 2006
In my October and November columns, I explored the complexities associated with motivating contractors to install, start up, and test new building systems as required to have the commissioning testing and demonstration be successful the first time. If there is an incentive for deficiency-free test results, the commissioning professional needs to be wary of the contractors wanting to stop and “fix” deficiencies during the testing process.

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Commissioning: Rewards Revisited

November 1, 2006
IT'S NO SURPRISE THAT THE DEVIL IS RIGHT WHERE YOU'D EXPECT HIM.
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Commissioning: The Perfect Test

October 1, 2006
In September's column, we focused on the need to motivate project teams to correct systems performance deficiencies in a timely fashion follow-ing unsuccessful FPTs. This month, I'd like to explore the question of why there are unsuccessful FPTs in the first place.
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Commissioning: Commissioning Completion

September 5, 2006
Measuring deficiency days would help ensure that proficiency pays.
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Commissioning: Too Much Commissioning?

August 1, 2006
One of the variables we find from project-to-project is the amount of time the commissioning professional is expected to be on site during construction.
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commissioning: SMALL (does not equal) Unimportant

July 1, 2006
LEFT UNCHECKED, BIG PROBLEMS CAN COME IN SMALL PACKAGES.
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Commissioning: COMMISSIONING EXISTING Systems Renovations

June 1, 2006
My May, 2006 column introduced the concept of decommissioning as a process for thoughtfully and systematically preparing for partial renovation of an existing building - something that happens more frequently than the construction of new buildings.
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Design Flaws

Following up on Howard McKew's April "Tomorrow's Environment" column: Have you ever thought twice about reporting problems with another firm's design? What did you do?
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