Independent Commissioning Agent Building Services Coordination Completion Documents Design Management

Independent Commissioning Agent

Managing the commissioning process is vital in ensuring that a building functions as intended from day one. This ensures that the operational costs and subcontractor call backs are kept to a minimum.

We received our first appointment as Independent Commissioning Agent (ICA) in 2008 on New Zealand’s first Green Building Council (NZGBC) Green Star, 5-Star rated office building, the Deloitte Centre – 80 Queen Street. By 2013, we had completed 31 Green Star projects as part of the MAN-4 Independent Commissioning Agent credit requirement. NZGBC requires that the Independent Commissioning Agent be appointed early on in the design phase, where the input from the specialist commissioning agent can have the most impact. The Independent Commissioning Agent then continues working through the construction and commissioning phases, and often through the 12-month post occupancy-tuning phase, where the MAN-3 building tuning credit is being pursued. As the MAN-4 ICA our main goal is to act as an objective advocate to the building owner.

We advise the project team on all commissioning related matters, as well as providing the following services in accordance with CIBSE Commissioning Code M:

  • Reviewing the basis of the design and the design intent, while confirming that the systems have adequate provisions to be fully commissioned and maintained.
  • Providing commissioning advice to the project team. This process begins before the release of tender documentation, right through construction and completion of the project. We continue to interact with the team throughout all stages of construction. 
  • Developing and directing the commissioning process, including the air distribution systems, boilers automatic controls, lighting, refrigeration systems and water distribution systems.  This also includes the creation of a Commissioning Plan for the works, which has valuable input from the contractor and services subcontractors.
  • Setting target requirements in the contract documents, which ensures implementation of selected commissioning measures.
  • Coordinating with the building owner, design team and contractor throughout the entire commissioning, testing and adjustment process.
  • Observing, reviewing and approving results of all testing undertaken by the contractor. This can include verifying the correct operation of all systems under automatic control, such as environmental services, fire and security services, hydraulic services, electrical services and lifts
  • Monitoring and verifying the commissioning of all systems.
  • Preparing the final Commissioning Report which includes recommendations to the building owner on the performance of the commissioned building system.

In addition to our Green Star work, we have also been appointed as commissioning managers on many large non-Green Star projects. Although these projects do not include a formal ESD rating, the client still appreciates the occupant comfort and efficiency benefits of a well commissioned building. So, while these projects do not require the same prescriptive level of reporting as Green Star projects, the same commissioning management principals apply.

Some of the building services systems commissioning that we have overseen include:

  • Chilled water systems, including water cooled chillers, air cooled chillers, cooling towers, variable primary flow chilled water systems, and primary-secondary de-coupled chilled water systems.
  • Heating hot water systems, including gas fired condensing boilers, dual-fuel gas-diesel boilers, distribution including pipework, pumps, 2-port and 3-port control valves etc.
  • HVAC systems, including AHU’s, fans, fan coil units, active chilled beams, process air coolers, hydronic units and VRF systems.
  • High grade steam generation for sterilisation, including steam boilers, feed tanks, water treatment, condensate pumping and steam distribution.
  • Emergency power systems, including diesel generators, diesel storage and distribution, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).
  • Rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Energy metering and monitoring.
  • Vertical transportation destination control systems.
  • Intelligent lighting systems including daylight harvesting.
  • Reverse osmosis water treatment for sterilisation plant and dialysis treatment.
  • All major DDC building Management Systems, such as: Siemens, Honeywell, Alerton, Automated Logic, and Delta including BacNet and Modbus integration.
  • Citec SCADA systems for power management.
  • Fire systems including fire alarm, sprinkler, hydrant, gas suppressant, and VESDA.
  • Stairwell pressurisation systems. 
  • Operating theatres and negative pressure patient isolation rooms, including HEPA testing, directional airflows and particulate testing.
  • Medical gases to HTM02-01 - Medical gas pipeline systems.

We pay particular attention to life safety systems commissioning, which includes full witnessing of all integrated fire alarm testing to ensure the building responds according to the specified and regulatory requirements in fire conditions.