Our staff likes to say that Commissioning is the service you use to make sure you get what you paid for. It’s no use spending your HVAC budget on a high-end system if it is not set up to work properly. Commissioning generally involves at least one site visit by a trained professional, who will do a deep dive into your systems and controls to see that they are performing as designed and specified. In some cases, you may be required to have your facility professionally commissioned. But even if it’s not required, it is an important way to protect the investments you’ve made in your systems.
What to expect from a Commissioning Agent
Your CxA (Commissioning Agent) should bring a wealth of knowledge about the systems they will be commissioning. Part of this knowledge will come from you, by providing them with any drawings you have of existing facilities and systems, including documentation of any remodels and alterations that have been made along the way. This will give your CxA a starting point.
Commissioning can be done during any phase of building; pre-design, design, construction, and occupancy. Having a CxA involved in all 4 phases gives you a better outcome, as a competent CxA will work with your mechanical contractors and maintenance staff to make sure your equipment is installed correctly to ensure the performance you receive is what you anticipated when you purchased it.
Three Types of Cannabis Facility Commissioning
There are three main types of commissioning; initial commissioning, retro commissioning, and re-commissioning. Here is a brief description of each.
happens with systems that are less than one year old. It will often include the creation of maintenance documentation and training for the owner’s staff.
is performed on systems that are older than one year and have not yet been commissioned. This can also be performed if the owner is purchasing an existing building and plans to keep the building systems in place rather than upgrade.
helps a building owner troubleshoot performance degradation or require improved documentation. You can think of it as a building tune-up.
Benefits of Commissioning your Cannabis Facility
Commissioning is, at its core, a cost-effective process. Its intent is to save time and money by making sure that every system is operating to its highest capacity and that each separate system is working with other systems rather than against them. At its best, commissioning is a holistic look at your entire facility.
The potential savings from having a CxA commission your facility come from the efficiencies created in the commissioning process. For example:
You will save money by having documentation that will help your staff properly maintain your facility’s high performance.
In an indoor grow, the temperature and humidity set points on your heating and cooling systems will be correct, minimizing wasted energy and increasing crop yield resulting from consistent optimal temperature and humidity (see: Vapor Pressure Differential).
The information you receive from a thorough commissioning process will help you anticipate future expenses and be able to plan for them.
Beginning the Cannabis Commissioning Process
Prior to beginning the process, your prospective CxA should provide you with a written proposal that outlines the costs and details the scope of the project and the services to be provided. It should be very clear to you exactly what you will receive during your process. The price may be a single lump sum, or a base cost with additional services you may choose from, for example, a set of as-built drawings or a manual for your maintenance staff to use. It may also include the Agent’s payment terms and other legal conditions.
As a part of their services, your CxA should provide you with a comprehensive written report on the condition of your facility and a range of suggestions for improvement. It should also tell you about the remaining useful life of the systems being inspected. Evaluations of controls is one of the most significant places to find cost-saving efficiencies and should be given careful consideration in the report.
Why Use CE+C to Commission Your Cannabis Facility
Cannabis Facility Commissioning with CE+C
With more than 65 cannabis facility projects in our portfolio, we are one of the most experienced cannabis engineering firms in the industry. We work hard to earn our clients’ trust, and that’s why many of them come back to us when they are ready to upgrade or expand their facilities. We are proud of our work, and we would love to lead the team for your next project.