Articles by Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
A tricky RFP question gets trickier when the “correct” answer might depend on the particular owner.
July 1, 2014
The following is a question posed in a recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for commissioning services.Read More
Don’t let this all too common practice create confusing specifications.
June 1, 2014
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.Read More
Complex HVAC systems only stand a chance when endusers have the interest and ability for a long-term commitment.
May 1, 2014
HVAC systems can do amazing things these days — things that were unthinkable even 20 years ago.Read More
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