Omar has been in the building services industry since 2002 and is one of our key senior leaders and a part of our family since ECS’ inception in 2011.
As State Manager for Victoria he manages the day to day operation of our office and leads the project delivery team. His leadership skills and technical expertise are key in delivering multi-million-dollar projects for ECS.
Invaluable hands-on experience gained in services construction supervision combined with his commissioning management skills has been instrumental in resolving commissioning issues and delivering projects commissioned to design intent.
Commissioning, for Omar, is the perfect blend of contracting and consultancy. He reflects on his career to date, what makes good commissioning and the innovative new approaches he’s seeing across the industry.
What inspired you to choose commissioning as a career path?
As an engineer in the building services industry, I’ve always been involved in commissioning in some capacity in my previous roles as a mechanical contractor and then a resident mechanical engineer for a design consultancy firm, overseeing site construction quality and commissioning.
I began to understand and viewed commissioning as a culmination of the best of both worlds (contracting and consultancy) put together, and realised this is what I need to do going forward in my career; to be part of the business end of any project where buildings become alive, sustainable and maintainable.
What is good commissioning management?
It’s quite simple if followed to the letter.
Good commissioning management is a process in which all stakeholders play their roles effectively, the owner or client must ‘buy in’ the process, support the project commissioning manager and or agent and ensure all parties strictly adhere to the requirements of the commissioning management process without any deviations.
This will result in a seamless project delivery and to the standards and quality the client project deserves.
What innovative new approaches are you seeing when it comes to commissioning?
What’s common to see in the Australian industry is the drive for smart buildings. This is great to see from a commissioning perspective, as it involves viewing many building services systems integrated on a common platform. One benefit of this among others is it allows the facilities team for both base build and tenants to view snapshots of their assets and systems, run data analytics and monitor building performance to look for any opportunities to continuously improve building energy consumption, making the buildings more sustainable.
When do you believe an independent commissioning agent should be engaged on a project?
Earlier is always better. In most cases, pre-design stages – the commissioning perspective can be brought into the discussion/workshop with the design team early on to benefit the job. This will save time on design reviews and the design team will be aware of the pros and cons of specifying certain systems based on lessons learned from the ICA.
What is the difference between an independent commissioning agent (Green Star) and commissioning management?
Both roles have a common similarity – to be an unbiased advocate for the client on matters relating to commissioning. However, there are slight differences in scope and deliverables.
A Green Star ICA is required to fulfill the requirements of Green Star credits such as:
- producing a design review report
- production of a commissioning plan
- review results
- witnessing a sample of systems
- participate in the building tuning process
- produce a final commissioning report.
In a commissioning management role, you deliver a lot more than just the ICA scope. A commissioning manager will:
- adopt the CIBSE Commissioning Management Code M
- be involved in all stages of the project
- be responsible to implement the commissioning management process specific to the project
- review all the QA documentation
- review design documents
- produce commissioning plan and specification.
- ensure commissioning methodology is produced specific to the project in liaison with the builder and services contractors
- play a role in assisting the builder in the production of the commissioning programme
- develop critical path to completion
- hold commissioning meetings
- assist the builder and services contractor develop commissioning ITP and ITC in detail
- be proactively involved in witnessing the testing and commissioning activities
- resolve and troubleshoot issues as they arise
- direct and manage the overall commissioning process for the project.
The role is almost like a project manager, with the commissioning focus.