Facility Dynamics Engineering strongly believes in a hands-on approach to commissioning. By employing staff that are knowledgeable in controls, facility operations, and troubleshooting, FDE prefers to approach the commissioning process by allowing the contractors to start-up systems, document the process, and ensure systems are ready for functional testing. FDE engineers and technicians then take the lead and perform the functional performance testing themselves and document the results. When problems are identified, we contact the applicable contractor and together, we devise a means for correcting the problem as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. We often develop a relationship with the construction team and Owner that allows FDE to perform corrective measures in ‘real-time’ fashion. Field corrections routinely performed by FDE with coordination to the contractors include sensor calibrations, minor BAS programming changes, BAS control loop tuning and stabilization, and minor mechanical corrections (damper linkages and positive positioners).
FDE can and does perform commissioning using the witness-only (hands-off) approach. Some specialty systems are more efficiently tested with the contractor and occasionally, an Owner may prefer a witness-based approach. Having experience with both scenarios, we feel the hands-on approach significantly streamlines the process and reduces the overall cost and time required for commissioning. Schedule impact is a key benefit to our hands-on approach as it allows contractors time to focus on finishing downstream jobs they are working on in the push towards project completion without having to continually run back for small punch-list items that can be corrected by FDE. Depending on circumstances, this method can also be used to bring the building operators into the project in a more meaningful way by allowing them to actually operate the building systems during commissioning instead of simply reading completed checklists.