In my December 2012 column, I solicited reader feedback regarding substantial completion and the trend of owners accepting buildings as substantially complete when the mechanical and electrical systems are not complete, fully integrated, and functioning properly. This presents problems for the commissioning process because awarding substantial completion status to a building project before the commissioned systems are functionally tested makes scheduling and enforcing those functional testing requirements especially challenging. It also puts the owner’s O&M staff at a disadvantage of being responsible for operating unfinished systems.
Last month, I shared some of the potential reasons why owners are accepting incomplete buildings and systems as “substantially complete” when they have contractual rights to delay acceptance until the work is more fully finished. This month I begin sharing readers’ ideas regarding what can be done about it.