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What is the difference between building envelope “consulting” and “commissioning?Consulting focuses on one area of the building envelope and typically covers only one or two phases of a construction project.  Commissioning encompasses the entire envelope, from the foundation to the roof, and spans the entire construction process, from initial design to final occupancy.

I’m told I’ll need a “constructability review” for the building I’m having constructed for my business. What does this review entail, and why is it necessary if an architect is designing the project? A constructability review, performed by a licensed, Professional Engineer, analyzes the architect’s design to verify that:

  • It is feasible. Some creative designs are impractical or impossible to construct; and that
  • The architect’s specifications provide the information the contractor needs to construct the building the architect envisions. Design specifications are not always as detailed as they need to be.  A constructability review will fill in those gaps.

What kind of testing is required to determine if newly installed windows in a building leak? The architect determines what type of testing is needed; the window design will dictate the testing parameters; industry (ASTM) standards govern how these tests must be performed.  Adhering to a consistent set of testing processes and standards and addressing any points of failure can minimize potential leakage risk in the future.

What kind of references do you use for quality assurance inspections? The primary ones are:  Construction drawings and specifications; building codes; industry standards for the specific assemblies involved; and manufacturers’ installation instructions.  Drawing upon a broad set of references and extensive construction experience enables Criterium Engineers to incorporate industry-specific best practices into our inspections.

Why does Criterium Engineers highlight construction strengths as well as problems in its Quality Assurance reports? Documenting the strengths verifies that the building was constructed correctly overall, even though the Quality Assurance report may list some nonconformances.  This protects the general contractor by demonstrating that the construction has followed the design specifications and complied with the contract requirements.

Architects typically develop detailed specifications for a building; how can owners or investors be sure the contractor will follow them? Quality Assurance reviews provide that assurance by monitoring the construction process.  Periodic inspections verify that the work complies with the building design specifications and meets construction quality standards.

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