Third-party peer review can be a profitable business if done correctly both technically and professionally. It is a niche business that not all engineers are qualified to perform and/or have the mindset to do. There is a distinct difference between an anal engineer and an analytical engineer. I must admit I’ve always struggled with being pleasant to anal HVAC engineers because our business is not right up there with rocket science and the +/-10% accuracy philosophy (see last month’s column on this topic). I think there is a saying, “Can’t see the forest from the trees,” that applies to this type of engineer. At the same time, I admire an analytical engineer, just as long as she is also cost-effective in the process.
So, having identified two types of HVAC engineers, we will continue on with the third-party peer review discussion assuming this work is being completed by a cost-effective analytical engineer. My process recommendations for a peer review engineer (PRE) are based on completing a design review before the project goes into construction. Troubleshooting, a discussion for next month, is a third-party review after the installation has been completed and problems continue to nag the project.