With a total of 24 years’ experience, Soubhi has 18 years’ experience in the field of commissioning. Out of which 5 years in the UK and 13 years in UAE.
He was the first non-British Grade 4 membership holder in the CSA.
In 2008 he established T&C Technology Engineering Services LLC which became a CSA Corporate Member and the second from the region after CML.
Soubhi has been a CSA marketing committee member since 2011 for 5 years and has played an active role since then in the middle east and always made sure to participate and attend the biannual committee meetings in the UK. Now, he is also a CSA-GCC Committee Member.
Q: What tips can you recommend for someone that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this these insights)?
- Knowledge!!!, Knowledge!!!, Knowledge!!!, There is no substitute for knowledge. It is and will always be the best tool in any engineering field. The more you know, the greater your value and there is no limit to what you can learn. I have been in this field for more than 20 years and I still learn something new every now and then. If you do not know, don’t be ashamed to ask. If there is a seminar you think you can benefit from, go to it. If there are certification you can get, get them!
- From time to time, your clients may urge you to embellish your reports slightly, or to not report a certain value, or to just fill up some reports without even checking the equipment. This may be very tempting to you. After all, it will save you time and money, critical to the success of your project. DON’T DO IT! Whatever time or money you may save know will eventually catch up to you. If not in this project, then the next one. Your reputation and honesty are the only things that will make you successful in this business.
Commissioning common Pitfalls or Problems
Q: What are hard-to-spot pitfalls that are critical to avoid?
Hard-to-spot pitfalls that I typically see on projects in the GCC region are as follows:
- Chilled water Flushing: I cannot count the number of times the contractor claims the system is ready (by chemical report) for chilled water balancing only for my time to find out after deployment that the system was not. Send your technician ahead of time and let him confirm. Ask for the reports and do some random checking.
- Pre-commissioning: This is critical for you to develop a proper program and save time. Have a proper checklist that should be sent to the contractor ahead of time. Train his technicians to follow the list for each equipment to make sure that when your time is on site they can immediately start the commissioning process.
- Commissioning capability: this is where you check your clients drawing ahead of construction. This avoids the common issue of unavailability or wrongly located balancing dampers or valves. Start insisting on your clients that this should be done, even offer it free of charge at the very beginning of the project. This guarantees the project for you and will save you time during commissioning by avoiding incurred delays of having to add balancing equipment after construction is completed
Q: Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in your industry
- Commissioning Agent will be hired by the owner of the project as opposed to the construction contractor. This avoids obvious conflicts of interest.
- Newer technologies and application that will enable remote and fast balancing and commissioning
On the lighter side – Commissioning Mishaps
Q: Can you share a personal short event or mishap (commissioning or management related) you can think of that still makes you laugh to this day (maybe not at the time)?
On one of my earlier projects, was asked to commission a Fresh Air Recovery System. After our initial inspection of the duct work, we found out that the extract air from the building was wrongly connected to the discharge of the extract fan. To this day it makes me laugh since how this obvious error have been approved by the responsible engineers, consultant and workers on site.
It is also why I continuously stress to my team the importance of checking a system before you start commissioning.
To connect with Soubhi, visit his LinkedIn profile.