SERVICE HIGHLIGHT: Commissioning
A Q&A with Lee Riback, Senior Commissioning Agent
What surprises our clients most about the commissioning process?
In my experience, most clients are surprised that commissioning is available – and advisable – for so many different types of buildings. We’ve done retro-commissioning for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and HVAC systems commissioning for Boeing and other types of facilities. P2S has done commissioning for LEED facilities, monitoring-based commissioning for utility-sponsored energy programs, and for college campuses including laboratory classrooms. We’ve even done general commissioning on the international front for the Frank Gehry designed Biodiversity Museum in Panama. Basically, if you have a building – and you want it to work – commissioning is something you should consider.
Is commissioning always focused on HVAC systems?
No. Commissioning can be performed on any number of building systems, including compressed air for lab buildings and auto shops, reverse osmosis (water softening and purifying) for labs and machinery, and even full-scale telecom infrastructure.
There are so many types of commissioning services. How do clients know which is best for them?
P2S can help clients determine the right kind of service to fit their needs, whether they’re trying to make sure their new building works correctly, or simply ensuring that updates and upgrades were performed correctly on an existing structure. We even work with utility providers on monitoring-based commissioning for those clients hoping to achieve various utility rebates at their buildings.
What are the benefits of working with a company like P2S, which has an engineering focus?
While our commissioning services division operates independently from our engineering group, our commissioning agents are always able to draw on the vast experiences of our P2S technical team. Even better, in those cases where P2S serves as the engineer on a project we’re also commissioning, we’re able to check plans and clarify test procedures even more quickly, and in many cases get a correction or adjustment completed right on the spot. That’s a huge advantage when a client needs to move into a facility or can’t afford the luxury of shutting down their business or activities until the issue is addressed.
Any words of advice for businesses considering commissioning for their buildings?
In short, if you’re not doing commissioning, you should be. You wouldn’t buy an existing home without doing an inspection; the same should be said for your building. It will ensure an easier move-in, fewer headaches with warranties and less down-time when things don’t work quite right. In many cases, it also saves money because you know your systems are working efficiently. In short, it can only help your organization or business run better.