ASTM International, National Institute of Building Sciences MOA Puts Focus on Building Enclosures
April 2, 2012

ASTM International of West Conshohocken, Pa., and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) of Washington, D.C., have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to work together to publish a building enclosure commissioning process that will follow ASHRAE Guideline 0: The Commissioning Process.

The agreement aims to incorporate all building commissioning activities into a whole building commissioning process, according to information from ASTM and NIBS. The groups are aiming to develop a process that "ensure[s] that exterior enclosures meet or exceed the expectations of owners' project requirements."

"Commissioning a building enclosure is a unique activity," says Rob Kistler, ASTM member, who is a principal at The Façade Group. Kistler chairs the NIBS Guideline 3 Development Committee, and is the vice chair of the NIBS' Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council.

"The systems are specifically designed for an individual building and constructed on site from multiple products by different companies using numerous people, piece by piece, in all weather conditions," Kistler says.

According to the groups, building enclosures differ from manufactured systems in that enclosures cannot be fine-tuned after completion. "The enclosure is not complete and verifiable until the last component is installed and critical interfaces are concealed," Kistler says. "If the building does not meet the specified performance requirements when verification testing is performed, it is expensive to resolve."

Under the terms of the MOA, ASTM will develop standards and a personnel certification program on building enclosure commissioning, while the Institute will focus on the development of a commissioning training program. Both organizations will:

  • Support the development of standards, guidelines and certifications, as well as education and training programs;
  • Promote information exchange;
  • Initiate cross-disciplinary dialogue among building community sectors;
  • Facilitate improvements in the building process; and
  • Improve the building enclosure knowledge of their respective memberships.

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