THE COMMISSIONING PROCESS | Explained [with download flow]

Last Updated: August 23, 2023, by
Here we run through the Commissioning Process Stages 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; feel free to use the TABLE OF CONTENTS to help navigate.

Download can be found at the end of this article.

A Commissioning Process can be split into 5 stages that detail, explains, defines, and set out for all parties the steps, tasks, responsibilities, and activities expected to be delivered to ensure that the commissioning of a buildings services is performed, completed, and documented in a structured, methodical manner, thus meeting the client and project requirements.

The process is usually created by the commissioning management company employed by the client on the project, who will use one of the typical industry standards created by an association as a reference, either using it entirely or modifying it for the client’s requirements and particular project.

The most common associations that would be referred to are:

  • AABC Commissioning Group [ACG]πŸ”—
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers [ASHRAE]πŸ”—
  • Building Commissioning Association [BCxA]πŸ”—
  • Building Services Research and Information Association [BSRIA]πŸ”—
  • National Environmental Balancing Bureau [NEBB]πŸ”—

In our experience, the most commonly used, detailed, and specified process is ASHRAE, with most other associations using it as a basis for their own defined requirements.

Below we will explain what ‘commissioning activities’ are and provide an overview of each commissioning stage that is used in the process, including flow diagrams that can be downloaded for free within each stage.

πŸ”—If you would like to understand what the different types of Commissioning [NCCx, OCx, RCx, MBCx] are, see our article: '4 DIFFERENT TYPES | of Building Commissioning' where we quickly run thorugh New Construction Commisisoning, Ongoing Commissioning, Retro-Commissioning & Monitoring-based Commissioning delivery methods.

Table of Contents

🟧 What are Commissioning Activities?

Before we get into the process, we need to understand commissioning activities.

Commissioning activities form the basis of the commissioning process, they are the tasks and responsibilities to be accomplished by the commissioning team [Client, CxA, Designer, Contractor, Vendors] to allow the overall process to be fully complete, signed off, and accepted.

🟧 Commissioning Process Qualifications

No specific requirements state that we need a qualification to create and manage a commissioning process. It is very straightforward with some practice and development.

However, various courses and qualifications can be completed to help Commissioning Engineers prove to their clients and employers that they understand the requirements.

We will look at this in more detail in another article.

🟧 What are the Commissioning Stages?

On larger projects, we would see a 5-stage commissioning process being deployed covering the following:

  • Stage 1 – Pre-Design,
  • Stage 2 – Design,
  • Stage 3a – Pre-Construction,
  • Stage 3b – Construction,
  • Stage 3c – Commissioning,
  • Stage 4 – Occupancy and Operations,
  • Stage 5 – Continuous Commissioning
πŸ”— If you want to understand the 5 LEVELS used in DATA CENTER COMMISSIONING see our article 'DATA CENTER | 5 Levels Of Commissioning Explained', as the requirements are slightly differnt than this process.

🟩 Stage 1: Pre-Design 🟩

The Pre-Design Commissioning Process Stage is carried out to allow all preliminary works and activities to be completed that cover the following:

  • Forming a Commissioning Team
  • Write, develop and manage the owners project requirements [OPR] πŸ”—
  • Develop and manage the basis of the design document [BOD] πŸ”—
  • Develop the commissioning budget and scope
  • Write and develop the initial commissioning plan
  • Develop the commissioning report formats
  • Stipulate and manage acceptance requirements
  • Manage the commissioning documentation
  • Identify training requirements

🟨 [S1a] Forming Commissioning Team

The first task to be completed is forming the Commissioning Team. We should call this an β€˜Initial Commissioning Team’ as it will be updated throughout the project as the stages and works move forward.

πŸ”— If you want to understand who is involved at the different stages, see our article 'THE COMMISSIONING TEAM | Example Organigram for each stage'

To complete the step is quite simple; the commissioning manager would speak to the client and different consultants to understand who, from their organization, will be responsible for any Commissioning discussions, including all meetings and workshops.

Once the names are understood, we would create and issue the Commissioning Team Organigram that details the people involved and their organizations for inclusion within the overall ‘commissioning plan’.

πŸš€ To give some direction, the list below provides who would generally be involved:

  • Client | CL
  • Project Manager | PM
  • Architect | ARCH
  • Commissioning Consultant | CxP
  • Green Building Consultant | GBC
  • HVAC / Electrical / Fire / Plumbing Designer | DES
  • General/Main Contractor | GC
  • Building Operations Team | BOT
⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableOwner
Client
[C] ConsultedProject Manager
Architect
MEP Designer
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S1b] Develop Owners Project Requirements [OPR]

The production of an OPR is a requirement of the ASHRAE Commissioning Guideline and also under the US Green Building Council LEED Commissioning Requirements [Fundamental πŸ”—and Enhanced πŸ”—]. The objective of it is to create a document that provides the basis from which all design, construction, acceptance, and operational decisions are made; it should be agreed upon and in place before the next step, where the Basis of Design Document [BOD] is written and developed by the designer.

πŸ”— If you want to understand more on the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR], see our article 'OWNER’S PROJECT REQUIREMENT | [OPR] What is it'.

The OPR will be created and managed by the commissioning manager.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableOwner
Client
[C] ConsultedProject Manager
Architect
MEP Designer
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S1c] Develop the Basis of Design Document [BOD]

The objective of the basis of the design document is to provide the project with an understanding of the thinking that led to the selection of specific components, systems, and integrations that will be developed into the overall design and drawings.

The specific contents of the Basis of Design document will vary from project to project and system to system, but in general, it should address the items as detailed in our article.

Once the OPR is approved and understood, the Designer will use it as a base to write and manage the Basis of Design Document or [BOD], to allow the project designs to be developed and specified.

πŸ”— If you want to understand more on the Basis of Design Document [BOD] and grab a free download to help develop one, see our article: 'BASIS OF DESIGN | [BOD] How to Write with download'

As the Commissioning Manager, we should ensure the BOD is completed and accepted by the client team.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1d] Develop the Commissioning Budget and Scope

At this step, we work out a budget based on the costs associated with delivering the Commissioning Process and works for the Client. It’s pretty challenging to understand the total cost for the commissioning works at this step, as little information is available.

We do not generally try to understand the costs associated with the Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing works as the General Contractor delivers this element of the works. However, if this is a requirement, use a square meter rate.

πŸš€ The budget should cover the following works:

  • Pre-Design Stage Commissioning Works
  • Design Stage Commissioning Works
  • Construction Stage Commissioning Works
  • Occupancy and Operations Stage Commissioning Works
  • Continuous Stage Commissioning Works

Include all labor, materials, and resources needed to successfully carry out the work in line with the scope.

πŸ”— If you want to understand more on a Scope of Works for a Client CxA, see our article: 'CxA SCOPE OF WORKS | How to write and format with downloads'

The budget should then be discussed with the Client to ensure that the correct allowances are provided within their project costs and allowances.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1e] Develop the Initial Commissioning Plan

A commissioning plan is a ‘live document’ that will be further developed and updated throughout the overall project programme. Its purpose is to set out to all parties the expected commissioning process and activities, strategies, sequences, project schedules, documentation, and responsibilities for the project from the outset.

