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P3 – Who’s Who In The Cx Zoo

P3 – Who’s Who in the Cx Zoo

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 55) – All IMHO:

While I am posting about P3 projects, what is the maximum number of  Commissioning (Cx) firms that can work on a P3 hospital building project?

The short answer, 5 (see org chart below). Really! Lets list them, 

  1. Hospital (tenants) Commissioning Consultant
  2. Planning, Design & Compliance (PDC) team Commissioning Consultant 
  3. Project Co LEED Commissioning Authority
  4. Project Co Commissioning Manager
  5. Lenders Quantity Surveyor (Independent Certifier), Commissioning Consultant 

Some will not have experienced all of these Commissioning players but my firm has completed all these roles on various P3 hospital projects over the last 5 years. I also continue to be surprised that many professionals who have worked on P3 projects, still have no idea what Commissioning is required. 

Why so many Cx firms? Because P3 or PPP (Public, Private Partnership) projects are generally;

  • huge capital, once in a generation project;
  • complex due to size and nature e.g. hospitals, data centres, airports;
  • finance, design, build and maintenance i.e. vertically integrated design & delivery;
  • risks passed onto the private sector (in theory).

This adds up to huge pressure, complexity and very high stakes for all parties. 

What do all the Cx firms do?

Hospital (tenants) Commissioning Consultant – Advice and Verification:

  • Advises hospital on building services requirements.
  • Review & comment on output spec & drawings produced by PDC team.
  • Attend meetings with and on behalf of the hospital. 
  • Verifies as built compliance with the output spec & room data sheets by Project Co.

PDC Team Commissioning Consultant – Design Cx Related Input:

  • Provides Cx input to schematic design, specs & room data sheets.
  • Reviews Project Co’s bid for compliance with Cx specified requirements.
  • Has watching brief for Cx on Project Co’s work.

Project Co LEED Commissioning Authority – LEED Cx EA Pr1:

  • Has to be appointed and work for the owner. On P3 (DBFMO) it is Project Co. 
  • Follows scope of work prescribed by LEED.

Note: LEED Cx is a very limited scope of work and is insufficient for a Hospital. Also LEED Commissioning has been watered down by the industry to a meaningless process only i.e. paper work, exercise. #fightingnonsense, #littlevalue. 

Project Co Commissioning Manager – Central Hub for Completion:

  • Vital to planning and successful completion.
  • Coordinates & manages all interdisciplinary Cx matters.
  • Leads and executes Global Systems Integration Testing.
  • Responsible for compiling all final documentation to be handed over to meet the output specification.

Note: In Canada many Project Co’s say they can do this in house. Some can, many can not, in my experience. IMHO, Commissioning Management is the most added value of the 5 Commissioning roles discussed in this post. 

Lenders QS (Independent Certifier), Commissioning Consultant – Advice & Verification for Release of Funds:

  • Reviews & comments on output spec & drawings produced by PDC team for Cx completion and cost related issues.
  • Attends meetings with and on behalf of the independent certifier. 
  • Advises and verifies on veracity of completion by Project Co. 

Are all these Cx players necessary? If design and construction was smooth and consistent in quality and output, then no. However the real answer is yes. How do I know for sure? Because my firm has been paid to undertake all the above Cx roles on several projects.

The take away here is that the above Commissioning roles address two issues: 

  1. Expertise regarding complexity & completion of large hospital projects
  2. Risk management 

The above applies, particularly Commissioning Management, to ALL (yes, I am shouting) large building projects, not just P3. 

BTW: The shouting Meerkat in the middle is the Commissioning Manager……..he is trying to explain for the 10th time why systems have to be 100% complete for global systems integration testing…….

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