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Verification = Operational Readiness

Verification = Operational Readiness

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 327).

Why is building commissioning even a thing? There are 2 reasons:

  1. Trust, or rather a lack of trust.
  2. Inconsistency. The building design and construction process cannot consistently deliver, low defect, operationally ready buildings.


Building commissioning and validation is an emergent property of the general lack of trust in the building design and construction process. For a mission critical building owner such as a data center, the unsaid truth is:

  • I pay a design team to design and specify my building.
  • I pay a construction firm to build my building.
  • I then need to hire a specialist 3rd party to verify specification compliance and building systems performance.

So what exactly does the building commissioning process verify?

  1. Design documents review verifies systems and building commissionability.
  2. Construction & start-up checks verifies systems and building commissionability.
  3. Functional Performance Testing & Integrated Systems Testing verifies systems and building performance.
  4. Building performance testing under full load and seasonal conditions verifies operational readiness.

Operationally Ready Buildings

Yes, buildings are unique, complex and capital intensive. However, we have been constructing buildings for 7,000 years and still not managed to deliver them reliably, on time and within budget. Yet cars have only been around for about 120 years and we can now deliver them consistently to a predicated performance with zero defects. Maybe car makers should design and construct buildings?

Certain buildings such as hospitals, data centers and airports are mission critical and must be delivered operationally ready. Therefore, owners and operators of high stakes, mission critical buildings require a process to verify and document operational readiness. This is the building commissioning process.

The full commissioning formula to ensure building operational readiness is:

The basic commissioning formula to ensure building operational readiness is:

Until the building design and construction industry vertically integrates like the car industry, building commissioning will continue to be a thing. This is good news for me!

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