The purpose of commissioning (Cx) documentation is to serve as the historical record of the "what, why and how" of key deliver team discussions throughout the planning and delivery process. Commissioning documents the establishment of standards of performance for building systems, and verifies that designed and constructed work meets those standards. Commissioning is a team effort to document the continuity of the project as it moves from one project phase to the next.
In the planning and development phase of a project, the owner's project requirements (OPR) document is developed. When the entire project delivery process is documented in a consistent manner, an historical perspective is created that explains the iterative process of determining the agreed-to project requirements at each step of the development process.
Commissioning documentation becomes the roadmap for the success criteria to be met by facilities that are put into service.
A post-occupancy, commissioning documentation becomes the benchmark to ensure that the building can be maintained.
This page provides information on common commissioning documentation deliverables and resources related to commissioning specific systems and assemblies.
Cobeal incorporates ASHRAE's 202 Documentation Matrix as a Standard by which commissioning projects are benchmarked.
Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) - The OPR is the most important document between the owner and Cobeal, the Commissioning Provider (CxP). The document ensures the commissioning process meets the owner's goals. The OPR defines the expectations, goals, benchmarks and success criteria for the project. The OPR must be developed by the owner; while Cobeal may be tasked with assisting the Owner's team in development of this document. Cobeal typically assists the owner in identifying the facility's requirements regarding such issues as energy efficiency, indoor environment, staffing training and operation and maintenance. An effective OPR incorporates input during the pre-design phase in the project from the owner, design team, operation and maintenance staff and end users of the building and is updated throughout the project.
Basis of Design (BOD) - The BOD is a narrative and analytical documentation prepared by the design architect/engineer along with design submissions to explain how the OPR is met by the proposed design. It describes the technical approach used for systems selections, integration, and sequence of operations, focusing on design features critical to overall building performance. An OPR is developed for an owner/user audience while the BOD is typically developed by the design team in more technical terms. Cobeal will review the BOD for compliance with the OPR and provide comments to the design team.
Commissioning Plan - The initial commissioning plan should be assembled at the pre-design phase and include both the design and construction activities. The Cx Plan outlines the scope of the commissioning activities along with responsibilities, schedules and procedures. It is updated throughout the project.
Commissioning Specifications - The specification sections are developed by the design team with assistance of Cobeal to convey the commissioning process and contractor responsibilities to the construction team. Each commissioned system should have a commissioning specification section.
Design Review Comments - Cobeal provides comments on the design to verify that the OPR and BOD are met relative to facilitating the commissioning process. In particular, the reviews confirm that there are adequate access points, test ports, and control features. Reviews also verify that energy efficiency, operation, control sequences, maintenance, training and O&M documentation requirements are consistent with the OPR and BOD. A commissioning review of the design is not the same as a technical Peer Review. The commissioning review is intended to review aspects of the design that on one else typically reviews.
Certification Documentation - Owners sometimes require their facilities to achieve building performance rating certifications. When such performance certifications are required as part of a design or construction contract, they become critical to an owner's project expectations and may be included as commissionable elements.
Submittal Review Comments - Concurrent with the design team and owner review, designated commissioning team members review products and systems submittals for compliance with the OPR. Special attention should be given to vagueness, substitutions and proposed deviations from the contract documents and BOD documentation. Submittal review comments on commissioned systems will often generate issues for coordination between integrated systems, equipment, and technologies. Approval of submittals typically remains with the design team. The Cx review should also be utilized to prepare functional testing documents.
Inspection Reports - Commissioning Inspection Reports should be prepared regularly to document progress of the work commissioned building systems. These reports will normally produce functional issues, integration issues or operational issues that are then captured in Issues Logs for discussion and clarification of performance expectations, integration issues, or operational issues. The construction delivery team (and owner's representative / Construction Manager, if applicable) will also prepare inspection reports pertaining to all building systems and components.
Test Data Reports - Test data reports contain results of the testing and inspection / observation reports, functional and performance test (FPT) reports, performance testing and other test results specified for the commissioned systems.
Issue and Resolution Logs and Reports - Issues and resolution logs and reports are a formal and ongoing record of problems or concerns - and their resolutions - that have been raised by members of the commissioning team during the course of the commissioning process. Issues logs should be included in commissioning reports because, along with meeting minutes, design review comments and inspection reports, they explain the thought sequence and rationale for key decisions in the commissioning process. The issues log should be formatted to facilitate the documenting, tracking and resolution of commissioning related issues. Issues logs typically contain at a minimum a detailed description of the issue, date identified, party responsible for corrections, issuing agent and completion status. All findings are documented and distributed as they occur. It is the responsibility of the owner to review and approve all issue resolution decisions.
Systems Manuals - The systems manual provides the information needed to understand and properly operate the building systems and assemblies. It should be understandable to people unfamiliar with the project. Cobeal delivers the systems manual to the owner in electronic indexed (bookmarked) and hyper-linked format that can be updated throughout the life of the building. ASHRAE Standard 202 and Guideline-0 recommend that O&M manuals, submittals, as-built drawings, specifications, certifications, training documents and commissioning documentation be organized in a systems manual for ease of access and use by building management staff. The systems manual should be assembled with all documents available before training begins and utilized during the training process.
Training Documentation - During the design phase, training requirements for operations and maintenance personnel and occupants must be identified relative to commissioned systems, integrated building features, and equipment. It is critical that operations and maintenance personnel have the knowledge and skills required to operate a facility in accordance with the owner's functional plan and the designed intent. The training plan and training materials should be retained and updated for ongoing training activities.
Seasonal Testing - Due to climate conditions, not all systems can be tested at or near full load during the construction phase. For example, testing a boiler system might be difficult in the summer and testing a chiller and cooling tower might be difficult during the winter. The performance and testing of solar photovoltaic systems is also dependent on seasonal conditions. Commissioning plans should therefore provide for multi-season testing to allow testing, balancing, and optimization of integrated systems under the best conditions.
Final Commissioning Report - The commissioning requirements, process, documentation, and findings are incorporated in a final commissioning report that accompanies the construction contractor's turn-over documentation. ASHRAE Standard 202-2013 Commissioning Building and Systems Guideline-0-2013 The Commissioning Process recommend that the commissioning report be included in the O&M manuals in a systems manual. Commissioning report contents should be clearly defined in commissioning plans and include a narrative of the commissioning process, the design intent document, design review comments - and resolution, meeting minutes from all commissioning-related meetings, corrective action reports, blank verification test reports for future use, completed training forms, completed system readiness checklists, and tests and inspection reports for commissioned systems, equipment, assemblies, and building features.
Organizations and Publications
AABC Commissioning Group (ACG)—The ACG is a nonprofit association dedicated to the certification and advancement of independent third-party commissioning professionals.
ASHRAE—A leading organization in the development of standardized commissioning guidelines.