Articles by Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.

COMMISSIONING

Beware Of Single-Mode Balancing Reports

System success depends on a well-rounded TAB procedure.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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Proper air and water balancing is critical to HVAC system performance.
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COMMISSIONING

An Appropriate Level Of Effort

A tricky RFP question gets trickier when the “correct” answer might depend on the particular owner.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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The following is a question posed in a recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for commissioning services.
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Commissioning

Designer Copy/Paste

Don’t let this all too common practice create confusing specifications.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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In December 2013, this Commissioning column addressed the challenges posed by controls contractors who “cut and paste” the design engineer’s sequences of operation into the controls submittal.
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Commissioning

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Complex HVAC systems only stand a chance when endusers have the interest and ability for a long-term commitment.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
One Comment
HVAC systems can do amazing things these days — things that were unthinkable even 20 years ago.
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Commissioning

Remote System Readiness Verification

As technology advances, the pre-functional checklist is becoming a thing of the past.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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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.
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Commissioning

Unsampled Systems

Choosing not to sample every system can be a gamble, but here are some ways to lower your risk.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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Over the past two months, this column has addressed the issue of sampling systems for field functional performance testing
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Commissioning

Functional Performance Test Sampling

So you’ve decided on your sample size. What next? What happens when a system failure is found?
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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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.
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Commissioning

Functional Performance Test Sampling

Testing it all typically isn’t an option. How to determine what (and how many) to check?
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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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.
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Commissioning

Controls Programming Versus Design

Don’t let a “copy and paste” control submittal lead to errors.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
2 Comments
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.
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Commissioning

Construction Phase HVAC Controls Coordination

Don’t be the team that finishes the building and then wonders why nobody brought the airflow measuring station.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
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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.
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