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We Need To Agree On What Cx Is!

We need to agree on what Cx is!

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 242).

Confusion with building commissioning terminology came up again this week when a client asked for clarification on the difference between “start-up”, “pre-commissioning” and “commissioning”.

This is a particular issue in the Middle East where engineering cultures clash and it is really about the differences between the Brit’s and USA, or as George Bernard Shaw noted, “Britain and America are two countries separated by the same language”. Fact check, true!

It is important to understand that there is a fundamental difference in approach to building commissioning between the UK and USA. Generally the difference is:

  • The UK takes a systems and whole building approach.
  • The USA takes an equipment and single system approach. e.g. Integrated Systems Testing (IST) is not normally undertaken.

Terminology is another issue. The table below has UK and USA definitions for each stage of commissioning. Once each different definition is understood there is general alignment, say 90%, between the UK and USA but there is also a 10% misalignment which is due to the differing engineering cultures.

UK Vs USA Commissioning Definitions

The following two logic networks breakdown the generic systems commissioning steps in UK and USA language.

Building System Commissioning Network UK

Building System Commissioning Network USA

Confusion in commissioning can be solved by clear, unambiguous commissioning specifications. Clarity is the enemy of incompetence and people who “copy and paste”.

Yes design engineers and owners, this is all your fault!

BlueRithm Brand Ambassador

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

Related Posts & Links

#96 – Commissioning Plans Vs Method Statements

#70 – USA & UK, 2 Engineering Cultures Sharing 1 Language

#77 – Commissioning Reg’s, Codes & Guides. How Many! (Post 1 of 3)

#78 – Commissioning Reg’s, Codes & Guides. How Many! (Post 2 of 3)

#79 – Commissioning Reg’s, Codes & Guides. How Many! (Post 3 of 3)

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