Posts filed under Thoughts

Get a Building Check-up

Commissioning your existing building is like taking care of your own personal health.  If you were to ask someone on the street if it was a good idea to get an annual check-up they would say, “Yes”.  Why is that?  It is unlikely the person that was stopped was a doctor, but even without medical knowledge people know deep down that it is the right thing to do for a couple of reasons. 

First, it’s good to know that your body is healthy and that you can have the doctor verify that there isn’t something wrong that you didn’t notice.  In other words, you want a baseline to make sure that you are staying on track.  This is also true for your buildings.  You want to make sure that you have an established baseline to determine if your building in the future is performing better or worse.  Also if you think your building is operating well you want a professional to assure you that something isn’t going wrong that you just hadn’t noticed. 

Another reason that a periodic trip to the doctor is a good idea is that if you know something is starting to give you an issue, addressing something small early is better than fighting a big problem further down the road.  As a manager of a building, the last thing that you want is an emergency.  These types of problems are a drain on your time, are more expensive, and always happen at the worst time.  Nothing ruins a great time with family and friends more than an unexpected trip to your facility because something important just broke.

We can help avoid these situations.  Let us commission your building on a regular basis.  This will not only give you a baseline for performance, but it will also help save you from unexpected breakdowns.  So like a regular trip to the doctor, a regular visit from ECO Commissions is something that you know is just the right thing to do.


Posted on February 13, 2015 and filed under Commissioning, Thoughts.

My Golden Arches Theory

Most owners trust, or want to trust, that their design team and contractors are doing what’s in their best interest.  For the most part this is true.  But no one is immune to the facts of the project lifecycle.  In the beginning of a project, everyone is full of bright ideas and good will, contracts have been signed and the owner feels good that things are finally underway.   In the middle of project the novelty has worn off and now the workers are hitting their stride, doing what professionals do best, their job.  At the end, this is where the wheels fall off.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but understand my point.  During this stage fees start to dwindle and everyone wants to be done.  Any changes at this stage will be handled quickly but without a lot of thought as to the consequences and problem solving typically isn’t a budgeted line item. 

So what professionals am I talking about? Both design and construction.  The important thing to realize is that these two phases don’t happen at the same time.  The two service arcs are offset, think of McDonald’s Golden Arches with a slight overlap in the middle.  So in practice, when the design phase is winding down, the construction phase is just starting to ramp up.  And when the construction winds down, nobody wants to be on the project solving problems or they’re probably losing money. 

This where commissioning comes in, we provide a bridge from design to construction, help with problem solving, and make sure that everything is handled quickly and effectively with the owner’s requirements in mind.  Common sense tells us that a problem solved quickly saves time and money.  If it’s left to linger, people will spend time talking about it again and again, but not doing anything about it.  So protect your investment, include commissioning in your projects.  Don’t be left holding the keys to a building that mostly works, get commissioning and get what you wanted.

Posted on January 1, 2015 and filed under Commissioning, Thoughts.