HOW TO WRITE | A Method Statement with download

January 1, 2023 |

Testing Method Statement Definition.

A Testing and Commissioning Method Statement is a written document that details clear and concise steps, for completing a particular element of work. The document should cover:

  • Introduction
  • Reference Data
  • Equipment / Instruments Used
  • System Testing Information
  • Tolerances
  • Method of Testing
  • Testing Certificates
  • Drawings

Objective

To allow the testing and commissioning to be conducted and verified within the Construction / Commissioning Process, there will be a requirement to write an issue for review Testing and Commissioning Method Statements / Testing Procedures that cover all equipment and systems.

The documents are required to be issued and reviewed to ensure that the equipment and systems they refer and are written for are set up, tested, commissioned, verified, and documented in line with the Owners Project Requirements [OPR], Basis of Design [BOD] and manufacturers needs (to ensure the warranty is not affected).

Responsibilities & Process

The process of writing, issuing, and reviewing the documents will involve the technical teams associated with the Mechanical [HVAC], Electrical, Plumbing/Drainage + Fire Systems:

  • Vendors / Sub Contractors
  • General Contractor / Main Contractor
  • Commissioning Manager [Contractor Side & Client Side]
  • MEP&F Designer [Contractor Side & Client Side]
  • Client

Step 1 – Evaluation of Information

Before starting to write any method statement, a full analysis of the project information should be completed so that the full requirements are understood. This will cover reviewing:

  • Specifications
  • Drawings/Schedules
  • Control Logics [where applicable]
  • Material/Technical Submissions
  • Codes/Guides/Standards

Specifications

There will be a few different specifications we will need to have access to and review.

General MEP Designer Specification

This document will usually contain not a lot of useful info for what we need but will have to be reviewed to understand if there is anything tucked away relating to the Testing and Commissioning requirements of the Systems/Equipment that is being written for.

Just do a quick scan for any phrases relating to Testing or Commissioning etc.

Make a note of anything that stands out, that could affect the outcome of the document.

Specific MEP Designer Specification

The Specific MEP specifications will usually be split into the type and contain more specific detail for the project requirements.

  • BMS [bms]
  • Electrical [ee, elec]
  • Extra Low Voltage [elv]
  • Fire & Life Safety [fs, lss]
  • Mechanical [mvac, mech, hvac]
  • Plumbing and Drainage [pd]

These should be properly read, reviewed, and understood for any reference to testing and commissioning of the systems or equipment writing the testing procedure on.

They should also provide additional details and information relating to the Codes/Guides and Standards that are expected to be adhered to.

At this point make notes of the following:

  • Note the Specification Numbers [these will be used later in the Reference Data requirement]
  • Section and Item/page number of specifications that mention any requirements [this will be used later in the Reference Data requirement].
  • List of Codes/Guides and Standards, example in the link, that should be referred to specific to the works and any tolerances that need to be adhered to. [these will be used later in the method statement].
  • Requirements that could conflict with any other conditions. For example, the Commissioning Plan and Commissioning Specification written by the Commissioning Management Company representing the Client could include different requirements than the MEP Specifications, all items should be noted, discussed, and agreed upon with the client team.

Commissioning Plan / Commissioning Specification

The commissioning plan and specification will usually be written by the commissioning consultant.

If you would like to understand more about the Commisisoning Plan, we have written two documents, WHAT IS A COMMISSIONING PLAN / Cx PLAN and COMMISSIONING PLAN TEMPLATE

If a commissioning plan [insert link] / commissioning specification [insert link] have been written, they should be reviewed noting similar items to the MEP Designer Specification reviews:

  • Note the Commissioning Plan / Commissioning Specification number [this will be used later in the Reference Data requirement]
  • Section and Item/page number of specifications that mention any requirements [this will be used later in the Reference Data requirement].
  • List of Codes/Guides and Standards that should be referred to specific to the works and any tolerances that need to be adhered to. [these will be used later in the method statement].
  • Requirements that could conflict with any other conditions. For example, the Commissioning Plan and Commissioning Specification written by the Commissioning Management Company representing the Client could include different requirements than the MEP Specifications, all items should be noted, discussed, and agreed upon with the client team.

Codes/Guides/Standards/Regulations

From the above review of the specifications, an understanding of what codes, guides, standards, and regulations are to be referenced and used should now be had.

The author will need full access to these documents and complete an in-depth review, making notes as needed for inclusion in the Testing Procedure.

For examples of what codes, guides and standards see the article, COMMISSIONING CODES, GUIDES & STANDARDS

Drawings / Schedules

To allow a review of the drawings and schedules, ideally, they should be under Construction Stage with a review Status of ‘A / Approved’ or ‘B / Reviewed with Comments’. If are Status ‘C’ then they can be used with extreme caution. Evaluate the impacts from those comments, and if seems they will not impact the testing then carry on, if they will then stop the process until they are of an adequate status.

