Building Enclosure in Hong Kong

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In general, the scope defined by LEED is relatively limited for both fundamental and enhanced commissioning.

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Neither fundamental nor enhanced LEED v4 commissioning requires design reviews, and only enhanced commissioning requires oversight during the construction phase. Such a limited scope of building enclosure commissioning services, while better than not performing commissioning at all, does not address some of the more systemic issues—incompatibility of materials, unconstructable details, discontinuities in the exterior barriers, and so on—that could arise from inadequate design or construction; in that regard, LEED v4 is equally limited in its ability to assure and control building enclosure quality.

ASTM E requires a more extensive, but still manageable, scope of work for building enclosure commissioning. The ASTM standard requires that the commissioning authority be engaged early in the design process—in the design development DD phase for fundamental commissioning, in the schematic design SD phase for enhanced commissioning. This more detailed and more integrated scope enables the BECx authority to provide more meaningful advice and have a more beneficial impact on the overall quality of the building enclosure. After you have defined the level and scope of building enclosure commissioning for your project, the BECx authority should prepare a written plan that 1 provides an overview of the commissioning process, 2 defines the roles and responsibilities of the Building Team members, 3 outlines the planned commissioning activities, and 4 documents the expectations for communication during the commissioning process.

In some cases, the BECx authority may prepare a specification that documents the various commissioning tasks, performance metrics, and testing requirements for inclusion in the contract documents. Such a specification can be helpful, but may not always be necessary, provided the performance tests are included in the enclosure technical specifications and the written commissioning plan offers a clear summary of the process and expectations. The enclosure systems selected for the project must be able to meet the criteria established by the owner as important.

ASTM E includes a nearly exhaustive list of possible performance testing options, including water testing shown here and air-infiltration testing. Such tests help verify performance for important building enclosure components, such as windows and flashing. Design reviews should be scheduled so that changes needed to align with the OPR can be implemented early in the design process.

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A review by the building enclosure commissioning authority late in the schematic design or early in the design development phase can help identify fundamental issues that can still be resolved before detailing begins. A subsequent review in the early stages of the construction documents further would further allow the BECx authority to comment on typical detailing of the enclosure systems and provide recommendations for system integration details.

3M Building Envelope Systems for Commercial Construction

Yet a third review later in the construction documents phase can be helpful to make sure that all previous comments have been incorporated and all necessary details and requirements have been provided. Design reviews typically include markups of the drawings and specifications and development of an issues log. The issues log tracks all identified deviations of the design from the OPR. Caution: Even though its name may imply otherwise, the building enclosure commissioning authority does not have the authority to make changes to the design.

The design team maintains control over the design throughout the entire process. During the design phase, the BECx authority should help the owner and the Building Team develop appropriate performance assessment and testing requirements for the various enclosure systems. ASTM E includes a nearly exhaustive list of possible performance testing options. The Building Team should determine which tests will be performed and their required test values or performance measures.

The BECxA can either prepare an enclosure commissioning specification that includes all these performance metrics, or confirm that the metrics have been integrated into other design documents. Requiring off-structure mockup testing of the component building enclosure systems can be effective in establishing quality standards and verifying that the designed systems are capable of meeting the required performance metrics. Off-structure mockups can be completed well in advance of building construction, allowing time to integrate any changes that may be needed for the tested system to meet the established metrics.

On-structure mockups completed too late in the process can result in changes that cannot easily be accommodated without significant implications to schedule and budget, so they are sometimes not as viable as off-structure mockups. After mockup testing is complete and installation begins, the initial installation should be tested. This will help confirm that the materials and systems delivered to the site and their installation on the building match the quality and performance of the mockup.

Testing the initial installation gives you a chance to make needed changes or adjustments before the bulk of the construction is completed. Periodic testing thereafter can serve to verify that the installation quality remains consistent throughout the life of the project. All testing must be coordinated with the construction schedule to make sure that necessary testing is not abandoned in an effort to maintain completion deadlines.

