This October, Elevate Building Commissioning attended the National Conference on Building Commissioning in Salt Lake City. 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the conference bringing together the commissioning industry’s most experienced and dedicated professionals. This was our first time attending the event as a new independent Commissioning Provider (CxP) firm and we had a great time!

Our President, Caleb Aring, arrived early to participate in the pre-conference leadership training. During introductions everyone in attendance had to provide their name, firm and something of interest about themselves. Never passing up the opportunity to sleep under the stars, Caleb entertained the group re-living how he had woken up that morning, not in the Marriott Hotel, but in the Wasatch Mountains with 2” of snow on his tent. In addition to the leadership training, Caleb attended the half-day workshop on variable flow chilled water plants taught by David Sellers, P.E.. Some take-aways from the day:

• A 2-line system diagram of a new or existing plant is critical or analysis and problem solving. The diagram should look like a ladder on its side, preventing confusing piping overlaps in the diagram. Any correctly configured system can be turned into this simplistic diagram. #orderofconnection!

• Every pump should be tested using its specific pump curve. Bell & Gossett ITT engineering design manual is an excellent pump resource.

• On a primary and secondary system, size the system coupler to prevent a reduction in pressure. General rule of thumb: Short length, big diameter.

• PG&E (Pacific Energy Center) offers an amazing psychometric tool for analyzing design and economizing conditions. Here’s a link to David’s blog post. It’s well worth the time. A free electronic psych chart and how to use it to plot basic HVAC processes

• Review the pump affinity laws. Example…Brake horsepower is a function of flow cubed! Hence, the desire and need for variable flow.

For the remainder of the conference, Caleb was joined by Nathan to attend the array of technical classes offered by the BCxA. The highlights of the two days included learning about existing building commissioning of mission critical facilities, deciding which Cx Software best fit our needs, and questioning whether lighting control was out of control. Overall the AIA continuing education courses were full of helpful, pertinent information for building Owners and CxP alike. Aside from learning from our peers in the industry it was also a great opportunity to trade war stories, network for our small business, and re-energize our passion for providing the best possible services to our clients.

If you would like to know more about the conference and whether or not you should attend in Nashville next year (you should!), feel free to contact us. To learn more about the BCxA, check out their website at