Commissioning – A Small Investment With a Big Payback.

How many times has an owner asked, “Why should I hire a commissioning agent?  Don’t I already pay for those services?”  Our response is, “Why not?”  Why not hire a commissioning agent when studies have proven that non-commissioned buildings cost substantially more to build and operate than commissioned buildings.  Research claims owners can achieve a return of investment over the first five years of occupancy of $4 for every $1 invested in commissioning.1  Why not shake the “bugs” out of the HVAC equipment before the building is occupied?  Why not identify missing or improperly installed equipment that directly affect occupant comfort and indoor air quality?

 NIBS. 2012. Building Commissioning. Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Project Management Committee. National Institute of Building Sciences.

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 SystemWorks’ involvement on the Courthouse included the following: pre-commissioning of mechanical, electrical, lighting control, security, UPS, emergency generator, fire alarm, building automation, and data/telecom systems as well as duct leakage testing, air/water test and balance, utility metering, and building envelope. Their reporting was timely and extremely detailed. More importantly, they SystemWorks was an active member of the team who was more concerned with delivering a quality product than assigning blame or making lists. They earned the respect of everyone involved with the project and were valued for their expertise and problem-solving skills. This is especially true for the facility managers involved with the project as SystemWorks was continually thinking of the long-term operation of the building, not just at turnover.I would have no hesitation in hiring SystemWorks again and highly recommend them to anyone considering building commissioning or who simply wants the building systems to operate at their peak performance.

Brad Thomason - LEED AP, Director of Integration - Ryan Companies US Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Garry Caldbeck and his team of highly trained professionals have worked with Meredith Corporation for over 15 years.  SystemWorks understands what it takes to fix building operating problems whether it involves initial function testing and commissioning or retro-commissioning.  They also bring innovative ideas to the table that once acted upon and completed save money in energy and make the building function properly.  Meredith Corporation has developed a level of trust that SystemWorks will deliver quality products and services each and every project whether large or small.

Jeff Buscher - Construction/Design Manager - Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa.


 SystemWorks was hired to perform retro-commissioning services.  Their highly experienced staff created a benchmark performance of the existing HVAC equipment and building automation controls system.  Their detailed study included a list of energy savings opportunities and the cost to implement them.  Some of the changes were low cost and easy to make; some were more investment oriented like the complete upgrade of the building automation system.  We are now enjoying the benefits of retro-commissioning through lower energy bills, reduced maintenance costs and improved building comfort.  I would highly recommend SystemWorks based on the success achieved on our retro-commissioning project.

Mary Amsden - Facility Manager - ING, Des Moines, Iowa


 Grinnell College hired SystemWorks for our Science Phase II project. This project is mechanically-intense and includes large VAV laboratory exhaust systems, custom air handlers,  heat recovery, greenhouses, extensive piping (lab & HVAC) and several unique attributes, related to obtaining a LEED Silver certification. We have found SystemWorks to be very proficient in the understanding and operation of both automation systems, allowing fairly seamless turnover of completed spaces.  On past projects, both test & balance and duct-testing tasks were in the general contract, and fell under the mechanical contractor’s scope of work.  We feel that taking these services out of the contract and combining with commissioning services is in the best interests of the owner and provides economy of scale by having the same firm completing interrelated tasks simultaneously.  It has been a pleasure working with SystemWorks on this project and our upcoming Athletic Phase II project.

Rick Whitney - Director of Facilities Management - Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa


 System Works LLC recently completed HVAC systems commissioning of the newly constructed Ankeny Police Headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa.  As the City of Ankeny’s project manager for this facility, I can attest to the high quality of performance provided by System Works LLC in accomplishing their work on our behalf.  Gary Caldbeck and his staff exceeded our expectations in the thoroughness of their assessment and the quality of the products they developed and delivered; a Functional Test Procedures manual and the final Commissioning Report.  The long term value of their commissioning work will be realized for years to come through the performance of the systems tested and subsequently confirmed or restored as to proper functionality. I can without reservation recommend System Works LLC as a highly competent commissioning agent.  Please feel free to contact me, if you desire to further discuss my experience with System Works LLC.

James H. Spradling - Assistant City Manager - City of Ankeny, Ankeny, Iowa


I have had the pleasure of working directly with Garry Caldbeck and his firm, SystemWorks, on a nearly continuous basis since September 2003.  We have worked on a variety of commercial construction projects over this time frame, both large and small. . . .  Regardless of the size of the project, we’ll continue to hire Garry because of his consistently high level of expertise and his collaborative approach. . . .  Our projects require a professional approach that places the good of the project above all else.  He has never failed to meet those requirements.

Steven Grasso - Architect, P.E. - GTG Companies, Johnston, Iowa


With your advanced knowledge of control system operation and programming, you continue to provide an invaluable service by wringing out (and solving) problems that bubble out of the commissioning process.  This is the reason we’ve selected you to fill the role of commissioning authority for our new Education/Psychology building...   As you know, we’re targeting LEED Platinum for that facility.

Mike Lubberden - LEED AP, Director, Facilities Planning & Management - Central College, Pella, Iowa


System Works, SW provides basic Cx services, but also offers invaluable pre-commissioning services services including design reviews and periodic observation during construction.  SW is an Owner's advocate and addresses issues by asking questions which leads to thoughtful responses rather than creating or fueling a conflict.  SW uses an issue log to identify questions or problems and assigns responsibility to follow through until completion.

Gerry Peters - Director of Facilities Planning and Management - Ames Community School District, Ames, Iowa