Existing Building Diagnostics & Forensics

Existing Building Diagnostics & Forensics

Existing Building Diagnostics & Forensics 

SOCOTEC professionals diagnose the source of problems in buildings and then propose workable solutions.  We address the entire building, from envelope through mechanical systems and lighting. 

We have performed testing and monitoring in collaboration with National Laboratories, troubleshot a wide range of facilities — from small to half a million square feet — and helped mitigate complex problems, such as: 

  • Thermal discomfort 
  • Glare 
  • Condensation and mold 
  • Water intrusion 
  • Rust 
  • Façade degradation 
  • Excessive energy use 
Envelopes 

SOCOTEC personnel have tested airflow through the envelope of buildings ranging from 2-story to 60-story.  We perform a full range of air movement tests to detect: 

  • Ventilation rates 
  • Air infiltration 
  • Contaminant migration 

These tests include blower door, duct pressurization, whole-building pressurization and tracer gas.   

In addition, we have performed Class-A monitoring of heat flow through walls and roofs and have significant experience with thermal imaging – which allows us to detect areas of excessive heat loss and areas compromised by moisture or by air intrusion. 

We investigate moisture movement through the building envelope, and its effect on condensation and mold growth. 

We also analyzed solutions for spaces with high humidity, where rust is a significant risk to exposed metal. 

Highly glazed spaces could be affected by glare. We investigated this in large atriums and in office spaces, and provided solutions to eliminate the effect. 

HVAC and Central PLANT 

We have broad experience in building commissioning – and use testing and monitoring for underperforming HVAC systems and central plants.  We monitor and test all HVAC equipment, from boilers and chillers to pumps and fans, and to terminal devices.  We also monitor PV installations. 

Daylight dimming and lighting controls are part of their HVAC troubleshooting experience. 

Cost-Effective Outcomes 

A few examples of investigations that resolved long-standing problems follow: 

  • Tracer gas testing and monitoring at headquarters of a National entertainment company led to the discovery of gaps in the envelope and faulty HVAC distribution. Outcome: a fairly inexpensive remediation instead of a planned five million dollar addition to the chiller plant 
  • Pressurization and thermal imaging at a children’s’ hospital led to the discovery of problems at the junction between wall and roof, as well as thermal control flaws. Remediation of these problems resolved the comfort issues 
  • Central plant monitoring at residential high-rise evidenced that the condenser water pumps were not throttling down at part-load. The solution that saved thousands of dollars per year was to relocate a pressure sensor. 

Talk to our experts

Adrian TULUCA

Senior Principal

Senior Principal

adrian.tuluca@socotec.us +1 203 299 1411

Want to know more about our Existing Building Diagnostics & Forensics services? Contact us

Contact Us
adrian.tuluca@socotec.us

Talk to our experts

Adrian TULUCA

Senior Principal

Senior Principal

adrian.tuluca@socotec.us +1 203 299 1411