CxA, LEED® AP and Vice President - The Phoenix Agency Inc.

Steve, the certification of test and balance agencies began in 1965 with the inception of the Associated Air Balance Council. Of course there were considerable challenges in getting the organization started, but what would you say is the most significant challenge that Agencies face today?

Training of technicians and technicians following proper testing procedures in the field. Most of the failures we see when called to perform a system verification are caused by either lack of training or the tech not following the correct procedures to properly challenge and test the system.  

For an Owner looking to hire a test and balance firm, what are the key qualifications and/or skills they should be looking for in a certified agency?

Reputation, experience and technical ability. Certification does not endow every agency with these qualities. Because you can’t “see” what we do, a client has to rely on basic trust that the Agency is capable of meeting the demands of the project.

You’ve been in the business for over 30 years. Is there one project that stands out as the most memorable?

Yes – A three million square foot cigarette manufacturing facility with commercial and industrial HVAC processes.   

There are 108 AABC certified Agencies in the U.S. They all go through the same stringent certification process, so what sets The Phoenix Agency apart from the rest?

We understand the importance of staying involved in the implementation and advancement of technical standards and knowledge in this industry. I’ve served on AABC committees addressing both these subjects and have been on the Board of Directors of the ACG (AABC Commissioning Group). It’s not about being high profile. It’s about remaining committed to the reasons we became certified in the first place.

Commissioning is relatively new, isn’t it? Why is it important in this day and age to consider having a building commissioned?  
Actually, it’s becoming mainstream after evolving for the past 15 years. The value is complete documentation of all the building systems. Every aspect of the building is being verified in order to meet the Owner’s project requirements and the design intent.

Will technology ever make testing, balancing and commissioning an obsolete field?

No – you might think that technology would make it obsolete, but it has had the opposite effect. The more complicated the systems are because of technology, the more prone they are to defects in the installation and operation. Only thorough testing of the systems will reveal these defects.

 Steve, so what do you do for fun when you’re not leaping tall buildings in a single bound?

Designing a solar hot water heating system for my house and planning photo voltaics and wind power systems.

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Lake Laurel Executive Center. 16105 N. Florida Ave. Suite B-1 Lutz FL, 33549
Tel: (813) 908-7701 - Fax: (813) 908-7501