πŸ”— If you want to see more on a Commissioning Plan, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING PLAN | What, Why, When, How with Template', there is a great template that can be purchsed for a small cost.

The Commissioning Manager will write and create the Initial Commissioning Plan using the OPR and BOD as a reference, with the document included in any tender documents sent out to the General Contractor for project quotations and costs.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1f] Develop the Commissioning Reporting Formats

The Commissioning Manager will develop all commissioning reporting formats for inclusion in any tender documents that will be utilized throughout the project and stored for future use, these will include:

  • Factory report
  • Weekly commissioning report
  • Monthly commissioning report
  • Final commissioning report
  • Systems manual report

πŸš€ To make this a quick exercise, reuse formats from previous projects, as long as all items are covered.

It is a good idea to include the formats in the Initial Commissioning Plan so that the requirements are stipulated and included in the tender documents.

πŸ”— If you want to see templates and information on these types of reports, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING REPORTS | Templates Weekly, Monthly, Daily, Final Report'

⬜ Weekly Report

The Weekly Report will be only a few pages and provide a high-level overview of the progress of the Commissioning activities. Initially, it will concentrate on our works relating to the process and documentation in the early stages of the project.

Later in the Commissioning Process, it will detail progress made relating to the General Contractor works [Documentation, Factory TestingSite Testing, and Handover, etc.…]

⬜ Monthly Report

The Monthly Report will be like the Weekly Report but include more information, usually by attachments [trackers, progress, programs, reports, etc.].

⬜ Final Commissioning Report & Systems Manual

It seems relatively early to discuss the Final Commissioning Report and Systems Manual, as they are not needed until the project’s closeout. Still, as they will contain a great deal of information and require input from multiple sources, everyone in the Commissioning Team is required to understand their role and responsibility in creating them.

It’s not just the commissioning manager’s responsibility.

The Final Commissioning Report will detail and provide information relating to the complete Project Commissioning Process, including how it was managed and delivered.

It should be supported by relevant documentation.

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⬜ Factory & Site Testing Reports

Through experience, we have found it a good idea to set out the Factory Testing and Site Testing Report formats that will be expected and include the minimal information that should be issued.

This is to stop any confusion later between the different parties.

πŸ”— To see more on the format of a Factory Testing Report, see our article: 'FACTORY ACCEPTANCE TESTING | Guideline, Agenda & Report'

⬜ Systems Manual

The Systems Manual will be provided to meet two main criteria for the project:

  • To support the delivery and certification of any LEED / Green Building needs, and
  • To provide information to the Facilities Managers, Engineers, and Managers for future reference covering the design/construction, documentation, testing/commissioning information, and all training materials supporting the project requirements and, ultimately, the OPR.
πŸ”— To see more on the format of a Systems Manual, see our article: 'BUILDING SYSTEMS MANUAL | How to Write One with Roles'

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1g] Manage the Commissioning Acceptance Requirements

To ensure that the tender documentation includes this critical information, the Commissioning Manager must specify and detail the acceptance requirements for all activities within the Initial Commissioning Plan, focusing on the Cx documentation, factory testing, and site testing works.

πŸ”— We have written an article: 'SAMPLING RATES | Using them in Commissioning' if you want to understand more regarding this topic.

πŸš€ Ensure, as a minimum, the following is covered:

  • Quantity of documentation to be reviewed [%]
    • Factory Testing Procedures
    • Factory Reports
    • Equipment/System Checklists
    • Site Testing Method Statements
    • Site Testing Final Documentation
    • Reports
    • Operating and Maintenance Manuals
  • Status of Documentation [Status A, B, C or Status A, B, C, D, etc.] πŸ”—
  • A list of all Codes, Guides, and Standards that the testing and commissioning works must adhere to. πŸ”—
  • Quantity of witnessing to be completed and witnessed at a site level:
    • Factory Testing
    • Equipment/System Checklists
    • Site Testing
    • Integrated Testing

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1h] Manage Documentation

The commissioning manager will manage, track and report on all the documentation relating to the commissioning works and activities. To do this, relevant trackers and reports will need to be created to ensure that they are updated as each status changes.

Initially, at this step, the documents to be managed will generally be:

  • Owners Project Requirements [OPR]
  • Basis of Design [BOD]
  • Commissioning Organigram
  • Commissioning Plan
  • Reports

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S1i] Identify Training Requirements

Adequate training of the facilities staff once all the systems and installations have been installed and commissioned will be critical to the success of the handover process and future building operations.

After liaising with the building facilities team, the Commissioning Manager should ensure that the requirements are detailed and expectations included.

πŸš€ To provide an idea of what the requirements should cover, see below:

  • Training format [in person, onsite, video, classroom],
  • What training materials should be provided,
  • What the training should include,
  • How many staff should be allowed to be trained

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
[I] InformedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
To read more on training and see a Training Manual Template see our article: 'TRAINING MANUAL | for Operational Staff at Handover [with template]'

πŸ–¨οΈ [S1] Pre-Design Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Pre-Design Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Pre Design Stage 1 Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 2: Design 🟩

Stage 2 will focus on two areas, the design/reviews of the building’s systems and the continuation of the commissioning process from the pre-design stage to the pre-construction stage.

Throughout these activities and tasks, the following will be completed:

  • Monitor/update the owners’ project requirements [OPR].
  • Managing the monitoring/updating of the basis of design [BOD].
  • Reporting.
  • Meetings and workshops.
  • Conduct commissioning reviews upon the design and project information.
  • Develop checklists.
  • Select any software that is to be utilized to aid/monitor the commissioning.
  • Finalize all template documents to be used.
  • Create a high-level commissioning programme.
  • Create a high-level training programme.
  • Develop O&M structure.
  • Update and finalize commissioning scope, plan, and budgets.
  • Involvement with the general/main contractor tenders.

🟨 [S2a] Monitor and Update the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR]

During this stage, there could be changes to the overall design of the building’s systems. To ensure that any modifications made are noted and evaluated against the client’s needs, the Commissioning Manager should regularly review and note any changes.

If changes are observed, the OPR should then be reviewed and, where required, updated and modified to ensure it is current and issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Basis of design document,
  • Design drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the CxA and overseen by the Client.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2b] Monitor and Update the Basis of Design Document [BOD]

After any discussions that may modify the design of the systems and services or the Owners Project Requirements [OPR] within the building, the designer should review and update, where needed, the Basis of Design Document [BOD].

When completed, the document should then be issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Owners project requirements,
  • Design drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the designer and overseen by the CxA to ensure that the client/owner agrees with the revisions etc.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2c] Commissioning Reporting

The Commissioning Manager will use the report formats developed during the previous Pre-Design Stage to create and maintain the project commissioning reports.

Reports are needed to provide an update/overview on the process, activities, and ongoing work relating to the commissioning tasks and activities. We should try not to treat them as something we do not want to do but treat them as critical documents that include as much information as possible to provide a good update on the progress and issue and, if required in the future, to be used in the if there are any issues, programme extensions, delays, requests for additional resources or claims, etc.

