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2 million ft3
Vanderbilt University
Science and Technology Building
Nashville, Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions


Can my Construction Team be the Commissioning Agent?

No. In ICE’s opinion, independence is the cornerstone of providing the owner unbiased, uncompromised, energy-efficient, commissioned facilities.

The last building we had commissioned failed, even though we had employed an individual as a commissioning authority. Why did the process not work?

ICE believes that there are many people trying to be commissioning authorities while utilizing the services of the installing contractor to perform their own testing. ICE’s approach is quite different. In order to perform proper commissioning, an in-house team of professional engineers and field test engineers need to oversee all field testing which is performed.

Why should I buy commissioning services, I already have a Design Team?

As stated previously, independence is the cornerstone of commissioning. Therefore, the design engineer should not be the commissioning services provider. In addition, the most effective commissioning agents are those individuals who have significant experience in both design engineering and field testing. More often than not, design engineer’s employees lack the field testing experience necessary to make them effective commissioning agents.

Will commissioning my building cost more money?

Commissioning, since it is often not included, will increase the base cost of a project. However, the net savings obtained from: identifying and resolving deficiencies before they become major problems; preventing major errors and omissions before it is not economically feasible to correct; physically verifying that systems operate correctly and in accordance with the design intent; all of which are major benefits of commissioning, lowers the overall construction costs, significantly reduces change order claims, and ensures the lowest possible energy usage. From an overall project perspective, it is definitely more economical to purchase commissioning services than to not purchase them.

What commissioning services should I buy?

No commissioning authority should provide a blanket program. ICE, through 75 years of experience, designs programs that are customized to meet the needs and requirements of the project. A program that provides the best value added services and a quality end result.

If we only purchase design phase commissioning, will this provide a quality end product?

No. Building failures can result from errors in any of the following; Design, Equipment Manufacture, Installation or Operations. By utilizing only Design phase commissioning you will reduce errors in this phase but have ignored three areas where potential costly mistakes have occurred resulting in increased energy consumption and maintenance/operational costs.

Copyright 2004 - International Commissioning Engineers LLC