Recently, I’ve been working with the BCA to create new certification guidelines and I wonder how we can make the process easier without sacrificing integrity. I presented the question on my LinkedIn account and received this post from Nathan Gauthier, Assistant Director at Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability:
“As someone who has worked with a lot of bad commissioning authorities, I think the certification requirements are great. How many projects have a commissioning authority sign off despite never having an OPR or BOD? How many CxA’s use the nominal group technique to facilitate development of the OPR? How many CxA’s use Guideline 4 to prepare the systems manual? CxA’s that confirm As-Builts are As-Built? CxA’s that suggest envelope commissioning in a complex building? I think the BCA and U of Wisconsin certifications give educated owners a level of confidence in their consultants and help give the industry a better image. I’ve worked on lots of clients who feel (after paying for bad commissioning) that it was a worthless investment though I’m convinced and the data supports that good commissioning is the smartest investment an owner can make.”
Well, to Nathan and others who share this experience, I’m sorry you’ve been the recipient of poor Cx services. The fact that this occurs is one of the reasons we started certifying CxA’s with the BCA. But currently, some members of the BCA feel pressured to lower standards as other organizations tend to give out certifications without having the applicants prove they deserve it. I feel that most owners do not value a good Cx provider and are either chasing points or getting their buildings commissioned because it’s the cool thing to do. Unfortunately, this waters down the quality of the building and doesn’t help our cause. My question to all you building owners: how do we get you to value the service of a good Cx provider?