πŸ”— If you want to see templates and information on these types of reports, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING REPORTS | Templates Weekly, Monthly, Daily, Final Report'

πŸš€ The frequency of the reports will depend upon the length of the project; if the project programme is long, then we would generally issue a monthly report to start with, when works start to increase, issue Bi-Weekly, then at commissioning stages 3a & 3b move to issue Weekly.

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly reports.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly reports.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly reports.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily reports.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2d] Commissioning Meetings and Workshops

Due to the contractors, suppliers, and vendors not being employed on the project, the meetings and workshops will generally be conducted with the client team.

⬜ Meetings:

Meetings will be conducted by the Commissioning Manager to discuss high-level items, agree on items, note/resolve issues/ and provide an update on how the project is progressing.

Once completed, meeting minutes should be written and issued within a few days of the meeting taking place.

πŸš€ If these meeting minutes are formatted correctly, they can be an excellent reference for the commissioning reports.

πŸ”— If you want to see templates and information, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING MEETINGS | Explanation and downloadable agenda'

The frequency of the meetings and workshops will depend upon the length of the project; if the project programme is long, then we would generally hold them monthly start with, then, when works start to increase, Bi-Weekly, then at commissioning stages 3a & 3b move to Weekly.

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly meetings.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly meetings.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly meetings.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily meetings.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

⬜ Workshops:

Workshops usually differ from meetings in that they are conducted to discuss or clarify any issues, misunderstandings, or unclear points that need clarification in more detail and with specific people attending rather than what would be discussed in a general meeting

πŸš€ For example, there would usually be insufficient time to resolve an issue raised regarding understanding, creating, or approving the chiller control logic in a meeting or general site discussion. Where this happens, workshops will be arranged and conducted, inviting only the people who can have a direct impact on the discussions and topic to sit down and spend some time finding the solutions etc.

Commissioning Process Stages 1-5 Infographics [PDF]

Here are our infographics in [PDF], showing the commissioning process as a step-by-step process and flow.

We have left this as a 'Pay What You Want' document so that you can have it as you wish.

Any contribution would be much appreciated so we can continue to expand the site.

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Download Here | [Free]

Once completed, minutes should be written and issued within a few days of the workshop, they should cover in detail the discussions and any remedial actions that may need to be completed.

πŸš€ Always keep in the back of your mind that any changes made to the design in these workshops could impact the OPR & BOD.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2e] Conduct Commissioning Design Reviews

To ensure any potential and apparent issues are noted early, and before any plant, equipment or installation is procured, Commissioning design reviews, sometimes called a ‘commissioning ability review’, will be completed by the Commissioning Manager once enough design information is available, such as drawings, specifications, data sheets, etc.

Usually, due to the project stage, the information available for review will not be 100%, don’t worry about this, as the aim is to catch issues early. Other reviews will be conducted throughout the process as additional information is received.

Once the review has been completed, the CxA will write and issue a detailed report to the client team for further discussions, detailing any findings, concerns, or observations.

πŸš€ The Commissioning Engineers are generally looking at the following:

  • Comparison with the owners project requirements [OPR]
  • Comparison with the basis of design document [BOD]
  • Commissioning requirements detailed the contract documents,
  • Review of any green building requirements against the design,
  • Quality of information contained within the documentation to allow efficient commissioning to take place,
  • Configuration of systems, how they are designed and will be built,
  • Integrations with existing systems,
  • Positions of commissioning sensors and instruments,
  • Control logics,
  • Settings and setpoints,
  • BMS points lists,
  • BMS graphic documents,
  • Discrimination study reports,
  • Computational fluid dynamics reports [CFD],
  • Design flow rates for the systems match the plant and equipment,
  • Maintenance space for the equipment and services to be installed,
  • Replacement of parts and equipment.

⚠️ Do not underestimate the time and resources this can take the CxA to complete.

⚠️ Do not confuse a commissioning design review with a design peer review or a pure design review. They are different. The commissioning manager does not conduct design peer reviews.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2f] Develop Commissioning Checklists

The Commissioning Manager/project will create and manage many individual checklists throughout the project for each piece of equipment and system, covering the following:

  • Delivery
  • Installation
  • Pre-commissioning / Start-up
  • Commissioning / Functional Testing

Each will provide a list of items that will be inspected and validated as complete before the next commissioning steps are conducted. This ensures that there is documented evidence for whatever need of the checks and inspections the systems and equipment went through with all the correct signatures.

πŸš€ The checklists can be created pretty efficiently by using internal company templates as a base.

πŸ”— If you want to see templates and information and templates around Checklists, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING CHECKLISTS | the 3 types explained and listed'

⚠️ Note that the checklists are not for the Resident Engineer to sign-off installations in line with the project specifications; the checklists are created to ensure that the equipment and systems are ready for the next commissioning stage.

The Resident Engineer still needs to approve the overall installations.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2g] Commissioning Software Selection

If it is stipulated by the CxA or Client/Owner of the facility that software is to be used to monitor/document the commissioning process, or a monitoring-based commissioning system is to be deployed at handover, the selection process should start during this stage.

If the expectation is only for software to manage and report the progress of the onsite commissioning, it should be very straightforward and easy to deploy, as long as the expectations are set out in the tender documents and commissioning plan.

πŸš€ Examples of commissioning software that can be used are:

⚠️ If it is a monitoring-based system that manages the building’s energy usage, that will be a lot more complex, with a great deal of coordination and design work required between different teams to fully integrate into the project and specify for the tendering stage.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2h] Complete Template Documents

The Commissioning Manager will complete all template documents and expected formats to be used across the project by themselves and the general/main contractor. This ensures they can be included and allowed for within the tender documentation.

πŸš€ The templates would generally cover:

  • Factory testing documents
  • Checklists
  • Site testing documents
  • Trackers
  • Look ahead
  • Reports
  • Operating and maintenance manual
  • Systems manual
  • Final commissioning report

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2i] Create a High-Level Commissioning Programme

The Commissioning Manager will create the high-level commissioning program, this is written to provide the project with an outline of the significant milestones and sequence of the works to help aid the tenderers to understand the expected time frame and a little later, the overall construction programme development.

As this is supposed to be a ‘high-level’ programme, it can be developed with an excel spreadsheet if needed.

πŸš€ Information that would be included:

  • Placement of order for the general/main contractor.
  • The construction timeline for the building/project
  • Overall start and finish date of the commissioning works. This can cover the different stages of the process or just the onsite testing and commissioning.
  • Handover date
  • O&M issue date
  • Defect liability date
  • Occupancy & Operation dates
  • Continuous commissioning dates

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S2j] Create a High-Level Training Programme

A high-level training programme is provided, like the commissioning programme, to allow the client project team to understand when their facilities need to be fully deployed on-site and for the tenderers to understand what should be allowed within their proposals.

Usually, the training will start during the commissioning stage and could run through Occupancy & Operations.

πŸš€ No reason this could not be added to the high-level commissioning programme.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
[I] InformedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S2k] Develop the O&M Structure

The Operating and Maintenance [O&M] structure will be specified and included within the tender documents to ensure the general/main contractor fully understands the client’s requirements.

