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,…

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…

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…

Why the Commissioning Agent Should Perform System Pre-Functional Checks

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

Have you ever wondered why the commissioning checklist is so important for your construction projects? Did you know that having the Commissioning Authority (CxA) complete the checklist adds tremendous value to your project? Pre-functional checklists are completed to verify the proper installation of new or relocated HVAC equipment as per typical industry practices. Their primary…

Why the construction industry needs commissioning?

Three generations of Frasiers at work in the family business

In 1998, one of my clients told me he was hiring companies to commission his mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. I wondered why there was a need for these services on construction projects. You see, I grew up in the mechanical trades as a fourth generation contractor. From a very young age, I was taught…