Building Commissioning

Bai Ning
Building commissioning is much more than just starting the systems. Energy-efficient building commissioning hinges on the performance of a scheduled and planned system startup.

Building commissioning (PDF, 3.76MB) ensures that buildings, their systems and specialist equipment are optimally installed and performing as designed. This is very relevant here in China, where we see significant investment in mechanical and electrical services, specialist manufacturing equipment and building management systems. 

This is an especially proactive and hands-on approach, beginning with crystallising our client’s goals. In manufacturing environments, there are often many internal stakeholders in the client organisation, with differing priorities. Part of the commissioning role is to manage expectations and help the client arrive at a final strategy.

Building commissioning ensures that buildings, their systems and specialist equipment are optimally installed and performing as designed.

Goals are also negotiated and agreed with suppliers, manufacturers, contractors and consultants, while protecting the client’s interests. Technologies and final local area network (LAN) protocols also need to be integrated into the process, underpinned by detailed conceptual and technical understanding. Contrary to common misconception, this is about more than spreadsheets – these projects need robust experience, technical skills, excellent communication and schedule management.

Faithful+Gould’s sustainability team is currently working with family owned Firmenich Aromatics, the Geneva-based perfume and flavour company. When Firmenich opened a new research and development (R+D) facility in Shanghai, they appointed our team as commissioning agent, to handle the commissioning and the necessary improvements on site arising from the process.

Firmenich subsequently appointed our sustainability team on a further three engineering contracts for their specialist facilities at their Shanghai operation. One project involves the design and commissioning of six automated shower cabins, simulating an everyday shower to test scents of hair products, shower gels etc.  

These projects are great examples of the benefits achievable from an innovative and detailed building commissioning.

The second Firmenich project is engineering focused and aims to improve their R+D centre’s laboratory process cooling system, protecting the sensitive laboratory-standard glass condensers. These projects are great examples of the benefits achievable from an innovative and detailed building commissioning. The client’s highly specialised and technical systems are optimised to enhance an efficient, reliable operation with a focus on sustainability.

The service ensures that systems are neither over-designed nor over-engineered. It’s relatively straightforward to decommission an old system and install new. There is arguably more skill in carrying out smart modifications and upgrades, improving and optimizing most of the existing equipment. This minimises capital investment and operational cost, and is potentially a more sustainable solution. An experienced commissioner uses analysis and evaluation tools and techniques to achieve this.

There is arguably more skill in carrying out smart modifications and upgrades, improving and optimizing most of the existing equipment.

Firmenich’s third project is the conceptual redesign of ventilation for all their Shanghai workshop buildings. Where an abundance of flavours or perfumes are mixed and produced in parallel, ventilation needs to be high performance. Having experienced Faithful+Gould’s successful commissioning input on the earlier projects, Firmenich has asked us to work with the designer to address problems already apparent during conceptual design.  

These examples illustrate the facility commissioning loop, where each stage is and linked to and enhanced by the commissioning process. This begins with the concept of a new system, and is followed by detailed design stage. The construction phase is then completed by close-out on the project, with testing and balancing (TAB) and the performance verification.

Faithful+Gould’s capability in this field has been steadily building and we now have a reputation for these specialist design needs.

Faithful+Gould’s capability in this field has been steadily building and we now have a reputation for these specialist design needs. We anticipate growing awareness of commissioning from clients throughout China and the wider APAC region.

 

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Bai Ning Head of Sustainability & Energy Contact me View my profile >