This responsibility starts with the BECxA acting as a second reviewer for building enclosure submittals and shop drawings. These reviews should confirm that all items related to the building enclosure are properly documented and that they comply with the established OPR. Identifying items in the submittals and shop drawings that do not align with the OPR and design can avoid costly and frustrating problems down the line. The BECxA should perform periodic site visits as the building enclosure is being constructed.

During these visits, the authority should review the installed work to verify that the construction meets the intent of the contract documents and therefore the intent of the OPR. During these site visits, the BECx authority should keep a construction issues log for items that require further attention or adjustment to comply with the contract documents. The construction issues log will help the owner understand the items that need to be addressed and resolved.

The construction issues log keeps track of nonconforming issues, which must be closed out prior to the completion of the enclosure construction. Caution: As noted above, the building enclosure commissioning authority does not have authority to change the design or direct construction work. It is up to the owner to discuss such concerns with the authority and promptly relay required changes to the Building Team. During construction site visits, the BECx authority should witness the performance testing required in the design documents.

The BECxA should verify that the proper performance tests have been performed, that the test procedures were correctly followed, and that the test results indicate conformance with the OPR. The owner may elect to have the BECx authority conduct performance testing itself assuming the individual has the appropriate qualifications to further assure proper testing methods. The building enclosure commissioning process must be implemented thoughtfully to be a reliable and effective way of assuring quality in the building enclosure, without becoming cumbersome and adversarial.

Building enclosure commissioning should never be thought of as a replacement for good design and construction workmanship. The commissioning process helps reassure the building owner that the design has been properly evaluated and implemented; but even properly commissioned buildings can have problems if the basis of design is misguided and the design is flawed. Building enclosure commissioning must be executed as a process from predesign through construction to be most valuable.

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Implementing only isolated portions of the process, such as limited performance testing or construction checklists, will be ineffective if the original basis for the design is not appropriate and the construction is not consistently reviewed for conformance. September Past Issues. August July June May Subscribe to magazine Renew magazine subscription Subscribe to the Daily 5 newsletter. All Issues. Daylight may be introduced into a building using a variety of design concepts or strategies. In addition, the design of windows influences the effectiveness of daylight utilization significantly.

The daylight design can also be integrated with the artificial lighting system to achieve better energy efficiency. For example, dim or switch electrical lights automatically in response to the presence of daylight. Sunlight admitted into a building impacts on the building energy consumption in different ways in different seasons.

Building Enclosure in Hong Kong - Hong Kong University Press

In summer, excessive solar heat gain results in greater energy consumption due to the increased cooling load requirement; in winter, sunlight reaching the south-facing facade can provide passive solar heating; in all seasons of the year the sun improves daylight quality. Well-designed shading devices can significantly reduce building peak cooling load and corresponding energy consumption and enhance daylight utilization in buildings.

Shading devices can also avoid glare by reducing contrast ratios of building interior. Shading of external windows can be provided by natural landscaping such as trees and hills, or by building elements such as overhangs, awnings, fins and trellises.

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Glazing is an important element in buildings. It offers daylighting and ventilation for building interior. A number of studies showed that health, comfort and productivity of building occupants are improved due to well-ventilated indoor environment and access to natural light. Windows have undergone a technological revolution in recent years. Energy-efficient window and glazing systems are now available that can dramatically cut building energy consumption.


These high-performance windows feature multiple glazing, specialized transparent coatings, insulating gas in between glass panes and improved frame. All these features reduce heat transfer, thus able to cut energy burden due to the window openings. The best glazing selection depends on local climate, orientation, shading and interior space usage in order to achieve low thermal conductivity, low radiant heat transmissivity and high visibility. The following table shows a detailed comparison for glazing selection.

Green roof is a roofing assembly consisting of a waterproof membrane and additional component layers - including growing media, drainage, and root protection - allowing for the propagation of vegetation across all or part of a roof surface.

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Green roof can be used in many applications, including industrial facilities, residences, offices and other commercial property. Green roofs can provide a wide range of benefits such as reducing heating and cooling loads, reducing the size of HVAC equipment, insulating for sound, reducing stormwater run off, creating natural habitat, filtrating pollutants and reducing carbon dioxide out of the air, satisfying the aesthetic needs of roof.