July 4, 2013

The Earlier Commissioning Comes on Board, the Better!

Involve Your Commissioning Consultant AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

A constant concern for commissioning consultants is the timing of which we are involved in a project. Ideally, a commissioning consultant should be involved in the pre-design phase of any project. In fact, for LEED new construction or major renovation projects that wishes to obtain the EA Credit 3 point for Enhanced Commissioning, it is crucial that the commissioning consultant is on board as early as possible. According to the LEED Canada NC and CS 2009 letter template for Enhanced Commissioning, the commissioning consultant is to review the design documents twice: a review of the schematic design documents (approximately 50%) and a review of the final design documents (approximately 75%-90%).

It is not uncommon for a request proposal for Enhanced Commissioning to be issued and when we finally get the purchase order, the building is already out for tender. A truly frustrating circumstance for commissioning consultants.

The purpose of involving the commissioning consultant during the pre-design stage of any project is so that the commissioning consultant can document the building owner’s project requirements and basis of design for mechanical and electrical systems. Upon being familiarized with the owner’s project requirements, the commissioning consultant can then provide a quality control process to ensure that the owner’s project requirements and any modifications are carried throughout the entire project.

Furthermore, during the design stage, commissioning consultants can help minimize the need to issue change orders by reviewing the design documents. Classic examples would be reporting a space temperature sensor that was not shown in a required space on the design documents or a coordination issue between the mechanical and controls specification. If a commissioning consultant is brought onto the project late and found the problems during construction, it would be a valid extra cost.

If I have not yet convinced you as to the benefits and importance for having a commissioning consultant on the team as early as the pre-design phase, please feel free to contact us!

Why Commissioning