Your Ready-Made Commissioning Construction Checklist

As a building owner or manager, you’ll understand how critical it is to have an efficient and properly-functioning building. This is where building commissioning comes in.

The building commissioning process ensures that all the systems, equipment, and components in a building are installed and operating correctly.

In this article, we discuss commissioning a building, providing an overarching building commissioning checklist that you can use to make certain that your building is commissioned effectively to meet your needs and requirements of it.

What is building commissioning?

Building commissioning is a comprehensive process, typically divided into four phases.

Each of the phases has unique activities and deliverables associated with it. All are crucial to ensure that the building is fully functional and operating at optimal performance.

Here’s an overview of each of the phases.

Phase 1: Pre-design

The first step in commissioning construction is the phase at which the commissioning team is established, and the project goals and requirements are identified. It is also during this phase that a commissioning plan is developed. This outlines the scope of the commissioning process, including the systems to be commissioned, the team responsible for commissioning, and the commissioning schedule.

Items to include on your building commissioning checklist:

  • Project goals and requirements

  • Establish a commissioning team

  • Develop a building commissioning plan

  • Create a commissioning schedule

Phase 2: Design phase

During the design phase, the commissioning team will be responsible for reviewing the design documents and developing commissioning specifications and checklists. The specifications should outline all performance requirements for all systems, components, and equipment in the building. The commissioning checklist will provide a list of all activities that must be undertaken during construction.

Items to include on your building commissioning checklist:

  • Review of design documents

  • Develop commissioning specifications

  • Finalize the commission checklist to include all activities required

Phase 3: Construction phase

During this stage, the commissioning team’s duties include conducting pre-functional testing. This will ensure that equipment has been correctly installed. They should also check that installed equipment is functioning to confirm that all systems are working as intended. Issues that arise should be addressed in a timely fashion to ensure that the building can be completed within the time constraints of the project.

Items to include on your building commissioning checklist:

  • Verification of correct installation of all equipment and systems

  • Testing of system and equipment functionality

  • Issues identified

  • Corrective measures to be taken

Phase 4: Acceptance phase

The final phase in the building commissioning process is acceptance, which includes hand-over and occupancy. During this phase, the commissioning team will conduct final walkthroughs with the client/owner and provide systems and equipment training as necessary. The commissioning team should also provide ongoing support to ensure that the building operates at optimal performance after hand-over.

Items to include on your building commissioning checklist:

  • Conduct final testing of systems and equipment

  • Conduct walkthroughs with the client/owner

  • Draw up an equipment and systems training plan with the client/owner

  • Deliver training on systems and equipment

  • Create an ongoing support schedule

  • Create a final commissioning report

Commissioning documentation

As you can see, the commissioning team is responsible for drawing up various documentation throughout the process of construction commissioning. These documents include the commissioning plan, commissioning specifications, commissioning checklists, and the final commissioning report. 

This documentation is critical. It helps to keep commissioning on track, provides an audit trail of all activities involved throughout the commissioning process, and can be used as learning aid after the project has been completed.

However, because of the constraints of this blog, we have only provided a brief overview of the documentation needed for successful commissioning. It should also be noted that the exact documentation will be determined by the uniqueness of the project. Documentation that may be required includes:

  • Initiation documentation (detailing roles and responsibilities)

  • Procedures and contracts

  • Project requirements

  • Commissioning plan

  • Design documentation

  • Submittal review

  • System and equipment verification

  • Functional performance requirements and testing records

  • Issues and resolutions log

  • Systems and equipment manuals

  • Training manual

  • Commissioning report

Improve Project Delivery with an Effective Building Commissioning Process

Building commissioning is a critical process. It ensures that a building is operating at optimal performance. The steps that we have outlined in this article will help to ensure a building is functioning efficiently, reducing energy consumption and waste, and cutting ongoing maintenance and repair costs. It will also help to deliver a building that is safe and comfortable for its occupants.

Building commissioning is an investment that pays off in the long term. Whether managing a new construction or an existing building, building commissioning is crucial to a successful overall construction project management strategy.

At ACB Consulting, we are committed to helping improve the communities in which we live, work, and play – including how they are conceived, designed, and created. To leverage our experience in successful construction project management, contact ACB Consulting.

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