Why Elkhorn?

Our broad range of experience gives us a fresh perspective on problems and function of building systems.  Our priviledge of focus ensures that we are able to concentrate on the best interests of the building owner, and making sure the building is operating optimally.

We have experience working with systems of all ages and types, from pneumatic controls and steam systems to DDC controls and VRF systems, and everything in between.


New Construction Commissioning

Beginning in the Design Phase of a project, New Construction Commissioning  allows a third party advocate for the owner to ensure that designed systems will meet the Owner Project Requirements(OPR), and will help to develop an OPR Document to use as reference throughout the project.  We will review design documents for completeness, effectiveness of systems, and maintainability of systems. 

Construction visits allow the us to observe construction methods, and identify potential maintenance concerns before it is too late.

Just before equipment start-up, the major part of commissioning begins.  We will assist with development and completion of pre-functional checks, start-up checks, and equipment start-up.  By identifying issues during these portions of the project, problems can be fixed before Test and Balance is on site, streamlining project completion.  Once Test and Balance is nearly complete, we will return to the project to verify accuracy of test and balance, and to begin functional testing.  Functional testing is a system by system approach to ensure that not only are individual components working, but the system as a whole is functioning as intended.

At completion, we can help to schedule and facilitate owner training, providing training agendas, and identifying key maintenance personnel to attend the training. 

The Commissioning Report is the major deliverable from the commissioning process, and provides a baseline of building operation and a summary of the entire process, including sequences of operation for individual components and systems.  This report can be used for troubleshooting in the future, or to allow "Re-commissioning" in the future to have a head start on the process, and identify changes from the initial building baseline.

Retro Commissioning

Retro Commissioning, or Existing Building Commissioning, is a systematic process of going through systems in an aging building, evaluating performance, and making changes and recommendations to improve energy efficiency and comfort. 

The number one cost for any occupied building is the occupants, as a result of salaries, etc.  To protect the investment put into employees, it is important to make sure that the workplace is comfortable, without spending disproportionate amounts of money on making them comfortable.  That is where Retro Commissioning comes into play.

Buildings, much like vehicles or anything else, need to be "tuned up" on a regular basis to ensure proper operation.  Many times occupants change locations, office configurations, or in some cases use types, and systems are no longer adequate to properly serve the spaces within the building.  Retro Commissioning helps to identify these types of issues, and make recommendations for system changes, along with financial and occupant considerations for those changes.

Many building owners know that systems are aging and will need to be upgraded/replaced, but are hesitant to invest the capital required for a full scale replacement.  Retro Commissioning, through systematic testing and evaluation, can help prioritize projects, and maximize service life of existing equipment through control sequence optimization, Operating and Maintenance evaluations, and identification of failed or failing components instead of systems.

Retro Commissioning can be scaled to meet the individual needs of any building and owner.

2018 IECC Requirements

At the beginning of 2021, many code agencies adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, which brings some major changes.  Commissioning is now required for many commercial buildings.  While on the surface this seems like one more expense and consultant to slow projects down, many case studies have proven the opposite.  Building Systems Commissioning, when performed properly by an experienced Commissioning Authority, has been proven to reduce change orders, help to close out projects on time, and reduce costly callbacks and warranty repairs, many of which result in downtime for buildings or areas fo buildings. 

Elkhorn Commissioning Group is familiar with these specific code requirements, and we would be happy to work with you on finding a commissioning solution for your project.  Contact us for more information, or to have us take a look at your project and develop options for you.

Blower Door Testing

We have 6 Retrotec blower door fans capable of producing 48,000 CFM in order to perform either an IECC single point residential blower door test, or an ASTM E-779 test.  This allows us to test an entire building simultaneously, which is especially effective for multifamily residential projects, which may fail unit by unit testing from air leakage between units, rather than through exterior envelope.

We have performed blower door tests on many large buildings, including the Montana Historical Society building in Helena, Gallatin High School in Bozeman, Norm Asbjornson Hall in Bozeman, University of Providence University Center in Great Falls, the Natural Resources Research Center in Butte, as well as several multifamily projects in and around Bozeman and Missoula.