• Alex Mathers

If It Wasn’t Documented, It Wasn’t Done

The “not documented, not done” motto is a common one many professional settings, particularly as it applies to construction documentation. Consistent and complete documentation for every project is an essential component of providing quality assurance.


Clear documentation clarifies expectations, establishes official agreements, records building elements, protects all parties involved in the building process, and most importantly, ensures the client is satisfied with the final product. This documentation is required to record tasks, deliverables, conformity, pertinent facts, observations and findings, and in some cases, must be submitted to meet certain compliance standards. A quality handoff to facilities and operations of a building includes accurate documentation of the design and build process. Future troubleshooting often starts with a review of what happened during this time.


Contractors as well as commissioning agent professionals have an obligation to document frequently, appropriately, and adequately to ensure standards of care are being met. CxA’s create checklists and protocols (PFCs and FPTs) to document the quality of the systems being installed. Included in our final commissioning report is the OPR, our commissioning plan, design review comments, site observation reports, submittal review comments, meeting minutes, executed protocols and issues and resolutions. Also included in the CxA’s responsibilities is the review and approval of A/E, vendor and contractor provided documentation including:


· Design / Engineering Plans and Specifications

· Submittals

· Power Studies

· Vendor submittals, product, material data sheets

· P&IDs

· Isometric Drawings

· Shop Drawings

· "As-Built" Drawings

· Pressure Test Report

· DALT Report

· NETA Test Report

· Equipment Startup Report

· Factory acceptance test report

· Site acceptance test report

· Point to Point Checklist (BMS)

· Data and Alarm Trending

· TAB Report

· Instrument calibration certificates

· Title 24 Acceptance Test Reports

· Equipment IOM Manuals

· Operator Training Records


There is no question that documentation is an important part in the construction quality control process. The quantity and complexity of this information takes a large amount of work and coordination to track accurately and completely. Robust documentation is not inexpensive to generate and maintain, but it can be much, much cheaper than the expense, time and effort needed to deal effectively with construction defects and future troubleshooting.

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