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Building Automation Systems 101 – Part 2 Asset Assurance

The BAS & the Commissioning Provider As Building Automation Systems were evolving and becoming common place, a new discipline referred to as Commissioning was emerging in the HVAC industry. Commissioning is the process of verifying that a building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems perform correctly and efficiently, per the design intent and owner’s project…

Commissioning: A Perspective from the Other Side

“First impressions are always unreliable.” —Franz Kafka The first time I asked what commissioning was, I was given an all too familiar answer: “They come here and tell you everything you did wrong.” Being a young HVAC apprentice, I believed that and came to dread the commissioning process. People I did not know were going…

Commonsense Commissioning

Recently Cornerstone received a compliment from a contractor, who said, “[I] enjoyed working with Cornerstone…  It is nice to see commissioning agents that use commonsense.” Is commonsense commissioning that rare in the construction industry? Possibly so. Yet practical approaches are often welcomed, which is one of the reasons why Cornerstone likes to simplify complex things….

5 Easiest-to-Spot Room Integrity Issues in Biocontainment Labs

In BSL-3 facilities, maintaining facility performance is crucial to protecting workers, the community, and critical research. Hiring a commissioning provider to inspect your facility is a good strategy, since those specializing in biocontainment labs – like Cornerstone Commissioning – know the architectural and mechanical integrity issues to look for. Experienced biocontainment commissioning teams can uncover…

PFC Documentation: Commissioning Firm’s Responsibility or Contractors?

Tufts Science Installation

If you’re familiar with commissioning, then you know that the commissioning provider’s job is to be a third-party representative working directly for the owner to ensure that commissioning is unbiased, follows best practices, and helps achieve the owner’s project requirements. The commissioning provider (CxP) is responsible for assisting the project team during all phases of…

Significantly Reducing Energy Use in Existing Labs

The extent to which a lab is or isn’t energy efficient can be traced back to how the lab was designed and constructed. What can be done in existing labs, then, after the concrete’s been poured and design alterations aren’t feasible? Believe it or not, the greatest potential for energy savings is in existing labs,…

How Commissioning Authorities Collaborate with Operations Staff for Successful Turnover

Two persons working next to their laptops

Much of the information in previous blog posts focused on the importance of communication and collaboration with the project team and owner from design to turnover. However, I would be remiss if not also discussing the importance of working with operations and maintenance personnel during turnover. Operations, maintenance and staff The unsung heroes of the…

The Importance of the Building Enclosure During the Design Process

Exterior of building enclosure during construction

Today’s building enclosures can make an attractive architectural statement with extensive glazed atria exposed to the outside, glass curtain walls and occupant-centric work spaces. But these building enclosures can also pose significant challenges – after all, they form the primary defense against the elements. Air, water and thermal barriers must be continuous and properly placed…

Commissioning Best Practices During the Turnover Phase

A person signing documents

Recently I wrote a blog discussing commissioning best practices during the construction phase: Article. That post discussed secrets to a successful commissioning kickoff meeting, self-performing commissioning documentation, effective issue resolution and developing customized Functional Performance Testing (FPT) documentation. A commissioning authority’s work is not complete until successful building turnover is achieved. This post will discuss…