The types of drawings that would be needed for review would be:

  • General Plans / Layouts of the Systems – will show details of the systems within a floor plan of the building/project.
  • Schematics of the Systems – will show a single line overview of a complete system across the whole building/project.
  • Plant Schedules – will show detailed design information on the plant and equipment specific to the project.
  • Manufacturers’ drawings – will show detailed drawing information on the equipment.
  • Control Logics – review to understand if there are any controls associated with the systems and equipment, how they work, and any interactions with other systems
  • Wiring Diagrams
  • BMS Points List

Review the drawings making note of any special observations such as

  • Note the drawing/schedule numbers where the systems/equipment appear across the project [this will be used later in the Reference Data requirement]
  • The design and layouts of the systems
  • Locations of equipment [floor, rooms]
  • Integrations with other systems [controls, power, drainage, fire, BMS, etc]

Material/Technical Submissions

Material Submissions [or Technical Submissions] are issued by the contractor team for approval to detail the systems, equipment, and items that will be purchased, installed, and commissioned on a project.

To allow a review of the documents, ideally, they should be at a review Status of ‘A/Approved’ or ‘B/Reviewed with Comments’. If are Status ‘C’ then they should not be used, stop the process until they are of an adequate status.

We must review these documents as contain specific detailed information relating to the individual items.

Review the submissions making note of any special observations such as

  • Note the Submission number [this will be used later in the Reference Data requirement]
  • Any special commissioning requirements from the manufacturer in addition to the project requirements.
  • Specific settings.

Step 2 – Writing the Method Statement

So, once we have obtained all the information we can then start to write and format the document.

Below details a format that can be used, which has been seen across multiple projects. Feel free to tweak it if needed, to suit your own requirements.

The best format is a standard one that can be used across multiple method statements, if not all method statements. The benefit of this is that they will look consistent, the engineers and operatives are used to the format and will make a lot quicker to write and produce for each project.

Front Cover

The front cover is pretty self-explaining. It should include the following information:

  • Company Logo
  • Project Name
  • Project Number
  • Title of the Method Statement (what it covers)
  • Document Number
  • Document Revision (A, B, C, etc).

Document Revision Register

This page will be used to list all revisions of the document:

  • Revision Number
  • Revision Date
  • Author Name
  • Notes/any description of changes

It would also be helpful to the person reviewing any revised documents that the revised areas are highlighted/colored so can see the changes etc.

Index

Contents page or index of the contents of the document.

Introduction

The introduction will be a high-level overview of what the document is about, how it will be reviewed, and the expected status before testing is completed.

Below provides an example:

“This commissioning testing document has been written to describe how we will be completing the pressure testing of the MVAC Pipework consisting of Condenser Water / Chilled Water, in line with the project specifications.

It is a project requirement that this document be fully reviewed, accepted, and signed off by the client team/representatives before any testing takes place.

This document will focus purely upon how the testing will be completed from a technical point of view. The document is separate from any strategies that may be required to facilitate potential live environments.

All strategies will be covered under additional documentation that will be submitted, later once full agreements have been made on the processes and procedures.”

Competency of Engineers

For the majority of testing, there should be a requirement that the Engineers and Operatives are experienced and qualified to complete the works. Particular attention should be paid to:

  • Electrical Works
  • Authorized Persons [usually relating to Lock Off Procedures]
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Gases
  • Refrigerant
  • TAB [Test, Adjust, Balance]
  • Health and Safety

At the point of writing the document, you will probably not know the persons conducting the works, therefore a short statement can be included:

“This work will be undertaken by suitably trained personnel, including safety training, manufacturer training, and any local government requirements to comply with the laws of the country/region”.

Permit to Work System

On all projects, there will be a permit-to-work system in place for a lot of the testing and commissioning activities. This process is usually dictated and managed by a separate team [permit to work team].

Where one is in place, the requirements should be fully adhered to, but again at the stage of writing it may not know what the process and procedures are.

A short statement can be included:

“Before any testing and commissioning take place, a review of safety requirements shall be completed by the engineering team to determine if any permit to work systems should be in place and how these are dealt with.

Where they are in place, and if affects this element of works; it is expected that all staff / direct personnel, indirect contractors, and suppliers will adhere to all requirements at the time of testing.

This method statement should be amended if any substantial changes to the works are required.

Programme

Some commissioning managers like to include all the programme dates, but usually, it is a time-wasting exercise as the testing rarely happens all at once, or on the dates noted.

With this in mind, we would just include a statement:

“The testing will generally commence and be sequenced in line with the project programme and at a point where the installation allows. Please refer to the latest project programme for dates if required”.

System Installation Sign Off

The System Installation Sign Off is a statement that should be included to ensure that, before any testing taking place all installations have been fully inspected by the appropriate team. Usually the Resident Engineer or Defects and Snagging Team.

