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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…

Why Contractors Should not Complete Commissioning Checklists

A man in a hard hat standing in front of an electrical breaker box

My last blog covered commissioning best practices during the construction phase, including recommendations for the kickoff meeting, deficiency log, and functional performance tests. I also wrote about why the commissioning authority (CxA) should be the one completing commissioning documentation, not contractors. I’ll elaborate on that topic here – it’s a critical one that sets Cornerstone…

Commissioning Best Practices During the Construction Phase

A worker standing on a ladder and working on a heating unit

Recently, I wrote a blog discussing communication during the commissioning process. That post discussed effective means of communication, how to stay well informed of project updates, and the importance of developing a rapport with all parties. Writing the piece made me think about the best practices a commissioning authority (CxA) can integrate into every stage…

The Importance of Communication During the Commissioning Process

Two workers in hard hats discussing something on a laptop

As a commissioning authority, it’s my responsibility to ensure that building systems perform interactively according to the owner’s functional, operational and performance requirements. A lot of technical skills are embedded in that responsibility, but there’s a soft skill that’s just as important to the commissioning process: communication. Set expectations and explain your role. Commissioning kickoff…