PSPC Commissioning Manual (CP.1)

Archived Content

The National Project Management System has been replaced by Project Navigator effective October 15, 2021. Therefore, this page has been archived and will be taken down in 2024.

Chapter 2: Commissioning documentation

2.1 Introduction

Commissioning documentation is a complete set of data and information fully describing the completed project as a built, finished, functional and operational facility presented in a form in which it can be operationally-occupied, maintained, updated and used over the life of the building. The transfer of a completed facility to the Project Leader must include appropriate documentation on how the facility is designed and constructed, and how to operate, maintain, repair, clean, manage and modify it.

A comprehensive set of system documents serves as a common database for all project team members from all disciplines. Quality documentation of all components, systems and environments as commissioned is also essential for use in the training of O&M personnel and for the operation, maintenance, servicing and repair of all systems, components and equipment in the facility. It serves as a project archive for future reference base data for operations and maintenance, renovations and inspection purposes. It can provide a valuable record of experience for feedback to other projects.

Commissioning documentation maintain a paper trail of design decisions, trade-offs, etc., made during the entire project, commencing at the NPMS project identification stage, analysis phase provides:

  1. a record of user requirements for use by the Design Team,
  2. a description of the Design Intent and limitations of various systems,
  3. design decisions, design assumptions, trade-offs necessary to arrive at the approved design solution,
  4. a complete record of each system and building component,
  5. changes made to the design prior to hand-over and acceptance,
  6. a documented measure of quality control throughout the progress of the project,
  7. a record of performance levels and acceptance tests,
  8. information on how to operate the building,
  9. estimated costs for operating the building,
  10. heritage character statement and conservation guidelines (for heritage buildings).

2.2 Project archives

An archival operation needs to be defined and set up by the Commissioning Manager in conjunction with the Project Manager in the project delivery stage, planning phase. The Project Archives should include all commissioning documents that contain data deemed essential to a comprehensive record of the project and its component systems. The purpose is to provide:

  1. a complete historical record of the project,
  2. procedures and performance levels for re-commissioning,
  3. documentation control,
  4. feedback mechanism for knowledge transfer.

Provision shall be made for the controlled storage of all commissioning documentation within the project archive.

2.3 Commissioning documentation package

The intent is to maintain a paper trail of design decisions, trade-offs, etc., made during the entire project, commencing at the project identification stage, analysis phase. It should include:

  1. design decisions, design assumptions, trade-offs necessary to arrive at the approved design solution,
  2. changes made to the design prior to hand-over and acceptance.

The whole package of commissioning documentation comprises the following documents, each of which is described in detail in subsequent paragraphs of this chapter:

  1. The investment analysis report,
  2. The Request for proposal containing the Commissioning Brief,
  3. Design Criteria and Design Intents,
  4. Working Documents revised to show all work as actually constructed and installed,
  5. Building Management Manual (BMM) for the complete building. BMM for heritage buildings require additional information on how to maintain (standards, methods, materials, skills) and a technical maintenance manual for the property,
  6. Training documentation,
  7. Commissioning Reports, produced at the end of the project delivery stage, implementation phase and close out phase,
  8. Final Commissioning Report.

2.4 investment analysis report (IAR)

This is the document from which the Request for proposal (RFP) or the project brief is developed.

2.5 Request For Proposal (RFP)

This is the outcome of the IAR. It must include sections describing:

  1. the Client's FUNCTIONAL and OPERATIONAL requirements - see item 2.6, below,
  2. O&M requirements,
  3. commissioning requirements in the form of a Commissioning Brief. See item 2.8, below.

2.6 Functional requirements and operational requirements

These form the very foundation of the entire design. If these are given the very serious consideration that they deserve from the outset, there is every possibility that the entire project will be effectively commissioned and client satisfaction is assured. Functional requirements and operational requirements must not be open to any misinterpretation or misunderstanding. If these are not established by the client they may be established by the Project Manager or the designer.

Functional Requirements include:

  1. design criteria, design intents, design assumptions, design issues, design solutions,
  2. issues of health, welfare, comfort and safety of the occupants and operating personnel,
  3. indoor environmental space requirements, IAQ, acoustical privacy, physical security,
  4. and other special requirements of the user. These could include client's specific requirements for systems' commissioning.

