As a general contractor, there’s a lot of pressure to building new buildings and get them up quickly. And thanks to modern construction materials being used today, buildings are being built quickly and efficiently. However, as convenient as this is, it can create some fire safety issues. Newer buildings are built with engineered beams of wood, which are small pieces of wood glued together. This makes the wood lightweight allowing it to burn quickly and collapse almost instantaneously. Not to mention, modern furniture and coverings, which are made out of synthetic materials don't help either. Since modern construction materials burn faster than older construction materials it is critical that the commissioning process of dampers and doors is a part of new construction planning.
Damper and door commissioning services are important elements during a building’s early design and construction phase. A building’s fire and smoke dampers prevent the spread of flames and smoke through the ductwork of a facility. Fire walls/barriers as well as fire doors, if kept shut, help prevent fire and smoke from traveling throughout the building. However, understanding what the commissioning process is and what you are looking for in a contractor is important to the safety of your building occupants in the event of a fire emergency.
The Commissioning Process:
Commissioning is simply a quality-based service that begins during the design and continues through the construction, occupancy and building’s operational phase. Commissioning supplies the building owner with documented confirmation that the new building system is planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in compliance with the owner’s requirements.
Next, retro-commissioning is part of the commissioning process done to existing buildings. It can resolve any problems that have happened during the design or construction of the building. It may also address any issues that have developed through the years. Overall, retro-commissioning improves the operations and maintenance of a building’s services.
Lastly, re-commissioning is another part of a building’s commissioning process that occurs to a building undergoing a new commissioning process. A building may be going through a new commissioning process that could be due to a change in the buildings ownership or its use.
A building owner must have the confidence that their building’s fire and life safety systems were installed correctly – protecting the occupants of the building is too crucial to skip the due diligence of commissioning. In fact, according to NFPA 3, interconnected life safety systems (both active and passive fire protection systems), shall be tested after the initial commissioning process to ensure the fire safety system remains operational and that they work together as intended in the event of a fire.