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Firm says being first is key to adding new service


It often pays to get in on something early. Today engineering firms are all about building commissioning — a rapidly growing process that ensures electrical, mechanical and heating/ air conditioning systems are working the way they should. But 12 years ago, when Nashville-based Smith Seckman Reid first started offering the service, the company had to explain to everybody what it was. “Being early paid off,” said Rob Barrick, president and CEO. “We were able to establish ourselves in the market, when there were not many people doing it.”

Commissioning buildings makes up about 15 percent of Smith Seckman Reid’s business. “It has been a very good business that has grown rapidly for us,” Barrick said. Building owners increasingly want to save money by improving energy efficiency. According to studies, commissioning a building saves 8 to 20 percent on utility bills over the life of an average building.