Often Overlooked Details of Commissioning

Commissioning is a process that should occur over the lifecycle of the project. The commissioning process is extensive but the end goal is to ensure the systems will work together seamlessly and at maximum efficiency. The key to a high quality and effective commissioning effort comes in during the planning stages. If commissioning agents are provided with the right information and documentation, they can potentially identify any issues that may exist during the design process. Finding a potential error before the building has been constructed is a huge cost savings. In the case of an existing building, a retro-commissioning effort is most effective when the documentation from the building’s inception can be provided. It allows the commissioning agents to perform a thorough investigation from the very beginning. Commissioning is highly effective in troubleshooting issues and ensuring the property and its systems stand up to the test of time. This article will review the best commissioning practices so you can ensure the process runs smoothly.

Updated Design Documentation

During the commissioning process, contractors will need to have access to design documents that account for the property’s many working parts. It is possible that these documents have gone through revisions since they were originally created due to unforeseen circumstances.

The commissioning agents should be aware of any changes that affect the systems they are inspecting. They are responsible for making sure the updates are reflected in the way systems are constructed. Accurate documents will help them find equipment, troubleshoot issues and create reports.

Well Organized Commissioning Documentation

Commissioning documentation should be accurate and well organized upon submission. It should, at the minimum, include the following:

● The Commissioning Plan
● The Commissioning Issues Log
● Prefunctional Checklists (PFCs)
● Functional Performance Tests (FPT)
● Final Commissioning Report that includes observations, conclusions and recommendations based on the functional performance tests and any supporting documentation
● A Testing Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) Report
● Any relevant pictures taken

If the commissioning firm is brought on board before the design phase then the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) and the Basis of Design (BOD) should be included in the documentation. These documents will play an important role when it comes to the development of a systems manual and plans for recommissioning.

Providing a Systems Manual

A systems manual is required if the project is pursuing LEED Enhanced certification. However, it is something that should be part of any commissioning scope because it can play a major role in ensuring a successful turnover. It is also incredibly helpful to have a point of reference for future staff/owners to go back to for any kind of troubleshooting or to reference any kind of changes that were made or need to be made.

The systems manual provides the information needed to understand and properly operate the building systems and assemblies. It should be understandable to people unfamiliar with the project. The systems manual is ideally delivered to the owner in electronic indexed (bookmarked) and hyper-linked format that can be updated throughout the life of the building.

Developing a Plan for Re-Commissioning

While new building commissioning is conducted during the process of new construction, re-commissioning may be advisable down the line. It will ensure that the building is still functioning at maximum efficiency.

A well-organized commissioning process sets your building on the right path for the future. 5D’s Inc has the experience and knowledge to provide commissioning services that will get your building on track for longevity and the ultimate in energy efficiency. We have experience troubleshooting systems, we are in tune with environmental concerns, and we are focused on building strong relationships with our customers.

Do not hesitate to call us for any and all of your commissioning needs.

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