The Role of Construction Commissioning Software in
March 17, 2022
Project certainty is the holy grail of all construction projects, and for good reason. Yet why does it still seem so elusive? It can help to remember that the natural counterpart of certainty is risk. Therefore, it’s only logical that if you want increased project certainty, you have to reduce risk.
Fortunately, there are proactive methods and tools that your project teams can use to make this happen throughout the project life cycle. Even the traditionally end-stage commissioning process, a process you might not normally associate with risk management, can play a direct role in reducing your project’s risk factor.
So, what can you do to ensure your commissioning best supports project certainty? It involves a combination of process and construction commissioning software.
Start at the beginning but keep the end in mind
Integrating the commissioning process throughout the entirety of the build makes the end goal — turning over an optimally functioning structure — more achievable.
This is where timing can make all the difference. Involving the commissioning team at the pre-design phase, instead of relegating it to pre-handover, gives them a seat at the table to understand owner requirements. Then as the design phase begins, the team works with the engineers and architects to ensure the installed systems and equipment that meet those scope requirements are part of the overall design.
Once construction begins and building systems are being put into place, the actual commissioning work starts. And it doesn’t stop until project completion. It’s a rather effective strategy — having continuous, proactive opportunities to inspect and verify installations and test their technical functionality throughout the project life cycle. And it’s preferable to the traditional alternative: performing the commissioning all at once at crunch time as the project completion date draws near. That’s when risk is higher for finding serious defects requiring major fixes on top of an assortment of smaller-but-necessary repairs.
This is what turns early commissioning into a preventive measure. It cuts down on the risk of rework. That’s no small feat when you consider the amount of time and expense it would take to complete the rework. No need to pay overtime for craftspeople to perform the repairs on a tight schedule. No need to reorder potentially higher priced materials that may not arrive in time to meet the completion date. Plus, there’s also a decreased likelihood of callbacks to fix malfunctions post-handover, when finding labor to do the work may be challenging.
Have efficient commissioning technology in place
Early starts mean early fixes. And this is where construction commissioning software with remote access comes in. With such software, the only thing commissioning professionals will need as they conduct their walkthroughs throughout the construction phase is an internet-connected mobile device. To be clear, this doesn’t replace the commissioning professionals’ knowledge and experience. Rather, it becomes a digital extension of their expertise — a tool that enables them to do their job more efficiently. Accessing the app while out on the jobsite enables them to detect and document in real time any defects, as well as observed safety hazards, insufficient quality, or testing failures. Once identified, an issue can then be designated to a subcontractor or site crew to resolve it right away. The software helps turn the once cumbersome, documentation-heavy process into a more streamlined one, dramatically cutting down on the time and effort commissioning normally takes. More than that, it’s a methodical way to up the project certainty factor by removing the potential for late-stage rework that could jeopardize on-time and on-budget completion of the project.
Even after handover, there’s another kind of certainty the owner can count on. All the ongoing issue identification and resolution leading up to completion actually serves as a running log that can be leveraged for future troubleshooting. It gives the owner and their facilities management team an idea of how to approach repairs or maintenance down the road, saving them time and frustration trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Customize your digital commissioning checklists
One of the features that makes mobile-capable construction commissioning software a must-have is its customizable checklists. What do customized checklists have to do with project certainty? Consider the sheer magnitude and intricacy of large-scale structures’ systems — plus owner requirements — that differ across projects within a portfolio. Turning to the software’s online form builder to create specific checklists ensures the data, details and compliance requirements unique to each building system are being captured and verified. Customization enables more control over managing the commissioning process for each project and keeps everything running like clockwork.
It lends itself to a much more focused, purposeful way of approaching commissioning for each project. And it’s one that can instill confidence that every system has been examined, every piece of installed equipment has been tested, and every possible deficiency has been uncovered for a completely clean handover.
With InEight commissioning management, your capital projects can experience improved outfitting and testing, less downtime for rework and less resulting impact on the bottom line. Let us show you how it can work for you.