How Commissioning Software Promotes Safety and Compliance
November 11, 2021
Building commissioning is about more than just validating the technical functioning and compliance of HVAC, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems. There’s also the safety element. For capital projects in particular, there’s a lot riding on ensuring the safety of these systems, as well as the safety of those for whom those systems provide essential services and well-being. This is one of the reasons construction companies are investing in commissioning software. Let’s look at the ways this technology can help reduce the risk to equipment, systems and people.
Customize commissioning software checklists to support safety compliance
The simplicity of checklists can make them seem like a deceptively minor piece of documentation; however, they’re vital to any process that can’t risk having key details overlooked.
But commissioning is a documentation-heavy process. So, it makes sense that the size and sophistication of today’s building systems and equipment demand something more efficient and accurate than traditional commissioning methods when building health and occupant safety are on the line. And that’s where commissioning software with an online form builder comes in, ensuring the specific data and details are being captured and verified for each building system — including its safety compliance.
Those details — as well as owner requirements — can differ from project to project, though. So, how can you account for them? The answer is through customization capabilities that deliver more control over managing the commissioning process for each project, making it possible to create as many versions of a systems checklist as needed, with the option to update them at any time.
Of course, to realize the full potential of a commissioning software solution, an integrated mobile app is a must-have. Checklists accessible via a personal smartphone or jobsite tablet digitize the on-site equipment and systems inspections process to help confirm everything is operating as it should and within safety standards. Using an app out in the field for real-time documentation means any installation errors or testing failures can be addressed immediately — before it becomes a bigger, more time-sensitive issue later on that could jeopardize a system’s integrity and ultimately the safety conditions for future tenants.
These online forms and checklists essentially templatize the commissioning workflow. And they serve as handy tools in the tech toolbox to supplement the expertise and experience of commissioning professionals as they evaluate how systems are functioning in support of environmental and occupant safety.
Reduce potential for rework, and therefore risk of physical injury to site crews
With closeout looming on the not-so-distant horizon, it may be too late to begin effective commissioning. True, that’s when this process has typically started. But think how much more effective it would be to have ongoing opportunities to install, test and adjust along the way. With the help of commissioning software, adjustments can be made as needed instead of all at once at the end. The bonus? No more last-minute scrambles by site crews.
Initiating this phase at the beginning turns it into a proactive, efficient — and safe — process. The result is less rework as the project nears the completion date, when site crews, eager to be done with the project and not risk having their retention withheld, are more likely to be lax in their safety as they take shortcuts to remedy system installation errors.
Track system functionality to ensure human safety
Assuring the safety and integrity of the building systems is one thing. Guaranteeing the comfort and safety of tenants and the public that rely on them is another. Consider the detrimental health implications that can be caused or exacerbated by faulty or malfunctioning systems. There’s the lighting that’s too dim or insufficient, straining vision and triggering headaches. Poor air quality coming through the duct system provoking allergic reactions, migraines or respiratory difficulties. Temperature fluctuations causing extreme discomfort and fatigue.
Commissioning software used during the building process helps construction teams remotely monitor the proper functioning of these systems. That remote functionality means malfunctions can be detected in real time — of particular benefit after the project has been handed over to the owner’s facilities team — allowing for faster adjustment or repair and heading off potential injury or liability claims due to a system failure not being discovered in time.
While commissioning software can help focus attention on these issues, it’s not capable of taking or suggesting decisive action. Rather, it serves as a decision-making tool for the commissioning pros who are overseeing the process and monitoring the results to determine the appropriate adjustments or fixes.
The more complex the projects, the more essential commissioning and its corresponding software are. InEight’s safety, quality and commissioning software is designed to help you manage this critical process for your large capital projects. Sign up for a demo to find out more about how these solutions can streamline your commissioning for optimal building health and occupant safety.