πŸ”— If you want to see information and templates on this, see our article: 'O&M MANUALS | Quick guide and template'

πŸš€ If developed correctly, they can be used as a standard format from project to project.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] Informed

🟨 [S2l] Finalize Commissioning Scope, Cx Plan, and Budgets

Before the final tender is issued to the general/main contractor, the commissioning scope, commissioning plan, and budgets written in the previous steps should be agreed upon, finalized, and updated with any new or updated information.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] Informed

🟨 [S2m] Oversee the Commissioning Elements of Contractor Tendering

As commissioning is a critical element to the overall delivery quality of a project, the Commissioning Manager should be fully involved in the tendering process with the general/main contractors so that they have input in the evaluation and selection process, focusing on the Commissioning elements.

πŸ”— If you want to see how to complete a tender process, see our article: 'RFP / RFQ TENDERING PROCESS | How to Complete in 20 Steps'

⚠️ It should not be underestimated how much commissioning buildings cost, the skillset involved, and the time it takes. The tenderers must understand this and agree that all have been allowed from the outset.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] Informed

πŸ–¨οΈ [S2] Design Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Design Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Design Stage 2 Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 3: Construction 🟩

During the Commissioning Process Stage 3, the commissioning works and activities are completed alongside the general onsite building services installations and inspections. The focus is on closing out the commissioning documents required to start the commissioning works, overseeing the onsite works, and final handover of documents and information.

⚠️ We have found that this stage can be very long depending upon the project duration and can be pretty complicated to schedule the relevant tasks, so to help, we take the ASHRAE Stage 3 and split it into three sub-stages:

  • Stage 3a – Pre-Construction Phase
  • Stage 3b – Construction Phase
  • Stage 3c – Commissionnig Phase

During these three sub-stages, the following works and activities will be completed allowing Stage 4 to commence:

  • Conduct commissioning reviews upon the design and project information.
  • Monitor/update of owners’ project requirements [OPR].
  • Managing the monitoring/updating of the basis of design [BOD].
  • Conduct commissioning kick-off meeting.
  • Update reports, plans, documents, etc.
  • Review and approve commissioning specific material/technical submissions
  • Understand how commissioning/final documents will be filed and stored.
  • Factory testing management of documents and programme.
  • Commissioning Programme approval.
  • Training programme and requirements approval.
  • Site testing method statement development and approval.
  • BMS graphic/point document approval.
  • Discrimination and arc flash reports.
  • CFD reports.
  • Draft operating and maintenance manuals.
  • Pre-commissioning works, including witnessing.
  • Functional commissioning works, including witnessing.
  • Integrate testing works.
  • Training deployment and management.
  • Final commissioning documentation.
  • Systems manual.
  • Handover.

⚠️ This is the stage where it will be apparent if the commissioning will be a success or failure as all parties need to work together for the end goal.

🟩 Stage 3a: Pre-Construction 🟩

🟨 [S3aa] Conduct Commissioning Design Reviews

From the previous stage [S2e], commissioning reviews will have been completed upon the design information provided by the designer; the Commissioning Manager should ensure that the same exercise is completed on the construction information that the general/main contractor will be issuing throughout this stage.

Once the review has been completed, the CxA will write and issue a detailed report to the client team for further discussions, detailing any findings, concerns, or observations that need to be closed out before ordering or installing the plant equipment and systems.

πŸš€ As noted previously, the Commissioning Engineers are generally looking at the following:

  • Comparison with the owners project requirements [OPR]
  • Comparison with the basis of design document [BOD]
  • Commissioning requirements detailed the contract documents,
  • Review of any green building requirements against the design,
  • Quality of information contained within the documentation to allow efficient commissioning to take place,
  • Configuration of systems, how they are designed and will be built,
  • Integrations with existing systems,
  • Positions of commissioning sensors and instruments,
  • Control logics,
  • Settings and setpoints,
  • BMS points lists,
  • BMS graphic documents,
  • Discrimination study reports,
  • Computational fluid dynamics reports [CFD],
  • Design flow rates for the systems match the plant and equipment,
  • Maintenance space for the equipment and services to be installed,
  • Replacement of parts and equipment.

⚠️ If reviews were not completed in the previous stage due to the project phase when the commissioning manager was employed, do not worry; ensure the reviews are completed now.

⚠️ Do not underestimate the time and resources this can take the CxA to complete.

⚠️ Do not confuse a commissioning design review with a design peer review or a pure design review. They are different. The commissioning manager does not conduct design peer reviews.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3ab] Monitor and Update the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR]

Like in the previous stage [S2a], there could be changes to the overall design of the building’s systems. To ensure that any modifications are noted and evaluated against the client’s needs, the Commissioning Manager should regularly review and note any changes.

If changes are observed, the OPR should then be reviewed and, where required, updated and modified to ensure it is current and issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Basis of design document,
  • Design/Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the CxA and overseen by the Client.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3ac] Monitor and Update the Basis of Design Document [BOD]

Like in the previous stage [S2b], after any discussions that may modify the design of the systems and services or the Owners Project Requirements [OPR] within the building, the designer should review and update, where needed, the Basis of Design Document [BOD].

When completed, the document should then be issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Owners project requirements,
  • Design/Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the designer and overseen by the CxA to ensure that the client/owner agrees with the revisions etc.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3ad] Monitor and Update the Commissioning Plan

The commissioning plan will be updated by the Commissioning Manager or, depending on scope, the general/main contractor, with all final information relating to the project and delivery of the commissioning works that will now be understood from the construction information.

This will not be the document’s final version as it will be reviewed and updated throughout the process if the project and information change.

With this in mind, reviews should be planned each week or month, depending upon the project length.

πŸš€ Use the commissioning plan that was written in step [S2l] and the following information to aid in updating:

  • Owners project requirements,
  • Construction drawings,
  • Construction specifications,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

⚠️ Ensure that the commissioning team organigram is updated with the new team members.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3ae] Conduct Commissioning Kick-Off Meeting

Once the general/main contractor is onboard, the Commissioning Kick-Off meeting will be conducted to ensure that all parties involved in the project commissioning process and activities are fully aware of the expectations and requirements; the CxA and/or General/Main Contractor, depending on the scope, shall conduct the meeting with the Project Team.

πŸ”— If you want to see how to complete a commissioning kick off meeting, see our article: 'COMMISSIONING KICK-OFF MEETING | Guide, Agenda and download'

Sometimes a couple of sessions are required to discuss items around the following, with minutes being issued after completion:

  • Overview of the commissioning plan & specification,
  • Run through the commissioning process,
  • Present the commissioning team organigram and members,
  • Overview of the high-level commissioning programme and the expectations of the detailed programme,
  • Plan and agree on future commissioning meetings,
  • Explain and agree on the commissioning documents that will be required,
  • What type of document statuses will be provided, and what they mean
  • Overview of the codes, guides, and standards that the project is to work to,
  • Review any specific project numbering systems,
  • Understanding of any electronic platforms being deployed on the project,
  • Factory testing to be completed,
  • Mock-ups that will be required,
  • Witnessing rates expected,
  • Tracking,
  • Reporting,
  • Critical testing needed, if any, and expectations,
  • Training,
  • Final documents,
  • Seasonal testing requirements.

