A Building Owner’s Guide to Construction Commissioning:
Overcoming Commissioning Complexity with Facility Grid
Over the years, construction commissioning has been steadily expanding in scope and complexity, as new standards, regulations, and technologies are introduced to buildings. Mounting sustainability concerns lead to new, more rigorous energy efficiency standards, while technological innovations lead to new and more sophisticated building systems. With each of these developments, the overall role and significance of construction commissioning (Cx) continue to grow. For commissioning providers, contractors, and owners alike, understanding the commissioning process has never been more important. Today, the commissioning process is an integral part of any construction project that requires the active engagement and collaboration of every member of the project team.
Thankfully, for practically every challenge that the construction commissioning process presents, Facility Grid has a tool, feature, or functionality that can help. Regardless of one’s role within the construction and commissioning ecosystem, Facility Grid provides useful information and insights via a streamlined, user-friendly interface. Facility Grid helps eliminate the barriers to communication that typically separate project stakeholders, instead offering a shared, up-to-the-minute depiction of where the project stands, and what needs to be done.
1. Manage Multiple Projects at Different Stages of Development With a Single Interface
Building owners often find themselves in the midst of multiple construction projects at once, often involving different teams of commissioning providers and contractors. Keeping track of all the moving parts on a single commissioning project can be challenging enough as it is. Balancing multiple projects at once can easily devolve into a quagmire of disparate data, documents, and tasks. With Facility Grid, owners can bring all their ongoing projects together under a single, streamlined interface. This not only allows for improved oversight, but also simplifies communications, documentation, project management, and more — regardless of how many projects and parties are involved.
2. Get Self-Service Insight into Projects’ Status and Progress
Traditionally, the only way owners could access insights into their ongoing commissioning projects has been through direct requests and inquiries to providers and contractors. This often leads to bottlenecks and delays, as owners are left issuing requests on an ad-hoc basis and hoping that they’ll get the information they need in a timely manner. With Facility Grid, stakeholders can obtain insights by simply logging onto the app and navigating to the relevant page, tab, or file to access whatever information they need. The information is updated in real-time and has the additional benefit of being provided in context. For example, if a commissioning provider performs a test on an Emergency Power Distribution system and enters the results into Facility Grid, all other stakeholders with access to that project will be able to see those results immediately, and have access to the additional context of previous test results for the same system and any associated equipment. With Facility Grid, users can easily access and visualize a project’s history, a timeline of significant events, various interdependencies, plus the complete commissioning schedule. This gives project stakeholders a more complete understanding of the project’s status and trajectory, and gives access to the insights needed for more effective decision-making.
3. Gain Access to the Commissioning Process
Historically, owners have been left largely at the periphery of commissioning processes, with limited access to information and no single, straightforward means of engaging with and managing teams. With Facility Grid, owners are finally able to access and engage with the commissioning process on their own terms. Access to projects can be granted to various stakeholders to facilitate collaboration and ensure a shared understanding and vision of the project. Owners can also manage a wide variety of tasks through the “Closeout Tracker” tab, which displays various metrics detailing the status and progress of different assets and activities – in addition to any associated deliverables and deficiencies. This helpful breakdown lets owners quickly survey all open issues across a project, to readily determine where progress is being made and what matters need to be addressed. Alternatively, owners can also monitor the ratio between open and closed tasks, to ensure the trajectory of the project is on target for completion.
4. Make Collaboration Effortless and Intuitive with Universal Commissioning Visibility
Consider the following all-too frequent occurrence: At some point in a project’s development, the owner changes their mind about the intended function of a room or space, which in turn necessitates changes be made to how an HVAC system in that area is meant to operate (sequence operation). The design engineer implements the necessary changes and informs the construction team. But, when the commissioning engineer arrives to perform a functional test on that system, they find that it isn’t operating in line with the test script based on the original sequence operation submission. This simple breakdown in the chain of information exchange, when scaled across an entire project – or even multiple projects – can lead to a cascade of delays affecting the entire Cx process. With Facility Grid, these types of complications become far less common, as project teams are able to collaborate and share information easily and in real time. With every project participant making decisions based on a single, shared version of reality, miscommunications and misunderstandings become relative rarities.
5. Ensure Reporting is Complete, Accurate, and Tailored to Each Commissioning Project
Reporting and documentation are essential to every construction commissioning project. However, these deliverables are often time-consuming and tedious to collect and prepare for turnover. Facility Grid not only makes the process of developing project documents and reports easier, it also helps to ensure their accuracy and completeness. Facility Grid includes a comprehensive collection of easy-to-use templates addressing various industry requirements, including those mandated by ASHRAE and LEED. What’s more, Facility Grid offers robust customization tools for tailoring reports to each unique commissioning project, including status reports, weekly issue logs, and more. In addition to a Final Commissioning Report, Facility Grid also enables users to develop a Systems Manual for each building. That way, building managers can be given all the information they need to successfully maintain and operate every system and piece of equipment immediately upon turnover.
In Construction Commissioning, What’s Easier for One is Easier for All
In response to the increasingly complex and demanding commissioning environment, purpose-built software solutions such as Facility Grid have become indispensable tools for Cx success. With its intuitive interface and cloud-based architecture, Facility Grid gives Cx providers , contractors, and owners a single, comprehensive platform to work together toward shared goals with shared vision. This collaborative framework makes the commissioning process infinitely more transparent, efficient, and effective – not just for owners, but for everyone involved.