When Data Centre Commissioning must start?

Cx  is a very new activity for Data centers, they  require tight coordination between the trades, special
consideration for redundancy and reliability, and carefully scripted commissioning of systems

So when does this activity be perform? At this time I am involved in two DCs that will have Cx services
However they have included Cx in different stages of the project; what I am learning in such differences is that there are still a lot of people that thinks that Cx is just an activity to set the PREfunctional & start up testing, fill up a check list, and give a report of PASS / NOT PASS.

Because the mission critical facilities nature the systems interaction become a more and more important issue to get the performance for those buildings, it is necessary to follow a methodology that cover in the best way all those small details that should be performed, so a track has to be follow with a constant pace.

  These steps are:
  • Design review;
  • Preparation for functional testing;
  • Implementation of the functional tests and 
  • Review of trends and tests

 If we start on the first one the DESign must be carefully review from the assumptions and the full project understanding from the DESigner up to the final for CONstruction documents (dwgs, calculation figures, tables, BOM, etc..) 

These must be done for a very well seasoned engineering team that have the EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, business VISION to find out if the trades DESigning documentes fulfill not only standards, best practices and so, but the OWNERs PROJECT REQUIREMENTS (OPRs)  if in any part we find a non OPR´s compliance we need to STOP this stages, discuss, and find out how we can go back into the owners (money making decision entity) project intention.

Of course we can have a "better" or even "BEST" idea how they have to invest their (owner´s ) money;  but the only point where we can advise them to reconsider any of DESigner´s or our ideas regarding their investment is in the Cx´s OPR´s compliance report.
What I meant is every people can spend his/her money as they wanted, our ethical position must be to advise that there are alternatives where the decision can be made by the owner.

This stage could take months before we are please with the full system (data centre) DESign documents.
When all systems for construction doc.s are set then we can start the actual construction Cx, this is one that will take in reality all those performance scope that we have set in the DESigning, the perfect contractor /subcontractor´s understanding of our system most be obtained by different approaches that start from the bidding stage up to the set of those PRE-functional testing issues.

During the construction stage the Cx agent must be very close to those trades that are more sensitive to be installed in a way that can carry out a non performance compliance (Vgr. COOLing, ENErgy and so) but the full DC systems must be follow very carefully because all of them will give the actual compliance and reduce risk OPEration issues, that these facilities face in the OPEration stage.

The PREfunctional testing set of every trade will permit us to be more confident that the system will operate as it has been DESign.

Any building need a very good trained staff to OPErate and MAINtenance the activities along its lifespan, so any refurbish or new mission critical facility project must have involved those staff during the project to give them the training and to get on with the facility that will be hand over to them to OPErate.

The final Cx testing set must be done as a systems testing trial with all the construction teams included so every OPErational aspect will be cover & fulfill in the event that something do not works  in such situation. 

Final Cx report must include the Building OPErational Handbook, where all trades become a DCs ´system, where all MACs since the DESign inception up to the final testing has been jotted down, addressed, and documented AS BUILT.

So in my perspective Cx should be incorporate since the beginning of every new or refurbish mission critical bldg. project.

Or what do you think?

roberto sanchez, RCDD


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