Commissioning (Cx) is the construction quality-assurance process of ensuring that a building is technically, operationally, commercially and legally ready for operation and brought into service in accordance with the owner’s project requirements. It triggers the final inspection building and the validation process.
To commission a building, the developer conducts the punch list walkthrough and places the facility manager in charge of its operation and maintenance. A punch list identifies and lists work that does not conform to contract specifications and that must be completed for issuance of a (temporary) certificate of completion and project acceptance.
Project closeout is the process that formally completes any remaining contractual obligations of contractors to perform construction works in the production of a built asset. For closeout, operational testing is performed to allow the operator to have the problems rectified before the facility's actual opening.
Handover is when a general contractor delivers and the developer accepts the transfer of built property for occupation. It marks the end of the contractor’s possession of the site, termination of all construction activity, closure of all contracts, and project acceptance.
For handover, the development manager coordinates with the sales and marketing teams to set sales, advertising and customer relations strategies as well as to set and execute the property's asset management strategy. Unless continuing as the operator and property manager, the property developer exits the project at closeout.
The commissioning agent (CxA) is generally contracted directly to the developer and independent of the design team to ensure an unbiased assessment. The CxA coordinates the commissioning during design, prepares the commissioning specs, and plans and reviews the construction documents.
The commissioning of the building is a prerequisite for receiving green building certification. Commissioning agents who are certified assessors of a green building certification system, such as LEED, BREEAM or WELL, can manage the certification efforts and provide specifications for green products and construction practices.