2. Design Phase

Basis of Design

The Architect and Engineering design team will document the "Basis of Design" which outlines the systems they are going to engineer for the project.  The commissioning authority's responsibility is to check that the basis of design correctly addresses the documented owner's project requirements (OPR).  Documentation tools such as a compliance matrix help the commissioning authority track requirements and deficiencies until design completion.
Descrepancies between the design and owner's project requirements can be discussed with the owner for their approval or agreement that it meets the intent.  The commissioning authority is responsible for updating the OPR  to reflect all approved deviations or changes. 

Commissioning Plan

While the design is progressing, the commissioning authority will update the commissioning plan to address the remaining project phases including construction and occupancy.  The plan will detail tasks, roles and responsibilities, schedule, work flow processes and list systems to be commissioned.   The plan must mirror the design documents such as specifications so that the commissioning team is clear on the goals and process. 

Commissioning Specifications

Incorporating the commissioning requirements into the contract documents ensures the contractor and sub-contractor can adequately price their roles and tasks in the commissioning process.  Typically, the commissioning authority will develop their section of the specifications and coordinate it with the other sections to include sufficient cross-references to the requirements.
The specifications must mirror the commissioning plan with specific tasks, roles and level of effort coordinated among the two documents.  A commissioning plan that indicates a higher level of effort than the contract documents will cause confusion and may end up costing the owner additional money in change orders.  

Design Review

Depending on the level of risk the owner was willing to accept, the quantity and timing of the commissioning authorities design reviews will vary.  For example, if the owner agreed to accept a higher level of risk, the design reviews may be limited to 90% and 100% design completion.  An owner who has less tolerance for risk may require design review at 30%, 50%, 90% and 100%.  The LEED program requires design review prior to 50% and then again after 50%.
The level of effort and scope of design review also depends on the owner's risk tolerance and will have been decided in pre-design.  Whatever the level of effort, the purpose of the design review is to check that the design has correctly addressed all of the owner's project requirements.  Similar to the basis of design development, all deviations must be reviewed and resolved.  If deviations are approved by the owner, the commissioning authority will need to update the OPR document.