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Complete Commissioning Process (Cx)

Commissioning is the systematic process of ensuring that any construction, renovation, extension, or functional renovation is delivered as per the initial design, in accordance with contract documents. Ultimately, the goal is for the owner to be certain that all systems have been systematically verified and that they are operating optimally. The process includes a set of steps that occur:

  • before design (functional and technical program),
  • during design,
  • during construction, and
  • during the 1st year of operation (at least).

Any project targeting LEED certification will require a formal commissioning process.

Far beyond the traditional approach, Commissioning provides for a planned process that includes documentation, adjustments, testing, verification, optimizing intersystem operation, coordination, training, and monitoring energy efficiency. In fact, the limitations and weaknesses of the traditional approach to construction have been obvious for some time now, especially given that stakeholders work within their own silos between which communication is inefficient and inconsistent.


Because in this process, the overall dynamics and the interests of each stakeholder (architect, engineer, construction manager, general and specialized contractors, equipment supplier, etc.) do not favour delivering projects as they were defined in the functional and technical program. This is due to the fact that no individual will take responsibility for ensuring that all equipment and systems are fully integrated and operating optimally. As a result, the responsibility primarily falls upon the owner who often does not have the budget, resources and/or skills required to carry out this work.

Without a truly integrated process, from the initial FTP phase until the final takeover by the operator, which would ensure that facilities are operating optimally, this may be expensive and present challenges for the owner as well as the entire chain of stakeholders:

  • delays in construction and transferring facilities over to the owner (late delivery = $$$);
  • increase in nonconforming work and legal disputes with professionals and contractors (legal fees = $$$; wasted time for managers = $$$);
  • equipment/machinery and systems functioning sub-optimally: operational problems, issues with comfort, unstable systems leading to premature failure, higher energy and operating costs (very long-term recurring $$$), etc.
  • lack of documentation and adequate information transfer: test results, maintenance program, operating manuals, “as-built” documentation, etc.
  • lack of adequate training for operators (who often feel powerless in the face of complex new systems).

With a commissioning process that is well planned and well executed, these inconveniences can be reduced, and perhaps even avoided, to ensure the quality of the facilities that are delivered and budgetary compliance.

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