By CFMS Project Manager Jurij Dziuba, CEM, CCP, LEED AP BD+C
Over the last few years, the number of residential towers (condominium, apartment and mixed use buildings) in our portfolio has progressively grown. There has been an increased awareness in the value commissioning brings to the built environment. Owners and Developers are more keen on providing buildings that operate and perform to the highest standards. Commissioning is one of the strategies that helps implement just that, along with providing a multitude of other benefits.
Being involved with a number of residential projects myself, I have completed the commissioning process from design to post-construction on several projects. One of the upsides of residential developments is the “simplicity” of mechanical and electrical systems. Typically there will be a heating plant, cooling plant and make-up air unit as the main mechanical equipment and heat pumps/fan coil units for the individual suites (just to touch on the main mechanical systems). The simplicity allows for easy operations and understanding of the systems for the operations and maintenance teams – who are typically contractors and not an in-house team. The simplicity also encourages an in-depth analysis of systems performance during the post-construction phase, as well as annually following completion of the project.
Commissioning of these systems is exceedingly important as we assist in ensuring systems are operating and performing to the design intent. This provides assurances to building owners and the management team that systems have been verified. Any regular maintenance or unexpected malfunctions thereafter can be easily completed or repaired by the maintenance contractors.
One of the major hurdles in residential commissioning is meeting that first occupancy target. Since condominiums are typically occupied in phases, the main mechanical and electrical systems need to be ready, operational and verified for the first occupancy phase. This is one of the stages where CFMS has excelled; we work closely with the Owners, developers and contractors to ensure M&E systems are tested, run through their paces and ready for operation before occupants start moving in.
As residential buildings continue to grow in the GTA, One trend we are starting to see is the “smart home” environment entering the condominium environment at the development stage. Condo buyers want to have a smart home ready when they move in and are increasingly looking for the “at your fingertips” control of their homes – including temperature controls, lighting and access. This will be an interesting trend to see develop and how far the boundaries will be pushed.
As for our portfolio of residential projects, the following is just a small sample of completed and ongoing projects:
Visit our website to learn more about these and other projects, and the benefits commissioning has to offer.
Improve communication between team members and instill pride in everyone involved.
Benefit from a more streamlined process, improved quality – and a significantly better end result.
Ensure your green initiatives are working. Top quality control at every phase.
Stay on budget and on schedule. Optimize performance and occupant comfort.
Get your building performing at peak efficiency and avoid inferior operator and maintenance knowledge.