There is a lot of discussion around the industry about the cost of commissioning. Sure, there is an up-front cost associated with commissioning (see the ¿Getting it Right¿ column in the September 1998 issue), but this month we are going to look at one of the costs of not commissioning new or renovated building systems.
An insidious and difficult-to-document drawback of not commissioning building projects is an ever-increasing amount of deferred maintenance at many institutions. The value of deferred maintenance in neglected buildings throughout the United States is measured in the billions of dollars. This is due to a number of factors, the primary ones being the natural tendency to procrastinate, to not give priority to things that are not broken, and a general squeezing of facility operations funds across the board. Funding for regular and preventive maintenance is not very glamorous and certainly doesn¿t take precedence over repairing and/or replacing systems that simply do not serve the users¿ needs.