5. Ongoing Commissioning in Critical Environments

If you want to be sure your ventilation system is safe, effective and consistent in operation, the single best recommendation we can give you is to perform ongoing commissioning.

If you are not familiar with commissioning, it is worth your time getting up to speed quickly. Commissioning protects the return on your investment. It is a process with a set of activities by which you make sure your laboratory is operating the way it was designed and that it meets current facility requirements. Ongoing commissioning is like going to the doctor for an annual check-up. It helps you catch things early, before your laboratory facility ends up in Emergency, where you can spend 10 times as much fixing the problem.

Example of Ongoing Commissioning Activities

Objective: to assess ventilation effectivness including system air flows, sequence of operation and directional flow relationships in a critical environment such as a PC2 laboratory.

  1. Assess lab ventilation requirements with facility and research staff, EH&S, and industrial hygienists
  2. Verify the following control and automation fuctions with control systems technician:
    • Dampers/air control valves operation
    • Airflow measurement devices are reading correctly, if not clean, calibrate or replace
    • Temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors are reading correctly, if not clean, calibrate or replace
    • Fume cupboard monitors/controllers are functioning properly
    • Indoor environmental quality sensors are reading correctly, if not clean, calibrate or replace element
    • Control sequences are controlling properly
  3. Verify the protection of static pressure in ventilation and exhaust systems with the mechanical service technician. Refer to diagram below which illustrate the points of most concern.