If you follow my “Tomorrow’s Environment” columns, you will be familiar with my quest to elevate testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) to third-party TAB consulting to function in parallel with third-party commissioning. To me, the issue is an open and shut case, a no-brainer, but the third-party TAB concept is none of these, which baffles me because most of the professionals I know in the design and construction business don’t have much confidence in the traditional TAB company working as a subcontractor to the HVAC contractor. While each of the three TAB organizations are committed to the process of being independent, I wouldn’t be writing this article if clients were satisfied with the results.
Experience has shown me that many owners don’t have confidence in final TAB reports and, more importantly, don’t understand how TAB should be performed. As a rule, design engineers (DE) specify that the TAB company should follow industry standards, and, more often than not, the consultants then allow the TAB process to be compromised during construction. Until DEs actually participate in hands-on TAB work, they are not going to enforce the standards, because they really don’t understand the TAB process. Most general contractors and construction managers claim to understand the TAB process but prefer to leave the task to their HVAC subcontractor and let it be his problem.