In the world of design and construction, “commissioning” can be a bit nebulous. Some people confuse it with quality assurance or control—and it is partly that. But commissioning is more about validating the built environment and that it was installed and functions as designed.
In a nut shell, commissioning is the process of verifying that the function of a facility meets the design requirements. Govan Brown’s project teams define project requirements and work hand-in-hand with our clients’ independent commissioning agents throughout the project lifecycle.
Commissioning starts in pre-design, continues through construction, start-up, and systems testing, and culminates during the occupancy phase of a project.
During the design and early construction phases:
- Identify long-lead items
- Purchase the equipment that best matches our client’s plan
- Use our global purchasing strength to buy equipment that fits within our budget and project schedule while still meeting the client’s needs
- At Level 1, factory witness test equipment
- At Level 2, verify equipment when it’s delivered to ensure there is no damage
- At Level 3, start up equipment and document all start-up procedures
- At Level 4, conduct functional testing of each piece of equipment and its components
- At Level 5, conduct integrated systems testing (IST) with the owner or their team members, documenting that all equipment and systems work seamlessly together
- Host on-site end-user and operator training
- Show facility managers how systems are installed and where major components are located
- Familiarize operations staff with the nuances of the equipment that will require long-term service
- Provide as-builts so that building operations can continue to operate with accurate information
In an ideal world, our team is involved in the commissioning process right from the start. We are intimately familiar with the design, responsible for the subcontractors, and facilitate progress every step of the way. If the commissioning process uncovers an issue—we’re there to help resolve it.