Far too prevalent is the attitude that Testing and Commissioning is something that takes place in the last weeks of a project, when all construction is complete, and the client is almost ready to move in. As a result of such an approach, when problems do surface, it is often too late in the day to resolve them without significant delay or additional costs.
Because of shoddy workmanship, poor monitoring, inexperienced unskilled technicians, and failure to instigate adequate safeguards, it is far too often the case that defects and mistakes with major projects remain undetected, only coming to light during occupancy.
In serious cases, particularly on fast-track projects, defects are purposely concealed, evident problems are ignored, and T+C data falsified, in order to indicate systems perform as specified. The outcome is that a client pays good money for a defective product.
Ideally, commissioning begins at the early stages of design and continues through to post-occupancy.
Management of the process begins with a review of the owner’s project requirements and ends with post occupancy confirmation that building systems operate at optimum performance.
For the majority of projects in the world T+C is taken for granted and assumed to achieve the purpose that a new building meets the design requirements. However, there is much evidence to show that this is not the case. Worldwide many governments and organisations promote the concept of commissioning management, especially for the building services systems. In the US the concept of full and comprehensive quality assurance is promoted through the commissioning process.