Commissioning

2021 Commissioning Giants

The 2021 Commissioning Giants data reports on the top 25 firms

By Amara Rozgus October 15, 2021

The 2021 Commissioning Giants reports the top 25 firms based on whether the company chose to be considered in this year’s rankings. The average percentage of commissioning revenue earned by the 2021 Commissioning Giants was approximately 33%, showing that these top 25 firms earn a great deal of their revenue from commissioning, with three firms earning 100% of their revenue solely from commissioning. See Table 1 for the complete ranking, including the five new companies.

For the 2021 report, the top 25 companies made $651 million in revenue, a marked increase from the previous year’s $536 million. The majority (48%) of firms are consulting-engineering firms with a commissioning division; about a quarter (24%) are commissioning-focused firms. Firm ownership type fell into four categories: private (32%), public (28%), employee-owned (24%) and limited liability company (16%).

The average commissioning fee per project varied. Forty percent of companies earned $100,001 to $300,000, 28% earned $50,001 to $100,000 and 20% earned $25,001 to $50,000. Only 12% earned more than $300,000 per project.

This data reflects commissioning at all levels: new buildings (44%), existing buildings (10%), retro-commissioning (10%), whole building (9%), emergency power systems (6%), building enclosure (envelope, 5%), monitoring-based (5%), fire protection systems (4%), recommissioning (4%) and communications systems (3%). Each reporting firm completed, on average, 282 commissioning projects (at any level) in 2020, up from 251 in last year’s report.

The top three building types commissioned by these firms:

  • Data centers: 27%.
  • Hospitals/health care facilities: 15%.
  • Government or military facilities: 11%.

According to survey respondents, these firms were contracted to complete commissioning for a variety of reasons: mandates (codes, standards, benchmarking: 92%), savings (energy efficiency, lower life cycle cost: 88%) and sustainability (long-term materials and performance efficiency: 88%.) Other reasons included resiliency (76%) and marketability of the property (72%, a dramatic increase from last year’s 44%).

Figure 1: The majority of firms are consulting-engineering firms with a division committed to commissioning at various levels. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer

Figure 1: The majority of firms are consulting-engineering firms with a division committed to commissioning at various levels. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer

Commissioning challenges  

The 2021 Commissioning Giants study asked for information related directly to challenges for these firms. The top two current challenges for the 2021 Commissioning Giants are:  

  • COVID-19 concerns and issues, 64%. 
  • The economy’s impact on the construction market, 16%. 

Future challenges varied. The No. 1 challenge was the “lack of knowledge about commissioning’s worth,” with 60% respondents saying it was a problem (no change from last year). The next challenge, at 52%, was “lack of funding or buy-in (from owners, engineers, etc.) to conduct commissioning.” In third place again this year at 32% was “not enough commissioning authorities or agents or commissioning professionals.” This surpassed “codes and standards changing,” which came in at 20% this year, a decrease from 28% in the previous report.  

Table 1: The top 25 firms earned $651 million in the past fiscal year. All firms reported having a commissioning engineer or coordinator on staff and 84% indicated they had a business development director, a drop from 96% in the previous reporting period. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer

Table 1: The top 25 firms earned $651 million in the past fiscal year. All firms reported having a commissioning engineer or coordinator on staff and 84% indicated they had a business development director, a drop from 96% in the previous reporting period. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer


Amara Rozgus
Author Bio: Amara is the Editor-in-Chief/Content Strategy Leader for Consulting-Specifying Engineer.