Majority of Building Occupants Move In Before All Systems are Operational

Majority of Building Occupants Move In Before All Systems are Operational

The majority of institutional facilities' building systems aren't fully functional before occupancy, according to a study by SCO Engineering, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based consulting engineering and surveying firm. About 80% of the firm's 2003 Project Completion Survey respondents reported that systems work wasn't completed before the move-in date. By verifying the commissioning process at the end of a















The majority of institutional facilities' building systems aren't fully functional before occupancy, according to a study by SCO Engineering, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based consulting engineering and surveying firm. About 80% of the firm's 2003 Project Completion Survey respondents reported that systems work wasn't completed before the move-in date. By verifying the commissioning process at the end of a project, planning ahead, and hiring a commissioning agent, firms can prevent this problem from occurring, according to the report. Firms involved with the design of correctional and K-12 facilities identified the following issues with commissioning:

  • Temperature controls, telephone/data systems, and fire alarms/security are the most difficult building systems to commission.

  • Contractors are often held responsible when commissioning issues arise. Contractors (46%) were the party most frequently held responsible for correcting commissioning problems, followed by architects (15%), engineers (8%), and owners (8%).

  • The lack of fully functional systems has led to litigation. One-fifth of respondents said that one of the parties on their projects has experienced litigation or mediation resulting from commissioning problems over the last five years. More than two-thirds of the respondents said they aren't concerned by litigation from commissioning.

  • To prevent commissioning problems, designers should provide detailed criteria for system acceptance, according to half of the respondents. The others reported that the best solution would be an owner/architect/engineer field observation of the commissioning or an improved system design.

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