πŸš€ If you create a presentation around your commissioning process that runs through all the items to be discussed then the document can be reused across multiple projects.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3af] Commissioning Reporting and Progress

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the reporting is continued from the previous stage [S2c]; depending upon the number of works being completed for the commissioning tasks and activities, the reporting maybe increased inline with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly reports.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly reports.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly reports.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily reports.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMain/General Contractor
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3ag] Issue Detailed Commissioning Programme

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor creates and issues, for review and approval, the detailed project commissioning programme, that is fully sequenced and integrated with the construction project programme.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMain/General Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3ah] Issue Procedure and Checklists

The Commissioning Manager should ensure that the general/main contractor creates and issues, for review and approval, the project commissioning testing procedures and checklists covering the inspections and testing of all systems and equipment.

The procedures will cover all testing from pre-commissioning/start-up to dynamic commissioning/functional testing. At the end of the commissioning process, the documents will form part of the final testing documentation inserted into the operating and maintenance manuals and final commissioning report.

πŸš€ The commissioning plan will include the formats and expectations of these documents.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMain/General Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3ai] Delivery of the Commissioning Process

To ensure that the overall commissioning process is being delivered, the Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor works in line with it at various times throughout the project.

If the process is not delivered, this will be raised, as it will eventually cause issues later in the project, when the commissioning tasks and activities increase.

πŸš€ This can be monitored automatically if the commissioning meeting minutes and reports are formatted correctly.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMain/General Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3aj] Commissioning Meetings

The Commissioning Meetings will be continued from the previous stage [S2d] and used to discuss high-level items, agree on items, note/resolve issues/ and provide an update on how the project is progressing.

The frequency of them would increase during this time inline with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly meetings.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly meetings.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly meetings.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily meetings.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3ak] Commissioning Documentation and Filing

Throughout the process, the Commissioning Manager and general/main contractor will ensure that all documentation relating to the commissioning works is issued, numbered, tracked, collated, approved, and filed within the manual or electronic document control system

πŸš€ Ensure that the following is in place before the pre-constructions stage starts, to make this as efficient as possible:

  • An agreed numbering system,
  • An agreed filing system [electronic or hard copies],
  • Filing system set up,
  • List of documents that will be issued and need collating,
  • Agreed process of reviewing and approving the documents.

⚠️ Our experience suggests that the commissioning manager and project team are still working on the final documentation at least 6-8 weeks after completion and handover.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3al] Factory Acceptance Testing [FAT]

During the commissioning process stage 3a, the factory testing will be completed on the major items of equipment inline with step [

Before any factory testing takes place, the Commissioning Manager will ensure that all scripts are approved and available with the overall testing being planned.

πŸ”— To see more on the format of a Factory Testing Report, see our article: 'FACTORY ACCEPTANCE TESTING | Guideline, Agenda & Report'

Once completed and witnessed, all reports will be issued for approval, and any observations or issues closed out.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3am] Other Documentation Management

A few documents sit outside the commissioning process that will be needed to allow the works to be completed. These documents are usually left till late in the project, and we introduce them here so that they are given some focus.

If these documents have a focus early on, to get them issued and approved, we generally find that they will help save on commissioning resources later in the project.

πŸš€ Here is a list that we would put some focus on:

  • BMS Graphics,
  • BMS Points,
  • Plant and Equipment Settings,
  • CFD Report [Computational Fluid Dynamics],
  • Electrical Discrimination Report,
  • Electrical Arc Flash Study.

⚠️ The commissioning manager does not necessarily manage these documents. Usually, the contractor and designer/client will be responsible. However, we would keep discussing their progress and monitoring them on our trackers to ensure they are being produced. If not completed, they could impact the testing and commission works later in the project.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableMEP Designer
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3an] Create Training Information and Programme

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor is progressing the required documentation around the training requirements for approval by the project team/building operator.

This will help to ensure that:

  • the facilities/building operator is starting to become involved
  • the facilities/building operator understands when resources will be needed [if they recruit a new team or team members].
  • everyone understands what will be expected
  • can be steadily planned
  • can be included in the project programs
  • there are no surprises, for example, the contractors not allowing for training.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
MEP Designer
Building Operations

[I] InformedProject Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
MBCx Designer

πŸ–¨οΈ [S3a] Pre-Construction Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Pre-Construction Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Pre Construction Stage 3a Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 3b: Construction 🟩

During this stage, the works and activities to be conducted and completed will allow the team’s focus to shift from purely the commissioning documentation and planning to a hybrid of documentation, planning, and onsite works.

The site installations will be pretty advanced at this stage and nearing the powering up, pre-commissioning, and pre-functional checking to commence.

🟨 [S3ba] Monitor and Update the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR]

Like in the previous stage [S2a and S3ab], there could be changes to the overall design of the building’s systems. To ensure that any modifications are noted and evaluated against the client’s needs, the Commissioning Manager should regularly review and note any changes.

If changes are observed, the OPR should then be reviewed and, where required, updated and modified to ensure it is current and issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Basis of the design document,
  • Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the CxA and overseen by the Client.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3bb] Monitor and Update the Basis of Design Document [BOD]

Like in the previous stage [S2b and S3ac], after any discussions that may modify the design of the systems and services or the Owners Project Requirements [OPR] within the building, the designer should review and update, where needed, the Basis of Design Document [BOD].

When completed, the document should then be issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Owners project requirements,
  • Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the designer and overseen by the CxA to ensure that the client/owner agrees with the revisions etc.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3bc] Review Material/Technical Submissions

The contractors and vendors will issue material submissions, usually for the design team to review and approve before purchasing equipment and systems. The Commissioning Manager will ensure that they also complete a review of any items that could impact the delivery of the commissioning works.

πŸš€ Some submissions that would be reviewed include:

  • Commissioning Valve Sets
  • Ancillaries [sensors etc]
  • Pumps
  • Fans
  • Major equipment
  • Controls

⚠️ A commissioning review of the design documents will have been completed in the previous stage, so this review focuses on the selection of equipment and instruments and their ability to meet the design expectations.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
[I] InformedProject Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨 [S3bd] Commissioning Meetings and Workshops

⬜ Meetings:

Throughout the process, the Commissioning Meetings will be continued from the previous stage [S3aj] and used to discuss high-level items, agree on items, note/resolve issues/ and provide an update on how the project is progressing.

The frequency of them would increase during this time in line with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly meetings.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly meetings.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly meetings.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily meetings.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

⬜ Workshops:

As noted previously, workshops usually differ from meetings in that they are conducted to discuss or clarify any issues, misunderstandings, or unclear points that need clarification in more detail and with specific people attending rather than what would be discussed in a general meeting

For example, there would usually be insufficient time to resolve an issue regarding understanding, creating, or approving the chiller control logic in a meeting or general site discussion. Where this happens, workshops will be arranged and conducted, inviting only the people who can have a direct impact on the discussions and topic to sit down and spend some time finding the solutions etc.

The Commissioning Manager or general/main contractor should arrange these workshops and once completed, minutes should be written and issued within a few days of the workshop, they should cover in detail the discussions and any remedial actions that may need to be completed.

