Our Industry

Why Commissioning is Important

By Alex Bolovschak


Consider the following scenario: Your client has copied you on an email to the general contractor complaining about water leaking from the ceiling beneath one of the humidifiers. They responded, saying that the mechanical contractor has already looked at the issue and think the leak is related to the controls. The controls contractor responded, saying they’ve checked and everything is working correctly. So, you reach out to the design engineer to see if they can diagnose the issue. Now there’s a site meeting scheduled, technical emails going back and forth with potential theories, remedial steps, cost estimates, and more. And you still have messages from the client saying that the ceiling leaks occasionally.


Now imagine the same scenario, but this time with a Commissioning Agent (CA) on the project. You never received a single email because the CA identified the issue during the installation and functional testing of the humidifier. They found that the humidifier wasn’t responding to the building controls correctly, causing water to leak from the ductwork. The CA issued their report to the contractors, who then worked with the mechanical contractor, startup technician, and controls contractor to fix the issue before anyone moved in. Commissioning on a project saves time, money, and, most importantly, headaches.


Commissioning is third-party quality control and assurance process for MEP systems. MEP systems account for 60% or more of a project’s construction budget. Commissioning ensures that the contractor delivers a system that matches the engineer’s design and meets the client’s expectations. The CA inspects and tests the MEP systems and coordinates the necessary contractors and project team members to implement a fix when they find issues.

Commissioning a project improves the quality of the delivered systems, indoor air quality, and overall client satisfaction. It corrects issues that would later impact building maintenance. Commissioning can even reduce energy usage by solving issues impacting energy consumption. A Commissioning Agent is an MEP problem solver and trusted advisor ensuring smooth, successful projects.