Operation Requirements include:

  1. spatial requirements for O&M personnel,
  2. cost-effective O&M,
  3. provisions for re-commissioning, adjustment and fine-tuning of the facility during its entire life,
  4. provisions for complete documentation, including ease of addressibility, storage facilities,
  5. training of O&M personnel (and user),
  6. Life Safety Systems.

2.7 Design criteria

Design Criteria are identified in the RFP or project brief and may be established by the Client, or by various codes, standards and regulations (enforced by an authorities having jurisdiction, to be identified). These may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Conservation guidelines, heritage character statements,
  2. Various PSPC standards,
  3. Environmental standards including ASHRAE Standards 90.1, 62, and 55,
  4. Security and access requirements as established by the Authority Having Jurisdiction,
  5. Accessibility standards,
  6. Operational characteristics such as:
    1. Spatial requirements for O&M facilities and services,
    2. O&M and life cycle costs, reliability, durability, operability, maintainability, accessibility, serviceability.
  7. Partial and phased occupancy,
  8. Disruption of normal environmental conditions,
  9. Life support systems, security, access, power, vertical transportation, etc., for present occupants (this would apply particularly to renovation projects),
  10. Hours of occupancy - normal,and extended.

For existing buildings, design criteria should be based upon considerations such as age and condition of the building, architectural and structural considerations, exterior environmental conditions, previous usage, etc.

Design criteria must include:

  1. design tolerances (eg. design margins, safety factors, standby and redundancy, etc.)
  2. application tolerance for each system which must be realistic and attainable. Both of these items must be the result of careful examination of the functional and operational requirements contained in the RFP.

If design criteria are not established by the client, they may be established by the Project Manager in the RFP. In this case, they must be approved by the PSPC Design Quality Review Team during the development of the Conceptual Design Report. They must be based upon considerations such as building age, heritage value, architectural and structural considerations, condition, of the existing building, exterior environmental conditions, previous usage, etc.

Design criteria for Design-build projects: These are especially important because of the limited involvement and opportunity for defining project requirements by A&ES and Property and Facilities Management (PFM) during the project identification stage, planning phase. It is therefore critical that, without limiting the freedom of the designer-builder to develop innovative design solutions, that all the appropriate design criteria, performance criteria, etc., be clearly established in the RFP. All commissioning roles and commissioning activities must be clearly defined within the design-build Request For Proposal (RFP).

2.8 Commissioning Brief

This is the section of the project brief in which commissioning requirements are clearly defined. The Commissioning Brief identifies the Owner's/Investor's/ Client's expectations – what needs to be done together with estimated costs for commissioning; the Commissioning Plan identifies the systems and delineates the procedures and schedules.

The Commissioning Brief defines the deliverables from an O&M perspective and describes the scope of commissioning and associated budget (normally established in the IAR).

2.9 Conceptual Design Report

The Conceptual Design Report contains the designer's proposed solutions to the requirements contained in the RFP and must include all design intents (i.e. the methodology by which the designer proposes to meet the design criteria).

The designer must be very careful and judicious in the practice of adding "safety factors" to design calculations. Unless strictly controlled, these accumulated factors will often lead to over-sizing of equipment and systems, resulting in difficulties in commissioning.

The Conceptual Design Report for mechanical systems must include decisions relating to the introduction of good quality outside air in well-controlled and measurable quantities into HVAC systems in order to maintain satisfactory IAQ at all times. Unless considered at the outset of the project this may well be forgotten, or squeezed out for want of the small amount of additional space in the Mechanical Equipment Room.

The Conceptual Design Report for heritage buildings must include the documents which define the heritage character of the property and a description of the conservation approach which outlines how this will be balanced with functional goals.

2.10 Detailed design development

This must include very careful attention to details including:

  1. What system and equipment must be connected to emergency power.
  2. The impacts of standby capacity and redundancy.
  3. Careful and appropriate selection of construction materials, installation practices and performance verification procedures, etc. WHMIS data sheets for all materials to be incorporated into the project must be carefully examined at this stage of the project's development.
  4. Specifications must reflect this concern for quality assurance in design. They must be complete, and include requirements for commissioning.

Increasing complexity of control systems requires that DDC, EMCS and BAS systems, fire alarm systems and life safety systems receive special consideration when preparing specifications.

The insistence on quality assurance in design must flow into the insistence on quality control during construction. All parties to a construction project take much great care in all aspects of project management. Once design solutions have been established, and system selection with its associated equipment selection have been accepted, it is very often difficult, if not impossible to change to a design that will more readily comply with the requirement to minimize O&M costs.