The statement would be:

The relevant installation sign-off certificate should be shown to the commissioning party for visual inspection before testing takes place.”

Note - The items above would be considered pretty standard information and statements, that would be included within most of the method statements that are created for a project.

The next sections will detail more specific information and requirements related to the different testing that will be needed and covered under various method statements.

The reason for splitting the above area from the below area is to make the testing on-site easier, and consolidation of the final testing and commissioning documents [insert link] more efficient, and if using a paper-based system, less use of paper, which is a win-win for the trees.

We would generally remove the need to include the above in the final testing documents but keep the below sections.

On some projects, this could result in saving hundreds of sheets of paper and time managing them.

If you want to see an example of a functional testing procedure that we have written based around this layout, see PUMP COMMISSIONING AND ALIGNMENT

General

At this point in the document, we would usually create a new section, to separate the above from the below.

We would tabulate information, that would generally be completed at the testing, such as:

  • Project Name
  • Location Floor of where testing has been conducted
  • Start Date
  • Start Time
  • Finish Date
  • Finish Time

Reference Data

The Reference Data Section should detail what information has been reviewed to write the document. It will provide the reviewer with confidence that the method statement contains specific information relating to the testing required.

Information that should be referenced [as noted in the previous section]:

  • General Designer Specifications [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Particular Designer Specifications [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Commissioning Plan [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Commissioning Specification [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Codes/Guides/Standards and Regulations [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Drawings/Schematics [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]
  • Material/Technical Submissions [Document Number, Page, Section, Item]

Equipment/Instrumentation

Provide information on all equipment, instruments, tools, and accessories that will be used during the testing.

Would be in a table format and include:

  • Type of equipment / instrument / tools and accessories. Completed at the time of writing. [pressure gauge, multimeter, handheld thermometer, torque wrench, tarpaulin, buckets, etc]
  • Model of equipment/instruments used. Completed at the time of writing.
  • Serial Number of equipment/instruments used. Leave column to be completed at testing.
  • Expiration of Calibration Certificate. Leave column to be completed at testing.

General Pre-Requisites

The general pre-requisites will include a list of all items that will need to be completed before allowing the testing works to commence. These would cover:

  • Delivery inspection sheets
  • Installation inspection sheets
  • Documentation requirements
  • Testing pre-checks of installations etc
  • Commissioning works that are required to be completed before allowing the testing works to commence [i.e Pressure Testing before pipework cleaning, before water balancing, etc].

System Testing Information

System Testing information should be included to allow the Operatives and Engineers completing the works to understand requirements such as:

  • Operating System Pressures
  • Flow Rates through valves/dampers and equipment
  • Control Expectations
  • Electrical Supplies [if dual fed] to equipment
  • Room Condition requirements
  • Lux Levels
  • etc…

Testing Tolerances

For the majority of testing, there will be a requirement to adhere to and be within certain parameters/tolerances.

These will usually be detailed in the project specifications, codes, guides, standards, and regulations.

Create a table that details the following items:

  • Type of Tolerance.
  • Reference of Document where tolerance is quoted from [BSRIA, CIBSE, NFPA, etc] includes the page, section, item, etc.
  • What the tolerance/specification/time period is for the particular testing.

Method Of Testing

The method of testing will cover all steps related to completing the testing and commissioning methodically, logically, and in the correct sequence.

When writing this section, keep in mind the Engineers and Operatives who will be conducting the testing.

The steps should be clear. If needing to refer to certain parts of the procedure direct them, and where information is to be completed, provide enough space to write the data.

At the bottom of each page include a box that allows signatures from the persons doing the testing and witnessing for recording.

Testing Certificate

The certificate would be used to capture the testing information that is relevant to the works being completed. All information that is to be recorded should be detailed and enough space provided for the clear input of data.

At the bottom of each page include a box that allows signatures from the persons doing the testing and witnessing for recording

Marked Up Drawings

A set of fully marked-up drawings should be attached in an appendix, showing the systems and equipment that the document refers to.

A3 is better than A4 as is usually clearer to read.

Issuing of Method Statement

Once everything is complete, the document will need to be issued for comments/approval to the client team.

The process is quite straightforward…

Firstly, understand if there is a requirement for a separate document cover sheet [click on the link] to be attached to the document. If is, complete this with the relevant details and information.

After, issue the document to the client team, usually will include the Commissioning Manager, MEP Designer.

Finally, log the information in the Document tracking register, this will usually be an internal document used for reporting and tracking of progress [add link]

Approving of Method Statement

Once issued the document will be reviewed, approved, and commented upon, by the client team as noted above.

When all reviews have been completed the Method Statement will be given a Status.

For understanding of the different status's click What Does STATUS A, B, C & D Mean

Depending upon the status it may be required to update and reissue.

Usually projects will allow works to proceed on a Status B, but for the inclusion of the Testing Procedure within the Operating and Maintenance Manuals a Status A should be provided.


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