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Code Compliance Is NOT Commissioning

Code Compliance is NOT Commissioning

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 169).   

Building code compliance consulting is NOT building commissioning. Building code compliance consultants, please stop pretending to be commissioning subject matter experts.

There is a trend in some countries for building code compliance consultants to convince their clients that building commissioning falls under their remit and field of expertise. It does not, this is miss-selling and lacks integrity. 

I was asked by a client to analyze the difference in scope of work between a code and commissioning consultant. This was an interesting exercise which reminded me that real technical commissioning is a deep specialism that requires subject mater expertise plus focus. This is in contrast to “desk jockey”, process only paper commissioning, which can be offered as an “add service” by under employed code consultants and MEP design firms.

For the full analysis between a code and commissioning consultant, please download the comparison table ( ). However the short comparison follows: 

  • Code consultant seeks rules compliance on behalf of public safety.
  • Commissioning consultant seeks systems and building  performance verification on behalf of the owner.

Code Compliance consultant work is:

  • Via desk top studies and site inspections.
  • Focused on public safety related to life & fire safety via compliance with AHJ building codes.

Commissioning consultant work is:

  • Performance verification work via subject matter expert reviews, site inspections, functional performance testing and evidential documentation curation.
  • Owner advocacy via verification of building systems performance.
  • Focused, subject matter expertise with necessary skills and test equipment to undertake performance verification testing.

Code compliance is exactly what it says, “building code compliance”. To quote an official AHJ document, that shall remain nameless. The code consultants job is to;

“help prevent those technical problems which arise from a failure to apply the statutory standards and codes, compromise the solidarity of works and equipment non dissociable from the structure subject to inspection” 

When code compliance consultants claim building commissioning as a core service I have to call b&!!sh!t, you know who you are. Remember, before you are triggered, this is all IMHO.

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

Related posts & links:

#114 – Riddle me this, who employs the commissioning firm? ( )

#109 – Who Gets to Bid? ( )

#39 – Balderdash, Commissioning RFP’s & The Benefits of Clarity ( )

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