Our approach to commissioning

The generally accepted definition of "building commissioning" is the process of ensuring that building systems are designed, installed, functionally tested and capable of being operated and maintained according to the owner's operational needs. While this approach addresses the basic elements of traditional commissioning, it falls short of defining the holistic approach to commissioning advocated by Syska Hennessy Group.

In the delivery of a large and complex facility, multiple factors of varying weight bear on the decisions surrounding criteria development. The most commonly recognized of these within the engineering community are cost and schedule. A multitude of other, often competing factors however, also bear on criteria formulation.

It is the goal of Syska Hennessy Group's holistic commissioning approach to ensure that all the essential factors and expectations are adequately addressed and properly translated into facility criteria which can be understood and properly applied to design and then contract documents to enable the delivery of a facility which will meet or exceed those expectations. Syska Hennessy Group can then develop processes to check and validate the incorporation of those expectations into the contract documents and ultimately the constructed facility.

In this case, the basic objectives of any commissioning process are:

  • Ensure that the client's expectations have been properly of interpreted and incorporated into the Basis of Design and subsequently the Contract Documents.
    Ensure that systems are designed and installed to meet the client's expectations as defined in the Basis of Design and Contract Documents.
  • Ensure LEED Requirements are properly interpreted and incorporated into the project documents.
  • Ensure that equipment and systems are installed properly and receive adequate operational startup checkout by installing contractors.
  • Ensure that installed equipment and systems are properly balanced, calibrated, and coordinated.
  • Verify and document proper performance of equipment both as functional individual equipment and as integrated system.
  • Ensure that the Owner is properly empowered to maintain and sustain the performance of the facility.
  • Operations, Maintenance and "As-Built" documentation is clear and complete.
  • Ensure that the Owner's operating personnel are adequately trained.
  • Ensure that the site can be properly and efficiently maintained within established O&M Budget.
  • Validate that facility performance meets or exceeds target levels defined in the design criteria and documentation.

There are various commissioning guidelines and standards prevalent throughout the building design and construction industry. Syska Hennessy Group's commissioning philosophy is that these industry standards can be adhered to in conjunction with a more client-oriented  process to ensure that not only do we meet the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) but that we also investigate and incorporate as appropriate all the latest innovative best practices and industry accepted innovations to ensure the most state-of-the-art facility possible in an ever evolving business climate.  To do this, Syska Hennessy Group takes a holistic approach to Commissioning, which involves all the phases of a facility's life cycle.


White Papers

Commissioning Critical Facilities
An important factor in achieving a reliable 7x24 facility is an infrastructure Commissioning Process: a systematic process ensuring that infrastructure systems perform as per design and planning intent. Current industry practices, often shaped by the vendor-contractor perspective, means the Equipment Start-Up Process can be insufficient to detect latent failures and prevent costly operational incidents. This white paper offers a comprehensive explanation of Commissioning phases, levels of testing and benefits; and a sample protocol for optimum system Commissioning.
Order this free white paper »

News Articles

Training is Often Missing in Critical Planning
Today's Facility Manager - Oct 08, 2014
Jim Szel's article in Today's Facility Manager magazine describes optimal staffing, training and assessment practices for mission critical facility management.

Problems Found In The Field: How Retrocommissioning Can Solve Them
Engineered Systems - Feb 01, 2014
In the last few years, major cities throughout the country have passed new energy code requirements mandating that commercial buildings perform regular retro-commissioning audits.

An Rx for Cx (Commissioning) (PDF, 870 KB)
Medical Construction & Design - Jul 16, 2012
The healthcare Cx process is the Rx for better quality of care in that it focuses team efforts on the verification of systems performance to prevent failures that can compromise the patient environment. Read about best practices for the healthcare environment in this article. (Turn to page 46.)

How Should I Grow My Data Center (PDF, 253 KB)
7x24Newslink - Nov 10, 2011
Knowledgeable data center owners and operators have learned, to their regret, over many years that building too much or too little data center critical IT load capacity (simply called capacity in this article) at one time often causes major problems. This article examines the typical problems encountered, proposes a strategy for rational growth, and illustrates an example of how to implement the strategy.

Critical Facilities: Data Center Security (Parts 1-4) (PDF, 856 KB)
Data Center Journal - Nov 08, 2011
What Drives the Data Center? A holistic approach to protecting the mission critical environment.

Making Sure you get your money’s worth in the Commissioning Process
Today's Facility Manager - Mar 28, 2011
How do you know if the commissioning is being done correctly? What guidelines can be built into the process to maintain the right checks and balances? The answers lie in a greater understanding of the commissioning process itself. More than just testing systems and securing energy efficiencies, commissioning is the holistic process of assuring full reliability and functionality throughout building systems and equipment and beyond baseline LEED commissioning.

Part 1: Commissioning: From Optional to Mainstream article
Today's Facility Manager - Feb 28, 2011
Current business financial pressures and uptime demands have created an environment where owners can no longer afford for a building to go through its classic phases of design and construction and then progress through a “teething” stage to become fully functional. Instead, owners must be sure that their complex systems and infrastructure are performing as designed on day one.