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Who Wants Free Risk & Quality Management?

Who Wants Free Risk & Quality Management?

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 85) – All IMHO:

Using the 80/20 rule I can give you an impassioned argument that 80% of commissioning value is available during design phase for 20% of the total commissioning fee. 

Who doesn’t want that? Based on anecdotal evidence, most property developers!

There are three commissioning tasks that add extreme value pre-tender:

  • Detail design brief, AKA the Owners Project Requirements (OPR)
  • Commissionability design documents review
  • Commissioning plan 

These items are high value in terms of risk management, scope management, quality management and during construction phase, cost management. Too good to be true? Let me explain. 

Owners Project Requirements (OPR)
The worst design brief ever sounds like “give me a LEED Gold office building”. I have actually heard this. Also what is not said is that they want to pay the same price as the last low performance generic office building they developed. This brief is useless and a red flag to everyone on the project. 

The purpose of the OPR is to provide a detailed requirements brief to the design team, including measures of performance and compliance. It is a technical document and the USGBC assumes this is done prior to design commencing. 

The benefits of an OPR are:

  1. Upfront thinking with concise design direction
  2. Quantitate measures for performance and accountability
  3. Less change during design

Commissionability Design Documents Review
This was covered in post #41. This is a risk and quality management exercise. Any issues found can be fix for zero cost. 

The benefits of commissionability design reviews, in addition to finding commissioning issues are:

  1. Free quality management exercise.
  2. Free risk management exercise.
  3. Lower errors and omissions in construction.

Commissioning plan
This document should, no MUST be, completed at the end of design phase and issued to all construction bidders. Why?

  1. Bidders are required to include commissioning plan compliance within their price, including all necessary attendance. 
  2. Cost control of the commissioning process based on real requirements of the plan.
  3. Sets the tone, signals a strong intention of delivering a building that is complete and actually works.
  4. Communicates the owners requirements for performance and not just business as usual.
  5. Reduces additional commissioning costs to the owner by ~ 90%.

BTW, the commissioning plan is updated during construction based on the “approved controls sequences of operation”. 

YES, the commissioning professional should work for the owner or their project mangers. Commissioning is an owners, building performance and compliance tool. 

Real World Example
I worked on a project where the owner and project manager supported the commissioning process 100% from start of design to handover. This project had:

  • 117 commissioning issues identified and resolved early
  • Less than 0.2% of total construction cost expended in variations 
  • Zero claims

Nobody gets fired for producing these outcomes! We are all conditioned to think that tomorrow will be the same as yesterday. It doesn’t have to be, tomorrow can be better.

Remember commissioning starts during design!

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

Related posts & links:

#41 – Who Knew? – Commissioning Design Reviews Save Money, Time and Reputations ( )

#53 – Completion, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder ( )

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

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

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