2.11 Working documents

The working documents consist of the plans and specifications developed by the designer to describe the built works. They set out the quality control and quality assurance for the project. Plans and specifications are used by the Project Commissioning Team to verify that the built works conform to all commissioning deliverables.

2.12 Commissioning specifications

Although these form an integral part of the working documents, they are listed separately because of their importance in commissioning the built works. They must include sufficient details to enable the contractor to understand all requirements clearly and to submit an accurate price for commissioning and must include:

  1. The Commissioning Plan which has been agreed with the PSPC Commissioning Manager. For detailed description, refer to CP.3: "Guide to Development of the Commissioning Plan".
  2. All required performance verification procedures if not already covered in the Commissioning Procedures Manual of the discipline involved.
  3. The Building Management Manual: to include all design intent and design criteria, objectives of commissioning and manner of operation of all systems, equipment and components, desired results and functions to be performed.
  4. All requirements for preparation of the Maintenance Manual, including maintenance materials, spare parts, special tools, together with instructions for identification, inventory, storage and instructions for use.
  5. A list of all factory and on-site performance tests; all to be witnessed and certified.
  6. List of activities to be performed by the contractor as part of the Add-on Contract during the Warranty Period.
  7. All conditions under which installed equipment may be temporarily operated by the Contractor and all refurbishing requirements.
  8. Training requirements.
  9. Requirements for preparation of O&M documentation.

2.13 Commissioning Plan

This is the project-specific document which has been approved by the PSPC Commissioning Manager and which describes the process for verifying that all built works meet the Investor's requirements within the limits of the working documents.

The Commissioning Plan may, with the approval of the PSPC Commissioning Manager, have to be amended by the contractor, then reviewed by the designer, at the commencement of construction in the light of the systems and equipment approved for installation, the contractor's construction/completion schedule and the occupancy schedule.

2.14 Installation/Start-up Check Lists

These are the lists to ensure that the equipment and systems as installed are complete, ready for start-up and for commissioning. The lists prepared by PSPC must be considered as generic and illustrative only, and must be tailored to suit the project requirements.

2.15 Product Information (PI) and Performance Verification (PV) report forms

These forms are used throughout the commissioning phase and indicate the basic requirements expected from the PV procedures. The samples provided by PSPC should be considered as generic only and may need to be tailored to suit requirements of the project.

2.16 Commissioning of heritage buildings

When changes are made to interior environments, commissioning should allow for ramping up to new set points over a period of weeks or months, rather than sudden start for new temperature and humidity levels. This allow for the building and its contents to adjust slowly to the changed conditions.

2.17 Building Management Manual

Is fully described in CP.4: Guide to the development of Building Management Manuals. It consists of five discrete sections:

Section 1:
Containing names of participants, functional and operational requirements, description of the project and its systems, accessibility, any FHBRO statements.
Section 2:
Design criteria, design intents, design philosophy, applicable codes and standards.
Section 3:
Standard Operating Procedures and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) manuals.
Section 4:
Maintenance and service contracts.
Section 5:
Supporting appendices such as: architectural, structural, fire protection and fire prevention, mechanical, electrical, appendices, WHMIS information manual, O&M budget, "as-built" construction documents.

2.18 Commissioning reports

These documents describe the commissioning processes used during the delivery cycle and provides assessment of the facility as to its compliance with the requirements identified in the IAR and the project brief.

2.19 Final Commissioning (Evaluation) Report

The Final Commissioning, or Evaluation, Report is prepared by the PSPC QA Commissioning Manager at the end of the project delivery stage, close out phase.

It is essentially a debriefing report and building evaluation summary and includes:

  1. a complete assessment of the project,
  2. lessons learned from this project and any necessary recommendations,
  3. variances between the actual and planned levels of performance as defined in the IAR and project brief,
  4. an evaluation of the validation and acceptance process and of the commissioning phase,
  5. what components and systems which were not commissioned reasons for this,
  6. a remedial work plan outlining recommended follow-up actions or projects to be undertaken by PSPC,
  7. other related information.

2.20 Other documents

The Project Leader may identify in the project brief other documents to be delivered. This may occur more often on projects for special purpose facilities.

PSPC Commissioning Manual (CP.1)

Document "PWGSC/PSPC Commissioning Manual (CP.1)" Navigation