April 18, 2019

“Why waste money on a commissioning agent?”

As a commissioning agent, I typically find contractors on construction sites are at two ends of the spectrum when dealing with commissioning. Either they like working with commissioning agents, or they don’t.

The contractors who like working with us are great. They understand our role, the benefits of third party commissioning, and it turns the work atmosphere into a very positive one where projects are completed with minimal deficiencies and a proper functioning building. I have also been lucky enough to have grown a few great relationships with contractors who enjoy working together with commissioning agents.

Not all contractors like working with commissioning agents however.  I was on a site the other day to verify operation of a simple mechanical system. Early in our verifications, one of the contractors made a comment along the lines of questioning why clients ‘waste’ their money on commissioning agents. Now, this isn’t the first time I have heard such a comment, and it likely will not be the last, but it always gets me. On this project, as the verifications progressed we were finding multiple issues, many of which the contractor admitted were not verified beforehand but “would” have been fixed. These were issues on a system that the contractor noted was ready for verification. For some reason (mostly based on past experiences) I knew these would only have been found and fixed sometime in the future, when the complaints started to ensue, were it not for commissioning to catch them beforehand.  Commissioning has many benefits that help save time and money, and catching problems before they become occupant complaints is just one of them, which is a benefit to the contractor as well in the long run. 

Commissioning agents are not hired to ‘waste’ anyone’s money, but are there to provide confidence to clients that systems are operating to their design intent.  In fairness, not all commissioning firms are alike.  We at CFMS really strive to be team players, as a successful project is the end goal of everyone on a construction project, whether you are the architect, engineer, contractor, building owner, or commissioning agent.  The best possible outcome for everyone is a quality building, with occupants who praise the quality of that building. 

Contact us to learn more about what an asset commissioning can be to your project and team!

Why Commissioning