SMI Commissioning & Consulting believes the keys to successfully completing a project within budget are communication and promoting a team environment. Commissioning serves as a catalyst for communication by clarifying design, installation, & operational issues and also provides a route for direct communication between owners, architects, engineers, contractors and facilities staff. A non-adversarial team environment encourages all members to find and resolve issues earlier in the project which positively effects scope & budget management. We actively work with the contractors to coordinate installation, power and startup dates that support both commissioning activities and substantial completion and continuously update our Commissioning Schedule to reflect changes in the project. We can proudly say that our commissioning activities are completed on time because of our detailed Commissioning Schedules.
Commissioning is a team effort. All participants, from architect and engineers to contractors are working to provide the Owner with a building that meets or exceeds expectations. As Commissioning Authority, we act as the link for information between the key participants. Throughout the project we remain close to the Owner, Architect, Engineers, Construction Manager, and construction teams to maintain a cooperative, non-adversarial team environment for identifying responsibilities, issues and developing solutions.
We look out for the interests of the Owner and A&E team, as well as the Contractors in order to prevent costly mistakes before they are implemented and recommend solutions to issues as they arise. Early detection of issues is key to reducing additional costs associated with expensive change orders.
Integration and Efficiency
Integrating our commissioning activities with the construction process by overlapping tasks, when possible, keeps the commissioning timeline to a minimum. For appropriate systems and elements, we share responsibility for testing and documenting with the Contractor. Redundancy is minimized by ensuring the Contractor is using detailed construction installation, start up and checkout forms. We work closely with the Contractor in scheduling activities and suggest creative approaches for sequencing the later phases of the project so that efficient testing, with minimized retesting can be accomplished.
Our approach is to test each commissioned system through each mode of operation. We test system responses, DDC loop stability and reaction times by simulating acute but plausible series of events. We find these tests to be very useful in evaluating the system component reliability and the Controls Contractor’s approach to loop tuning. If we find areas of concern, we check into other systems until we are confident that the systems have been properly tuned and respond efficiently to both expected and unexpected series of system events. Some systems may require additional testing; such as, systems with higher problem rates from past experiences, and systems that cause significant operational, life safety, or comfort concerns when not functioning properly. We emphasize the testing phase since issues not found during construction are very expensive to correct.
We utilize detailed Issues Logs and Site Activity Reports and regularly update them to record progress or lack of progress on each update. We highlight unresolved issues affecting the project schedule or performance objectives so issue resolution is not delayed, thus preventing additional increases to the cost of the project. We aid in finding solutions to issues and make recommendations to improve overall building performance.