Building green has become the answer for many in the commercial building industry as a means to improve the quality, performance and energy efficiency of their buildings - and their bottom line. A key component to all green commercial building practices is building commissioning, a process for ensuring that a building - new or existing - is operating at its optimal performance. On May 4th, industry leaders will convene in New York City for the 13th National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC) . The conference is May 4-6, 2005 at the Grand Hyatt New York.

Since 1993, the NCBC has been the premier venue for building owners and operators, engineers, designers, commissioning service providers, and utility and government representatives. The conference is unique in bringing together such a diverse group of building and energy professionals, and presenting the latest developments and practices in the commissioning industry.

Over the past decade, building owners and managers have come to see commissioning as a critical quality assurance component of building construction and operation. They increasingly accept commissioning as a cost-effective process for reducing energy use, minimizing maintenance costs, improving IAQ and occupant comfort, and increasing overall net operating income. The NCBC provides the most current information on commissioning practices and resources, as well as valuable lessons learned from a range of commissioning case studies.

A strong advocate for building commissioning in the Northeast, this year's host sponsor is the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). According to Peter R. Smith, President of NYSERDA, "Since 1996, NYSERDA has supported several hundred projects that included components of commissioning. We see building commissioning as a key practice in helping New York accomplish its goal of sustainable growth. Commissioning not only reduces energy consumption and operating costs in buildings, but also improves indoor work environments and worker productivity, and increases the resale value of buildings. NYSERDA views its support of building commissioning as a sound investment for a strong economic and environmentally friendly future for New Yorkers."

This year's agenda is currently taking shape. Among the topics being considered: defining the costs and benefits of commissioning, making the financial case for commissioning, commissioning for LEED® certification, approaches for using in-house facilities staff in the commissioning process, new industry research, and various in-depth technical sessions including building envelope commissioning, fire/life/safety systems, and demonstrations of emerging tools of the trade.

NCBC is produced by Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. (PECI). Information about the conference can be found at www.peci.org/NCBC, and by contacting Summer Lewis at Summer Lewis or 503-595-4484. The conference is May 4-6, 2005 at the Grand Hyatt New York.