Articles by Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.

Commissioning: Core and Shell and Tenant Fit-Out Projects, Part 2

June 1, 2007
Last month, this column addressed special considerations for developing the owner’s project requirements/DID for projects that are designed and constructed as a core and shell (C&S) by the developer with customized tenant fit-out (TFO) of occupied spaces as they are leased. Documenting the owner’s project requirements/design intent is valuable for any project and is imperative for commissioned projects.
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Commissioning: Core & Shell -- and Tenant Fit-Out Projects

May 2, 2007
It is exciting to see that the benefits of commissioning are being realized by more and more commercial real estate developers and their tenants. A traditional speculative office building presents special challenges for the commissioning process. In the commercial real estate market, many office buildings are constructed as a core and shell (C&S) by the developer with customized tenant fit-out (TFO) of occupied spaces as they are leased.
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Commissioning: The Least You Can Do

April 1, 2007
Last month, I talked specifically about ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process and its owner’s project requirements document. As quoted from the Guideline, the ASHRAE document “is not definitive, but encompasses areas where there may be a variety of approaches, none of which must be precisely correct.” I’d like to explore that a bit more this month. How much latitude is there in the term “commissioning” for new construction? If there are no approaches that are “precisely correct,” are there any approaches that should be considered incorrect?
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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
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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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