πŸš€ Always keep in the back of your mind that any changes made to the design in these workshops could impact the OPR & BOD.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨 [S3be] Commissioning Reporting and Progress

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the reporting is continued from the previous stage [S3af]; depending upon the number of works being completed for the commissioning tasks and activities, the reporting may be increased inline with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly reports.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly reports.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly reports.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily reports.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMain/General Contractor
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3bf] Finalize the Commissioning Programme

The commissioning manager will ensure that the general/main contractor has a fully coordinated, sequenced, and approved commissioning programme they are working to.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨 [S3bg] Issue Draft Operating and Maintenance Manual

As the operating and maintenance manuals are critical to the overall handing over of the project, the Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor issues the draft manual at this step for review and comments by various people within the client team.

Understandably due to the early stage, there will be information missing, but the main reason for issuing them at this stage is to show that they are being worked on, in progress, and are in the correct format.

πŸš€ Issuing the document early will help ensure that comments are provided early in the process and not left until the last minute, providing better documents for the facilities team.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3bh] Finalize Functional Testing Procedures

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor has all the project commissioning and testing functional testing procedures in place and approved for the commissioning works to progress through the next stages.

The procedures will cover all testing from startup and pre-commissioning to dynamic commissioning/functional testing and integration of the building and systems.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
[I] InformedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨[S3bi] Delivery of the Commissioning Process

To ensure that the overall commissioning process is being delivered, the Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor works in line with it at various times throughout the project.

If the process is not delivered, this will be raised, as it will eventually cause issues later in the project, when the commissioning tasks and activities increase.

πŸš€ This can be monitored automatically if the commissioning meeting minutes and reports are formatted correctly.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMain/General Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨[S3bj] Other Documentation Management

From step [S3am] the ‘other’ documentation should be well progressed by this step. The Commissioning Manager will review the status and update trackers to ensure there will be no impact to future commission works and activities.

πŸš€ Here is a list that we would put some focus on:

  • BMS Graphics,
  • BMS Points,
  • Plant and Equipment Settings,
  • CFD Report [Computational Fluid Dynamics],
  • Electrical Discrimination Report,
  • Electrical Arc Flash Study.

⚠️ The commissioning manager does not necessarily manage these documents. Usually, the contractor and designer/client will be responsible. However, we would keep discussing their progress and monitoring them on our trackers to ensure they are being produced. If not completed, they could impact the testing and commission works later in the project.

Over and above these documents, the Commissioning Manager will also ensure that the final commissioning documentation is being developed and will be in place by the general/main contractor for handover, covering:

  • Commissioning reports
  • Commissioning trackers
  • Commissioning observation reports
  • Factory testing reports
  • Pre-functional test reports
  • Site testing reports
  • Facilities training reports
  • Handover reports
  • Final Commissioning Documents [testing records]
  • Log Books/Systems Manuals

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableMEP Designer
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3bk] Commissioning Documentation and Filing

As noted in the previous stage, the Commissioning Manager will manage and report on the collation, reviewing, approving, and filing of the commissioning documentation, ensuring it is being updated and maintained.

At this point, the following should be in place:

  • An agreed numbering system,
  • An agreed filing system [electronic or hard copies],
  • Filing system set up,
  • List of documents that will be issued and need collating,
  • Agreed process of reviewing and approving the documents.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3bl] Mock-Up Testing

Depending upon the scope of work, some mockup testing may be required to be completed during this stage by the general/main contractor.

Mockup testing will be used to β€˜type test’ to prove that any similar systems will be adequate, a full-size representation of an installation and its environment by carrying out and simulating the actual loads and conditions on-site, ensuring it meets the project requirements.

The Commissioning Manager, via the general/main contractor, will need to ensure that all procedures and scripts are approved and available, testing is completed correctly, and witnessed, with all reports being issued and provided for approval to the client team.

Where there are any comments or observations, these should be closed out prior to any other systems being installed that may be affected if not resolved.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3bl] Pre-Functional Testing

Using the checklists and procedures written and approved in the previous commissioning stages and before the functional testing is conducted, the general/main contractor should conduct all pre-functional testing on the equipment and systems in line with the commissioning programme.

The Commissioning Manager will monitor and, where required, by the contract, witness these works to validate that they have been completed correctly and that no issues impact future functional testing.

All pre-functional testing and checks will be recorded and documents completed, stored, and available for the operating and maintenance manuals/building operators in the future.

Any items of equipment or systems being checked should previously have been inspected by the relevant client resident engineer with an installation sign-off/approval form available. This will prove that the equipment and systems that are planned to be checked and tested have been inspected and approved with no significant outstanding observations.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] Consulted
[I] InformedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨 [S3bm] Training Information and Programme

Based upon step [S3an], the Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor has an approved training programme and training materials in place by this stage.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

πŸ–¨οΈ [S3b] Construction Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Construction Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Construction Stage 3b Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 3c: Commissioning 🟩

Stage 3c is about completing the tasks and activities needed for the project’s systems and equipment to be set up and operate correctly/efficiently.

🟨 [S3ca] Commissioning Documentation and Filing

As noted in the previous stage, the Commissioning Manager will manage and report on the collation, reviewing, approving, and filing of the commissioning documentation, ensuring it is updated and maintained.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3cb] Commissioning Meetings and Workshops

⬜ Meetings:

The Commissioning Meetings will be continued from the previous stage [S3bd].

The frequency of them would increase during this time in line with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly meetings.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly meetings.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly meetings.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily meetings.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

⬜ Workshops:

At this stage, the design and all control logics, etc should be approved, so there would be no real need for workshops relating to the project’s design needs.

Workshops would be held to discuss any onsite issues with the testing and commissioning works and observations.

πŸš€ Always keep in the back of your mind that any changes made to the design in these workshops could impact the OPR & BOD.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨 [S3cc] Commissioning Reporting and Progress

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the reporting is continued from the previous stage [S3be]; depending upon the number of works being completed for the commissioning tasks and activities, the reporting may be increased inline with the below table:

TypeTime Period
MonthlyLarge projects with long programme start with monthly reports.
Bi-WeeklyWhen commissioning works start to increase, move to bi-weekly reports.
WeeklyDuring Commissioning, Stages 3a & 3b would move to weekly reports.
DailyDuring Commissioning Stages 3c would conduct daily reports.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedMain/General Contractor
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨[S3cd] Testing Procedure Status

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that all commissioning testing procedures and documentation are in place to allow the onsite commissioning activities to commence.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
[I] InformedMEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations

🟨[S3ce] Onsite Functional Testing

Using the procedures written and approved in the previous commissioning stages and after the pre-functional testing is conducted, the general/main contractor will conduct all functional testing on the equipment and systems in line with the commissioning programme.

The contractors will initially complete their own β€˜self-testing’ before the client is invited to witness. This ensures that all systems are operating correctly and resources are used efficiently.

The Commissioning Manager will need to monitor and, where required, by the contract, witness these works to validate that they have been completed correctly and that no issues impact future functional testing.

All testing checks will be recorded, and documents completed, stored, and available for the operating and maintenance manuals/building operators.

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Any testing equipment or systems will have the relevant site installation, pre-functional, and testing paperwork attached for inspection. This will prove that the equipment and systems planned to test have been inspected and approved with no significant outstanding observations.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S3cf] Witnessing of Systems and Equipment

As noted above, once the general/main contractor has completed their β€˜self-testing’, and upon it being successful, they will invite the client witnessing team – usually made up of the commissioning manager, designer, facilities engineers, and client – to witness the testing proving that the equipment, systems operate in line with expectations and the approved documentation.

