Commissioning in its simplest form is a test drive of systems before you pay contractors in full and take occupancy. Just like you test drive a vehicle before you purchase it, performing a test drive of critical systems in a new building is important to ensure a smooth transition from the completion of construction to the full use of your new facility.
Building Commissioning can best be described as a quality-assurance process designed to increase the likelihood that a newly constructed or renovated building will meet the client’s expectations. It is the analysis of the design, installation and operation of building systems, with the intent of achieving the maximum design efficiency and expected operational performance. The commissioning process can be applied to nearly any building system.
Depending upon the project, Tower Engineering can provide commissioning services in conjunction with our own MEP design services or as a third party consultant on projects designed by others.
How Does Commissioning Work?
Encompassing the entire design and construction process, commissioning begins with the selection of a commissioning authority – typically hired by the Owner at the same time the project’s goals and objectives are being developed. The commissioning authority serves as the Owner’s technical liaison throughout the design, construction, start-up and early-occupancy phases.
Ideally, the commissioning process will begin in the design phase, with a review of the design intent, constructability and maintainability issues. The process then continues through the construction and acceptance phases, with the submittal and documented verification of proper systems installation and functional performance. Commissioning then continues with O&M manual review and verification of operator training. Typically, commissioning will include additional support through the first year of occupancy. This allows any outstanding issues to be documented and provided to the contractor prior to the warranty period running out.
Why Should Buildings be Commissioned?
When commissioning is properly executed, operational cost savings due to optimized equipment performance can be substantial. In addition to energy performance, the commissioning process enhances occupant productivity and performance. Ultimately, the owner benefits when building systems work properly by reducing energy costs, reducing occupant complaints, and allowing the building’s occupants to enjoy a healthier and more productive indoor environment.
Our Approach to Commissioning
Tower Engineering’s approach to commissioning is to form a team involving the owner, O&M staff, design team, and contractors to create effective and efficient buildings. The commissioning authority coordinates and directs the commissioning activities in a logical, sequential and efficient manner using consistent protocols and forms, centralized documentation, clear and regular communications and consultation with all parties, frequently updated timelines and schedules and technical expertise.