Commissioning Services in Healthcare

Integrating Systems in Today’s Highly Complex Healthcare Facilities


Humber River Hospital

As technology and standards progress, the pressure on hospitals to ensure that their buildings and systems perform at the highest levels is increasing the demand for commissioning services. Building commissioning is a quality assurance process that ensures that buildings and building services meet the operational needs of the owner and user. We provide healthcare clients with the confidence that their buildings are designed and operate as envisioned.

Integrating System Components for Maximum Operational Efficiency

Hospital services are extremely complex, with their scope ranging from HVAC, lighting, fire alarm and security systems to medical gasses, infection control, nurse call buttons and even the televisions in patients’ rooms. A single system, such as the air conditioning, involves the input of many different contractors including electrical engineers, plumbing and air conditioning contractors and building automation engineers. Our role as the commissioning engineer is to integrate all these different components as well as testing the building systems from design review through installation, to ensure efficient operational performance.

Close Collaboration with the Design Team

We work in close collaboration with the design team to meet the client’s performance expectations. We assist in establishing the owner’s goals early in the design process, documenting them clearly, and monitoring them throughout design and construction phases. Through strong communication, we support the design team in understanding the key issues, enabling decisions to be made in a timely fashion and coordinating the work so that it is effectively accomplished within the program budget.

Texas Children’s Hospital Research Campus Commissioning

For example, we performed building commissioning services in support of the expansion of Texas Children’s Hospital Research Campus. The project involved the addition of extensive research and laboratory facilities with highly specialized, technically advanced building systems, integrated into the hospital’s current MEP infrastructure, and requiring 24/7 fully redundant electrical systems. Our team oversaw the outage simulation testing and coordinated building simulations through many modes of operation. In addition, we optimized the building control system, energy systems and building operations to reduce annual operating costs.

Woodstock Hospital Recommissioning – Existing Building

Woodstock General Hospital is a 350,000 square foot, 178-bed capacity hospital in Ontario. WSP provided recommissioning services to meet the reporting requirements of the Canadian “Save on Energy” conservation program, governed by the CSA 8001-13 Standard for Commissioning in healthcare facilities.

Phases included planning, recommissioning investigation such as diagnostic monitoring and testing, implementation of appropriate measures, and handover including operations staff training. WSP reviewed the original design and commissioning documentation to verify consistency. We used the information to perform functional testing in order to reset the systems back to their state at substantial completion. At this point we discovered that the systems were not operating in accordance with the marked-up shop drawings at the time of substantial completion.

The sequences provided by the design team were further optimised once the building was occupied to stabilize the HVAC systems (including chilled water, boiler and AHU related) and the original design sequences were not detailed enough. Once the sequence optimisation was complete, functional testing of the HVAC system was conducted to confirm the building systems operated in accordance with the optimized sequences. In addition, the project documentation was updated to assist operations staff with understanding and controlling the building.

Compliance with Standards and Codes

In some parts of the world, such as the U.S. and Canada, healthcare guidelines make it mandatory for facilities to be commissioned, and we support many hospitals in gaining the appropriate certification which allows them to receive the government subsidies available.  We also undertake the necessary reviews, documentation and testing to ensure compliance with energy and green building codes.

Benefits of Commissioning

Increasingly our healthcare clients are recognising the benefits of commissioning as a key element in the successful performance of their facilities by ensuring a smooth construction process, reduced operational and maintenance costs, lower energy costs and an altogether better environment for patients and medical staff.  WSP is designated by the Building Commissioning Association as a Certified Commissioning Firm, and is the only CCF with dedicated commissioning offices across North America.

WSP’s commissioning team delivers the full range of commissioning services and solutions, including high-performance and complex projects, expertise in LEED buildings, leading-edge efficiency technologies, building enclosure, web-based facility management, and responsive customer service. Our services include:

  • New Building Commissioning
  • Existing Building Commissioning (also referred to as Re/Retro-commissioning)
  • LEED NC, CI, CS, and EB: O&M Commissioning
  • Compliance Commissioning
  • Building Enclosure Commissioning
  • Energy / Utility Audits
  • Web-Based Facility Management (SeawoodFM)