The "Total Building Commissioning System&quot

This system is very important in oil and gas projects. However those in the oil field are more familiar in commissioning, and there are many professionals in this area but they apply in the start up of a project to be a link between the projects staff and operations staff. In fact, the USA applies this system for normal buildings to formu­late the team responsible for commissioning from the engineering phase until the operation phase.

As discussed in the previous section of this chapter, in some cases the operation is not satisfied with the project output. The opti­mum solution is to apply a "total building commissioning system," which is already applied in the USA for residential, administration, commercial and public buildings.

Historically, the term "commissioning" has referred to the process by which the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of a building were tested and balanced accord­ing to established standards prior to acceptance by the building owner. Today’s use of the commissioning concept recognizes the integrated nature of all building systems’ performance, which has impacts on sustainability, workplace productivity, occupant safety and security.

In the USA, the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), through its Public Buildings Service (PBS), manages buildings that house over a million Federal associates and has an on-going planning, design and construction program to meet the federal customers housing needs.

PBS’ project delivery program is the vehicle for transforming our customer agencies’ vision into reality. The built environment for the nation’s public buildings, including courthouses, federal office buildings, laboratories, and border stations, in turn shapes the communities and landscape in which they reside.

In our case the engineering team in the owner company will have the same responsibility as GSA.

The National Conference on Building Commissioning has estab­lished an official definition of ‘Total Building Commissioning’ as follows:

"Systematic process of assuring by verification and documen­tation, from the design phase to a minimum of one year after construction, that all facility systems perform interactively in accordance with the design documentation and intent, and in accordance with the owner’s operational needs, including preparation of operation personnel."

What we need here is to have a wide definition of "total facilities commissioning," which would refer to any discipline activity sharing in the project.

It is the author”s experience with major projects in the engineer­ing phase that the engineering company worries about man-hours and approves the bill, while each of the engineering disciplines focuses on matching the design to the standard and specifications of the owner. On the other hand, the owner’s engineering staff representative focuses on the "engineering" deliverable, which is strong technically and matches the stipulated standard and specifi­cation. In reality, however, it will be a representation of operations in the engineering group. Unfortunately, however, with time, the owner will focus on technical issues only, his objective will switch to bringing the engineering to within the stipulated standard, fin­ish the review cycle on time and avoid excess expenditure. This reality illuminates the necessity for a separate entity to look at the owner’s requirements.

Below is information from the GSA document, tailored and changed to be match the needs of oil and gas and other industrial projects. [9]

• Building Commissioning Process details the consid­erations, practices and recommendations for com­missioning along the GSA project process including Planning, Design, Construction and Post-Construction Stages.

• Appendices provide samples, tools, definitions and links to further resources for additional information on commissioning.

Benefits of Commissioning for GSA Buildings

• Improved facilities productivity and reliability

• Lower utility bills through energy savings

• Increased operations and owner satisfaction

• Enhanced environmental, health conditions, and occu­pant comfort

• Improved system and equipment function

• Improved facilities operation and maintenance

• Increased operations safety

• Better facilities documentation

• Shortened transition period from project to operation

• Significant extension of equipment/systems life cycle

GSA defines the benefits in industry sources and indicates that on average the operating costs of a commissioned building range from 8% to 20% below that of a non-commissioned building. So this philosophy applies for the plant buildings only.