Letter from President Poeling

BCxA Members and Partners:

Happy 2019!  I am honored and excited to serve you as the Building Commissioning Association’s President this year.

Just so you know a little about my background, I spent 20 years as an energy efficiency consultant and a commissioning provider.  About 5 years ago, I took a position with a large mechanical contractor, with the goal of using commissioning to help contractors turn over buildings with higher levels of quality. Now I’m in the interesting position of understanding perspectives of both the commissioning provider and the contractor when it comes to executing the commissioning process.  It also gives me the opportunity to work directly with different commissioning providers on our projects, both BCxA and non-BCxA firms.

In 2006, I joined the BCxA hoping to learn more about Cx best practices so that I could do my job better.  Since then, I have worked my way up through the organization participating in chapter activities, then serving on Chapter boards, then working on our Marketing Committee, then serving on the International Board and now as the 2019 President.  In the past 12 years, the BCxA has provided an unbelievable opportunity to expand my career, my professional network, my knowledge and my viewpoint of the building industry.  It can do the same for you.

I often think about our current tag line “Working Together, Building Excellence.”  Our Association is composed of people with a passion for building performance.  Other organizations own pieces of building performance too, and commissioning is the process that brings it all together.  That’s why we need to work together, and continue to expand our influence beyond commissioning providers to entire project players and stakeholders. As the project team, we all have the same end goal.

This week, the Association is gathering leaders from BCxA staff, International Board, Committees, Chapter Boards and the Certification Board at our annual Leadership Conference.  This represents a great opportunity to get together for a couple of days to talk about our goals for 2019 and beyond.

Here are some of the themes we’ll discuss at our Leadership Conference:

  • Refining our Value Proposition. Commissioning is the only process that can be applied from pre-design through construction and occupancy to confirm that the building operates as intended.  As a contractor, I have seen firsthand the value of commissioning to help the team achieve the highest level of completeness (Have you ever heard a contractor tell you they were complete with a task?  Well, you probably know that “done” can have many different definitions.)  Commissioning can give an owner confidence that a project is truly complete, and the building systems function as intended.  Ensuring the delivery of optimized building performance has tremendous value.  We will revisit the value proposition that we want to broadcast throughout our community of stakeholders.
  • Leveraging our Credentials. The BCxA, in conjunction with the Building Commissioning Certification Board (BCCB) spent considerable resources to become the first Cx certification program to achieve ANSI certification and DOE Better Buildings recognition.  There are more individual and firm credentials under our program than any competing commissioning program.  Now that we’ve achieved that credibility, have we connected with owners to saturate RFQs and RFPs with language requiring qualifications-based selection, and the selected firm must include a CCP, a CCF or any ANSI-accredited credential?  Let’s work together to build relationships with owners and project decision-makers that show why credentialed providers are their best value opportunity over their facility’s life cycle — even if it isn’t the lowest first cost.
  • Expanding our Influence. Commissioning providers comprise the majority of BCxA membership and will always be our focus.  However, subject matter expertise does not only reside there — building performance knowledge and experience belongs to owners, design team, construction team, and vendors.  If we all share the goal of building excellence, then we should include those stakeholders in our process and goals.  How could building performance be improved if we expand our thought leadership to reach a broader audience equally committed to that outcome?
  • Succession Planning. At the BCxA, our greatest strength is the passion and high standards upheld by our members.  As a non-profit technical organization, we rely heavily on our members to volunteer their time and talents to support our mission.   We are all sincerely grateful for the legacy that past and current leadership is providing, and want to continue nurturing the development of members with a passion for contributing to the Association’s chapters, committees, and leadership along with their own career path. We have never had a problem coming up with new ideas; but we have been limited in execution by our resources.  In order to accomplish our goals, you can be a resource to educate and advocate for our profession.
  • Strengthening Staff. We have a fantastic staff, and we welcome our latest addition, Nicole Gardner. Nicole will be invaluable as she focuses on event planning for our conferences and marketing.

Do you sense a theme here?  We all have the same goal, and we can’t do it by ourselves.  “Working Together, Building Excellence” is what we must do to be the difference we want to make.  In two weeks, the next Checklist will propose great new opportunities for you to grow your career — and your BCxA member benefits.

Cheers and good wishes for an abundant year!


Tom Poeling
BCxA President

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