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An Empirical Study Summary on Integrated Building Commissioning for New US Federal Domestic Construction Projects

Bennett Varghese


Current management practices for federal domestic construction projects need to be modified to mitigate the negative effects newly constructed buildings have during the first few years of occupation. These negative effects include poor indoor air quality and poor performance of its tenants during the initial years of building occupancy. This empirical study focuses on the staff of the US Mission to the United Nations (USUN) as an off-site temporary facility was built for them in 2004 followed by a permanent office building in 2010. The newly constructed temporary facility exhibited indoor air quality deficiencies and the performance levels of USUN staff were also diminished during the initial years of occupancy. For the construction of the permanent building, the United States Department of State decided to employ a new project management practice of integrated building commissioning. Integrated building commissioning is the systematic, documented and collaborative process including inspection, testing and training conducted to confirm that a building and its component systems meet the requirement of the occupants and conform to the design intent. It involves the special expertise of the client government offices throughout the entire construction process by thoroughly integrating them within the networked process of a major construction project. The permanent USUN building yielded results that showed acceptable levels of satisfaction with the indoor air quality immediately after occupation and the performance levels of the USUN staff also increased comparatively in the initial years after occupation.

Keywords: integrated building commissioning, federal construction projects, construction management

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