Articles by Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
As technology advances, the pre-functional checklist is becoming a thing of the past.
April 1, 2014
When I started building systems commissioning 25 years ago, it did not take long to figure out that more was needed to confirm that the commissioned systems were complete and ready for testing than just the general contractor’s word for it.Read More
Choosing not to sample every system can be a gamble, but here are some ways to lower your risk.
March 1, 2014
Over the past two months, this column has addressed the issue of sampling systems for field functional performance testingRead More
So you’ve decided on your sample size. What next? What happens when a system failure is found?
February 1, 2014
Last month, this column addressed the need for (and philosophy behind) sample testing certain systems when 100% functional performance testing (FPT) is impractical from a time and/or budget perspective.Read More
Testing it all typically isn’t an option. How to determine what (and how many) to check?
January 2, 2014
In the standard commissioning process, there are two primary technical activities that occur on site at the end of construction and prior to systems acceptance by the owner.Read More
Don’t let a “copy and paste” control submittal lead to errors.
December 1, 2013
This column is a continuation of last month’s topic addressing the coordination that needs to be focused solely on HVAC controls during the construction phase of a project. Read More
Don’t be the team that finishes the building and then wonders why nobody brought the airflow measuring station.
November 1, 2013
HVAC systems continue to be the most challenging part of a new construction project to get right the first time, and the most challenging parts of the HVAC systems are their controls. I believe there are two root causes.Read More
In the game of commissioning and construction, there is no “I” in team. All the players must work together to score the efficiency goal.
September 23, 2013
I spent many hours this past summer watching my son play lacrosse and couldn’t help thinking about how the team sport of lacrosse is similar to the team sport of design and construction. I’m sure this is analogous to the other team sports that move an object up and down a rectangular field, court, or rink, but this is how I see its comparison with lacrosse.Read More
Building owners must be proactive when it comes to safeguarding and maintaining systems at the completion of a building project.
August 29, 2013
This is the conclusion of my series addressing training for buildings where O&M will be outsourced.Read More
Sidestep present and future problems by incorporating these six elements into your Systems Manual.
August 2, 2013
Last month, I introduced the importance of providing building-specific training to outside service contractors when a building owner does not have or does not intend to hire in-house O&M staff.Read More
Can a project manager overcome the desire to suspend belief in physics and common sense?
July 1, 2013
Last month, I addressed the challenge faced by new construction project teams to build faster and cheaper. In the normal project delivery process, this responsibility falls on the construction manager and/or general contractor (CMGC).Read More