This guideline provides information on the general processes, which are to be followed for the commissioning of facilities where capital works have been carried out.
The commissioning process can be undertaken by a consultant / contractor or agency / health service representative but should include representatives of the agency and be overseen by the project control group (PCG) or steering committee. The superintendent of the contract, generally the project manager or principal consultant, is responsible for ensuring that commissioning is effectively completed as programmed.
The main objectives of appropriately commissioning a facility are to:
- ensure new facilities and equipment are ready for occupancy and use, i.e. fit for purpose
- ensure that the new equipment meets all Government legislative requirements such as the Essential Services Management Act and prescribed energy levels under the Victorian Greenhouse Strategy
- train staff in the operation of new equipment and safety procedures
- identify any minor defects which require rectification by the contractor
- receive all warranties and procedure manuals.
Each project is individual and will have some issues unique to its own specific circumstances.
There are two types of commissioning:
- building commissioning – refers to the physical facility completion for occupation by the contractor. The activities include the successful running of all plant and equipment
- operational commissioning – refers to activities undertaken leading up to handover of the building to the users. Typical activities include familiarisation of staff with safety, security and communications systems.
The participants are the:
- contractual parties including the superintendent, the principal and the builder
- commissioning team including staff, consultants and contractors.
The superintendent is responsible to ensure coordination and that the process is undertaken in close liaison with the executive of the agency / service provider.
Commissioning requires that all parties agree the facilities are fit for purpose. The formal recognition of reaching this milestone is the practical completion certificate and the certificate of occupancy (or its equivalent), the release of 50% of the bank guarantee / retention fund for the project and the handing over of full responsibility to the principal for occupation.
Building commissioning refers to activities undertaken by representatives of the contracting parties, ie the project team leading up to the practical completion and prior to the handover of the building to the principal for occupation.