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Some maintenance and engineering departments have in-house personnel with the proper experience and qualifications to carry out a retrocommissioning project.
But most do not and, as a result, have to rely on an outside consultant to perform many or all of the retrocommissioning tasks. Selecting a qualified consultant is a critical task because, to a great extent, their performance will determine the process's success.
Managers must base the selection on the consultant's qualifications, including relevant experience not only with boilers but also with comparable facilities and operations. The consultant also must have the communication skills necessary to work with in-house personnel to produce an action plan top management — including those with limited or no technical knowledge — can understand and buy into. A well-written technical report does not have much value if it does not communicate the importance of implementing the report's findings to those controlling the finances.
The selected consultant also must be able to respond to the needs of the organization in a reasonable amount of time. If too much time passes between selecting the partner and completing the retrocommissioning report, the project is likely to stall, and more compelling matters might divert the funds needed to implement the report's recommendations.
James Piper, P.E., is a national consultant based in Bowie, Md., with more than 25 years of experience with facilities maintenance and management issues.
Retrocommissioning: How to Select a Consultant