Do you know what kind of commissioning you are getting?

December 7, 2018

At CCx we believe strongly that the only way for our clients to receive a well-commissioned and properly functioning building is to use a technical commissioning approach. The main advantages of our technical approach are:

  • A true 3rd-party verification.

  • Saving on increased Contractor fees in plumbing, mechanical, electrical, testing-adjusting-balancing, and controls.

  • A more experienced team is verifying installation.

  • A system-wide approach which identifies problems individual Contractors, or a process approach to commissioning, can’t.

  • Possibly fewer change orders.

  • Fixes happen while Contractors are still on site.

 

Let me first summarize why we feel so strongly about the technical approach to building commissioning: how is it that this approach results in much better outcomes for the client? Well, it mostly comes down to time spent on-site getting to know the building and systems and taking a much more proactive approach to issues that arise.

 

In the table below, you can see that our technical team will do much more of the leg-work instead of pushing that work onto Contractors that already have their hands full with the installation process. But even more importantly, our focus on system-wide interactions is completely different than that of installing Contractors. As a Cx team, we are looking for behaviors that occur when systems interact, these (rightly) are completely overlooked by Contractors who know their own systems best.

 

To summarize what this additional work on-site by the commissioning team really gets the building Owner:

A few other things to keep in mind are:

 

  • You may find that there are slight differences between descriptions between the two approaches depending on which organization is describing them.

  • The major differences between process and technical commissioning occur during the construction and acceptance phases of a project and include items such as prefunctional checklists and functional testing.

  • The main deliverables are the same in both the process and technical approach: the difference is WHO is executing them. We at CCx believe in the technical approach over the process approach for the following reasons:

    • Technical commissioning involves the commissioning agents rather than the Contractors performing the prefunctional testing. This approach leads to many issues being caught early in the process, resulting in less delay, fewer change orders, and associated costs.

    • Technical commissioning is more proactive and spends significantly more time on-site: we catch problems while Contractors are still on site. By being on-site, we catch problems that would otherwise go unnoticed, possibly until building occupation.

    • The technical approach provides true 3rd-party verification. We are another set of eyes on everything installed in ADDITION to the Contractors.

 

All this extra time spent on-site by the commissioning team, of course, comes at a cost! However, the cost of having your building commissioned with this technical approach will save money by:

 

  • Initial Bid: Contractors do not need to factor in extra time for commissioning in their bids with the technical approach: if you go with a process approach, you will pay more for each of the Contractors due to the bulk of the commissioning work being placed with the Contractors.

  • Construction and Acceptance Phase: Again, less time is required of the Contractors resulting in lower fees. Fewer delays because issues are caught sooner by the technical team.

  • Post-Acceptance: A better-commissioned building: the technical team will be much more familiar with the building and systems and will have caught problems before they are noticed by occupants or maintenance staff.

 

In my next blog post, I will take you through a hypothetical scenario to see how these two approaches costs can play out in new construction. Be sure to subscribe to our blog here. Also, follow us and like us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

 

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