Once the witnessing party is confident the equipment, systems, and ancillaries operate in line with requirements, they will usually sign the testing records offered by the general/main contractor.

These testing records will need to be included in the final commissioning report proving the testing that was completed successfully and for any future reference.

Any observations should be reviewed with all parties and sometimes via a β€˜workshop’. This is to understand the observation, the fix, and if a retest will be required.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S3cg] Monitor the Commissioning Programme

Throughout this stage, the Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor is working to deliver the commissioning works in line with the overall approved commissioning programme.

The programme will be updated with a β€˜drop line’ each week to show the progress being made and highlight any areas of delay. Where these are noted, the programme will be updated, resequenced, and reissued to allow all contractors and consultants time to plan their resources.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S3ch] Issue Operating and Maintenance Manual

To ensure that the O&M manuals are accepted and approved in time for the project handover, we would look to issue the final manuals during the commissioning stage.

The process should be straightforward as they will have been issued during the previous commissioning stage and commented upon already.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3ci] Issue Draft Systems Manual

The systems manual is a document written by the general/main contractor or commissioning manager, depending on scope, and provided at handover to the building operators.

The document focuses on ‘operational requirements’ and covers how the building’s systems were designed, installed, and commissioned to allow the operator to run and efficiently run and maintain the facility over its lifetime.

The expectation would be to ensure the manual is provided early in the commissioning stage to ensure there is enough time for the project team to review and comment with the author to reissue the document before the project handover.

⚠️ The systems manual will need to be updated from this step until the final report is issued in the occupancy and operations stage 4.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
Building Operations
[I] Informed

🟨 [S3cj] Monitor and Update the Commissioning Plan

During this step, the commissioning plan will be reviewed and updated for the final time by the Commissioning Manager or, depending on scope, the general/main contractor.

This should be a quick exercise.

⚠️ Ensure that the commissioning team organigram is updated with any changes in team members.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3ck] Delivery of the Commissioning Process

As noted in the previous steps, the Commissioning Manager should ensure that the commissioning process is being delivered. To do this, they will review and inspect the works completed by the general/main contractor to ensure its inline with project requirements.

If the process is not delivered, this will be raised, as it will eventually cause issues later in the project, when the commissioning tasks and activities increase.

πŸš€ This can be monitored automatically if the commissioning meeting minutes and reports are formatted correctly.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMain/General Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedClient/Owner
Building Operations

🟨 [S3cl] Monitor and Update the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR]

Like in the previous stage [S2a, S3ab, and S3ba], as the project progresses and systems are brought online, there could be issues encountered that, to resolve the team needs to change the original design and intent.

To ensure that any modifications are noted and evaluated against the client’s needs, the Commissioning Manager should regularly review and note any changes.

If changes are observed, the OPR should then be reviewed and, where required, updated and modified to ensure it is current and issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Basis of the design document,
  • Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the CxA and overseen by the Client.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3cm] Monitor and Update the Basis of Design Document [BOD]

Like in the previous stage [S2b, S3ac, and S3ba], after any discussions that may modify the design of the systems and services or the Owners Project Requirements [OPR] within the building, the designer should review and update, where needed, the Basis of Design Document [BOD].

When completed, the document should then be issued to the project team.

πŸš€ Use the following to monitor:

  • Owners project requirements,
  • Construction drawings,
  • Commission ability reviews,
  • Issue trackers.

The timing of reviews should be planned for each week or month, depending upon the project length and information at the time.

Any development or changes should be completed by the designer and overseen by the CxA to ensure that the client/owner agrees with the revisions etc.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S3cn] Complete Building Integrated Testing

Once all site/functional testing has been conducted across all systems, there will be a requirement to complete ‘building integrated testing’.

This will usually consist of the following:

  • Electrical Integrated Testing/Black Building Test
  • Mechanical/HVAC Integrated Testing
  • Fire Systems and Life Safety Integrated Testing

πŸš€ They will be conducted using a pre-approved script, and once completed, a full report should be issued that documents all testing and outcomes.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S3co] Complete Facilities Training

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the general/main contractor conducts all necessary training in line with the pre-approved documentation and requirements to ensure that, once handed over, the building operator understands the systems, how they work, and how to operate them.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

πŸ–¨οΈ [S3c] Commissioning Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Commissioning Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Commissioning Stage 3c Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 4: Occupancy and Operations🟩

Stage, Occupancy, and Operations will be started after the project handover, running alongside the defects liability period [1 year or 2 years]. During this time, the building will usually be managed and maintained by the building operator/facilities manager.

The stage focuses on closing out the commissioning for the project, clearing defects, and finalizing any outstanding documentation/reports.

Commissioning activities completed would be:

  • Clear any remaining defects.
  • Complete seasonal testing.
  • Final training to the facilities team.
  • Update the final OPR & BOD.
  • Complete the final commissioning report.
  • Evaluate the performance of the facilities.
  • Conduct lessons learned workshops.
  • Complete systems manual.
  • Complete O&M manuals.

🟨 [S4a] Manage Contractor Call Backs

To ensure that any outstanding defects or issues are closed out relating to the commissioning works noted on the trackers and within reports, the Commissioning Manager should ensure that the general/main contractor is managing and ensure they are closed out by arranging contractors, vendors, and operatives inline with the overall building rules.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4b] Manage Seasonal Testing

Any seasonal testing [chillers, boilers, cooling towers, ahu’s, etc] that was agreed during the previous stages to be completed after handover should be conducted at a time suitable for the testing required.

All documents, method statements/strategies will have already been completed and approved by the Commissioning Manager and Client Team.

⚠️ Don’t forget the permit to work that may be needed to allow the works to commence.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4c] Final Training

The Commissioning Manager should ensure that the general/main contractor has provided all training necessary and that it is fully documented, ensuring the facility team is comfortable operating the systems and have no comments, issues, or concerns.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Client/Owner
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4d] Final Systems Manual / Building Log Book

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that throughout the process, and if there are any changes, the systems manual is fully updated, reissued, accepted, and approved by the client and building operator.

πŸ”— To see more on the format of a Building Log Book, see our article: 'BUILDING LOG BOOK | What and Why?
'

⚠️ If the continuous commissioning stage is being utilized, and changes to systems are made to tune or make them more efficient, this could affect the systems manual.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
General/Main Contractor
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4e] Final Commissioning Report

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that the commissioning final report is finalized and issued throughout the process depending upon the progress of defect clearing and any changes made.

⚠️ If the continuous commissioning stage is being utilized, and changes to systems are made to tune or make more efficient, this could affect the final commissioning report.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedBuilding Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
General/Main Contractor
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4f] Final Commissioning Documents

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that any outstanding commissioning documents from the commissioning stage of this process [3c], are completed, issued, approved, and filed in the correct locations for the use and reference by the building operators.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleGeneral/Main Contractor
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Building Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
[I] InformedArchitect
Green Building Consultant

🟨 [S4g] 10-Month Review / 2 Months Before End of DLP

2 months before the defects liability period ends, the Commissioning Manager should review the building’s operation.

