Managing commissioning, for the non-commissioning professional

Surprisingly frequently, I show up for the first time on a project and meet the owner and/or architect, who confess they know little to nothing about the commissioning process. "We need help," they explain.

The first few times I ran into this, I'd break out the Commissioning Plan, and start thumbing through it. But it didn't take long for me to realize that a thick Cx Plan was waaay too much information.

I tried a few things and eventually ended up handing them a one-page list of the main commissioning deliverables and activities - a kind of "what's next" sequential overview of the commissioning process. My list includes things like: 

  • Design reviews
  • Submittal reviews
  • Commissioning Plan
  • Site visits, including construction events/activities that prompt a Cx visit
  • Test writing
  • Field testing
  • O&M submittal review
  • Final Report
  • Systems Manual
  • Opposite Season testing
  • End-of-Warranty review
  • Commissioning meetings - listing their main purpose
  • Controls Integration meeting
  • Start-up and testing coordination meeting
  • Witnessing of start-up events
  • Other test witnessing
  • Rough schedule date next to each item above, or each group of items

The State of New York also has a short helpful guide, "Tips for Project Managers of Commissioning Providers."