Many consulting engineers will tell you that time invested in the construction phase is beyond their scope of work and, of course, the fee has been all used up and “we can’t afford to waste our time” with equipment and associated system startup. Some might also say that this equipment startup is the contractor’s responsibility. These comments are pretty common, and I’ve responded to these issues in the past in this column (e.g., January 2007 and August 2008).
While the above excuses apply mostly to plan-bid-build and construction management project delivery methods, those arguments don’t apply for integrated project delivery (IPD) and design-build (D-B) project delivery methods. With these two latter methods, the design engineer is an active team member of the IPD and D-B teams, and the consulting fee should reflect this startup assistance requirement.