I am writing from the perspective of an established generation of commissioning professionals with a desire to elicit a sense of urgency to our professional community about the need to stay current with new building systems and their appropriate applications. This is most evident in the exciting new technologies and new code demands that are evolving today and that we will see in the future.
We have seen the advent of the VRF systems over the most recent years. I remember when water source heat pumps were all the rage in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. VFD’s were huge back then, costly and were competing with variable clutch systems to control the speed of the driven equipment at that time. Geothermal heat pump systems were just getting started in the early 1980’s for residential applications. I was on those early conference calls with the U of Oklahoma and ASHRAE developing the design guidelines that are used today to design for the soil types. I recently had a project in Illinois at a community college that has 900, 400 foot deep wells and the geo loop is distributed throughout the campus. We were just getting started with computer-based building automation controls in the early 1980’s that were still driving pneumatic actuators via IP transducers. Now lighting ballasts have an IP address for individual control for dimming and on off control.
A lot has changed over the years. Now we are using FDD/Analytics for our functional and integrated system testing that continues as an ongoing commissioning platform. We have transitioned from large format drawing and specifications books to on-line web-based access. We no longer have commissioning books on the job site but have cloud-based platforms for all of the project information and document tracking, posting our forms, having access while on the project floor to the startup and TAB report along with other documents we use in our work.
Staying current with the technologies and new information about the environmental needs of the building occupants is a must for all of us to learn and build upon. Which brings us to the CCP and ACP accreditation requirement for continuing education credits and project experience on a continuous basis. The BCCB is focused on upward improvements of our accreditation via ANAB and our members continuing education to further enhance our credibility in the marketplace and our mutual worth to the project team.
We have gone from observing and reporting issues to providing our insight from experience and continuous study of new technologies to the project team by offering recommended solutions. Our design reviews, for some, has transitioned from addressing commissioning issues to being a participant in the system design on the project. The owners have come to recognize our importance for a successful project by expanding the systems to be commissioned by us to include the envelope, utilities, electrical distribution, PV system integration, electric vehicle charging stations, the fire life safety systems, fire stop review, low voltage systems as in security, nurse call and abduction notification. We have now gone into the med gas systems, pneumatic tube systems and to waste conveyance systems. And in addition, we provide on-going support during the facility adaptation to the owner’s staff and their clients comfort and safety via our FDD/Analytics platforms.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the current CCP’s, ACP’s and the Certified Commissioning Firms CCF’s for their continued support through the maintenance of your accreditations and membership in the BCxA. As Kevin stated last year in his letter, “We are quite often the last people the owner interacts with on site; let’s keep our image strong and respected. That begins and ends with the people we are training.”
Stay focused on providing a successful project to the owner by being that collaborative member of the project team that transitions from design to construction, to acceptance, to post occupancy with a focus on a complete operating system that is maintainable by the operating staff.
Leonard Rozek, CHC, CCP, BCxP, CPMP, HFDP, HBDP, CEM, CDSM, LEED-AP, BCCB President