Document control departments and their project control systems are typically tailored to internal submission, reviewing, and approving construction process and contract documents. However, when dealing with governmental entities such as the local AHJs (see our blog on AHJs here) and providing documentation, these systems may not be acceptable as municipalities are not private or a contracted party of the construction team.
Legally, it is not incumbent on them to access and or interface with the project systems for their document and record needs. However, it is incumbent on the construction permit holder to provide everything municipalities need to issue, maintain, and close building permits.
Certificates of Occupancy (COs) and Operational Permits (OPs) cannot be issued without the associated construction permit closure. So, it is of great benefit for the commissioning agent (CxA) to present the key stakeholders and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) with the required information and documentation in a comprehensive and cohesive manner through a Room Ready Cx process.
Proper and timely presentation, review and approval of critical project documentation is essential to a smooth transition from construction to operations and production. A key commissioning role in facilitating this is the Room Ready Cx (RRCx) process.
The RRCx Role focuses on Civil, Structural, and Architectural (CSA) elements as well as building occupancy requirements. The RR CxA (Room Ready commissioning agent) establishes a documented workflow review and approval process and summary conformation of the Mechanical, Electrical, and Process (MEP) commissioning results.
Its scope extends to other items required by the AHJ for CO. The criteria of a CO can change based on specific state towns and city requirements. The RRCx role provides a focus on these items and aids in solving issues impacting and affecting CO.
The basic phases of the RRCx process are as follows:
- Room Ready Green-Tag:
- This is the point where CSA scope is declared construction complete by the Construction Manager;
- This requires all associated inspections and tests be complete, documentation submitted, reviewed, and approved by the appropriate parties, and confirmed in workflow by the RR CxA.
- Room Ready Blue-Tag:
- RR CxA confirmation that the room or area has been inspected and accepted for final fit and finish by the owner;
- This requires all room support utilities and facilities are installed and commissioned to functional design required performance levels.
- Systems not facilitating room function or performance do not need to be fully commissioned, but all further work must be done under a permit with the contractor fully responsible for the room or area conditions.
- Room Ready Orange-Tag:
- Blue-tag punch-list items RR CxA confirmed complete and closed;
- Receipt of required project documentation confirmed by the RR CxA;
- All scope associated with all designs required to provide a fully functional facility complete regardless of source or performing party;
- Final AHJ project walk-downs completed and all occupancy related items addressed.
OP is achieved through successful MEP RR Cx processes. Successful completion of these leads to a state referred to as Operational Ready (OR) and is often designated as the major predecessor to the CO milestone.
An OP is issued by the AHJ and is subject to annual renewal with approval based on the owner staying in code compliance and performing specific tests according to the code and compliance criteria.
But getting to this stage requires that critical project documentation is correctly presented, reviewed and approval and a key way to achieve this is the Room Ready Cx process.