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Envelope Commissioning for Building Addition

Farnsworth Group's building enclosure commissioning process for the University of West Georgia's renovation and expansion of its Biology Building allows the University to avoid long-term maintenance conditions of their enclosure system and instilled confidence in a fully-functioning building envelope.

The University of West Georgia (UWG) recently renovated their 72,500 SF Biology Building, which dates to the early 1970s. The scope of this $17.5M renovation included adding a new front entrance and classroom addition to the existing building. Farnsworth Group provided Total Building Commissioning for this project, including full HVAC, electrical, and building envelope systems commissioning.

The building envelope systems commissioned include:

  • Exterior Walls: Air and Vapor Barriers, Insulation, Through-Wall Flashings, Masonry Ties, Exterior Cladding and Finishes, Sealant Joints, Expansion Joints, and Exterior Attachments
  • Fenestrations (Openings): Window Flashings, Storefront Windows, Curtain Wall Window Systems, Doors, and Skylights
  • Roofing: Roof Decking, Insulation, Roofing Systems and Accessories, Drainage Systems, and Sheet Metal Flashings
  • Waterproofing: Below-Grade
  • Slab on Grade: Vapor Barrier, Penetrations, Reinforcements, and Pre-Pour Inspections.

Farnsworth Group's knowledge of building envelope issues assisted the project team in rectifying numerous exterior wall and window conditions that were not anticipated during the design phase of the project. In one example, a complex expansion joint detail was identified in construction. Farnsworth Group led the discussion on how to complete and install the detail that contained five intersecting planes.

In addition, Farnsworth Group worked closely with the designer, contractor, owner, and envelope testing firm to scope appropriate testing methodologies for the enclosure systems. These discussions led to testing substitutions that put more than $10,000 back into the project budget. Envelope testing scoped out in the Design Phase and performed in the Construction Phase provided UWG confidence in installation of a fully functioning building envelope.