The review aims to look for any operational issues relating to the building systems, controls, components, and comfort levels.

πŸš€ Use the following methods to gain the information required:

  • Use the BMS/Control Systems alarm logs/issues logs
  • Speaking to the building operator/facilities engineers to understand if there are any outstanding issues
  • Speaking to the building users to understand if any comfort issues
  • Where incorporated, a review of the building analytic systems
  • The building’s energy usage to understand if it aligns with the original expectations. Where it does not, this will be investigated.

Any items noted will be included within the Commissioning Manager’s Report, with recommendations for rectification before the end of the defects liability period by the general/main contractor.

The Commissioning Manager will ensure that all observations are closed out, and any modifications to the systems are conducted and tested with the client team.

⚠️ Any changes made could impact, requiring updates to be made to:

  • Operating and maintenance manual,
  • Training of operational engineers and building operator,
  • Systems manual / building log book,
  • Final commissioning report.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
Building Operations
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedArchitect

🟨 [S4h] Finalize Owners Project Requirement Document

The Commissioning Manager will review the OPR, adding any final updates before issuing it to the client team and including it in the final commissioning documentation filing.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S4i] Finalize Basis of Design Document

The MEP Designer, overseen by the Commissioning Manager, will review the Basis of Design Document [BOD] against the Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR] with any final updates before issuing it to the client team and including it in the final commissioning documentation filing system.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S4j] Finalize the Commissioning Plan

The Commissioning Manager will review and update the final commissioning plan, if necessary, before issuing it to the client team and including within the final commissioning documentation filing system.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S4k] Conduct Lessons Learned Workshops

Finally, lessons-learned workshops will be conducted to close the stage and commissioning works. This workshop will allow the whole construction team to come together and present the common issues noted during the project, relating to the systems’ testing, commissioning, and operation.

The Commissioning Manager will document the workshop, with a report issued to the client and building operator, allowing them to use it for future projects.

⚠️ This could be moved to earlier in the process to ensure that all participants can attend and provide input.

πŸ”— If you want to read more on Lessons Learned, see our article: LESSONS LEARNED | Tips, Best Practices & Templates

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient/Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MEP Designer
MBCx Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

πŸ–¨οΈ [S4] Occupancy and Operations Stage Commissioning Process Flow

Below is a process of the Occupancy and Operations Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Occupancy & Operations Stage 4 Flow Chart

🟩 Stage 5: Continuous Commissioning 🟩

The continuous commissioning stage starts after the project handover, running alongside the stage 4 occupancy & operations stage and defects liability period for a period that would be determined by the client/owner.

If the project is utilizing a Monitoring Based Commissioning Platform [MBCx]/fault detection and diagnostics [FDD] or Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics [AFDD] system, it will also usually be implemented at this stage.

During stage 5, the commissioning activities will be:

  • Manage any final installation requirements of the MBCx/FDD/AFDD [EMIS] systems.
  • Obtain reports from MBCx/FDD/AFDD [EMIS] systems.
  • Depending on the reports above, coordinate if remedial works or optimizations are to be completed on the building’s systems.
  • Optimize systems based upon the reports above.
  • Monitor/update of owners’ project requirements [OPR].
  • Managing the monitoring/updating of the basis of design [BOD].
  • Update final commissioning report.
  • Update systems manual.
  • Update operating and maintenance manuals

⚠️ This stage is in addition to the ASHRAE requirement and does not always form part of the process, it will depend upon the client’s requirements if it is delivered.

🟨 [S5a] Activate the Monitoring Based Commissioning System [MBCx]

As they will usually be a client-bought and managed item, the MBCx Designer and Commissioning Manager will ensure that any electronic systems are installed, commissioned, and ready to deploy.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMBCx Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
Building Operations
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedArchitect

🟨 [S5b] Monitoring Based Commissioning Reports

The CxA will download, review and manage the MBCx reports produced by the system on a weekly/monthly time frame.

They will evaluate all data, energy, performance, and any faults within the systems, then liaise with any other consultants, contractors, and the facilities department to resolve any issues.

As noted, there will be other parties involved in the process once the data has been analyzed:

  • Client
  • Facilities manager/building operator
  • Commissioning consultant
  • Designer
  • Analytics consultant [if used]
  • Contractors/vendors

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MBCx Designer
Building Operations
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedArchitect

🟨 [S5c] Remedial Works & Optimizing of Systems

As noted in step [S5b] The CxA will download, review and manage the MBCx reports produced by the system on a weekly/monthly time frame.

Once all the information and data are digested and analyzed, it may be found that some systems are not operating correctly or need to be fine-tuned and modified to gain additional operational efficiencies.

If it is noted that the issues are related to the works completed by the general/main contractor [i.e not a design issue], then it should be dealt with under the defects liability and managed under the Commissioning Process Stage 4: Occupancy and Operations.

If it is deemed that the systems are operating correctly, but if modifications are made, there will be benefits in operational costs and performance, then this should be completed outside of the defects period. i.e as a separate project.

The Commissioning Manager and Facility Manager/Building Operator should work together to ensure, if agreed, that the works are carried out, tested, and monitored.

There could be multiple parties to consider when having these conversations:

  • Commissioning manager – manage the process,
  • Facilities manager/client – agree to the changes,
  • Designer – make any changes and update the design,
  • Contractors/Vendors to evaluate and provide costings for the works [including new warrenties],
  • Facilities manager/client – agree to the costs,
  • All work to be planned and completed.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedGeneral/Main Contractor
MBCx Designer
Building Operations
MEP Designer
Project Manager
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedArchitect

🟨 [S5d] Update Owners Project Requirement Document [OPR]

The Commissioning Manager will review the OPR and add any changes and updates that may have happened during this stage before issuing it to the client team. They will then insert it into the final commissioning documentation filing.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S5e] Update Basis of Design Document [BOD]

If the OPR is modified, then there will be a need for the designer to modify the Basis of Design Document. Overseen by the Commissioning Manager and approved by the client team.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleMEP Designer
[A] AccountableCxA
[C] ConsultedClient/Owner
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S5f] Update Systems Manual

Any changes made to the systems within this stage will mean that the Systems Manual will be updated by the Commissioning Manager and approved by the client team.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S5g] Update Operating & Maintenance Manual

Like with the System Manual the O&M will need to be updated by the contractor and reviewed/approved.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix.

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

🟨 [S5h] Update Final Commissioning Report

Finally, the commissioning manager should update the Final Commissioning Report.

⬜ Responsibility Matrix

A responsibility matrix for this activity would look like the following, based upon the RACI matrix

ResponsibilityRole
[R] ResponsibleCxA
[A] AccountableClient
Owner
[C] ConsultedMEP Designer
Project Manager
Architect
Green Building Consultant
[I] InformedBuilding Operations

πŸ–¨οΈ [S5] Continuous Commissioning Stage Process Flow

Below is a process of the Continuous Commissioning Stage that can be downloaded for free at the end of this article.

Commissioning Process Continuous Stage 5 Flow Chart
Commissioning Process Stages 1-5 Infographics [PDF]

Here are our infographics in [PDF], showing the commissioning process as a step-by-step process and flow.

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