Mission Critical Commissioning - Data Centres

Data Centre

Commissioning is important for any building, but it’s a critical process for a data center which requires more processes to be implemented. Data Center commissioning helps to ensure that systems operate correctly and reduces the disruption when there is a failure.

Data Center commissioning examines potential failure modes and then introduces those failures into the infrastructure to verify that redundancies perform as intended. It’s a strategic approach that verifies equipment can be shutdown for service and that backup systems work when needed.

According to the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a data center commission is a “quality-oriented process for achieving, evaluating and documenting that the performance of buildings, systems and assemblies meets defined objectives and criteria”.

Sutton Commissioning & Management Consultancy has vast experience in executing and managing data center commissioning in the Middle east and UK, especially in TCCF certification with Uptime Institute.

Suttons role when employed to manage the commissioning of a data center captures the following elements:

  • Design and Planning
  • Site Survey & Kick Off
  • Commissioning Script Development from level 2-5
  • Review of Commissioning & Contractor Start up Plan
  • Pre-Commissioning Works
  • Implementation of Testing and Commissioning for Level 3-5
  • Review of Project Documentation
  • Managing TCCF Certification


Full commissioning is a five-step process defined by ASHRAE which focuses on documentation and ensures that commissioning is conducted. For a new facility, it should begin at the design stage with a selected Commissioning Agent (CxA) employed to review any plans as early as possible during the programming stage but no later than the design development stage.

At this point, a CxA can catch and correct details that have historically led to commissioning problems or facility failures. The CxA should ensure that valves, switches, gauges and controls are not only included in the data center and facility, but are installed to make commissioning and operation easier, safer and more dependable.


Data Center Levels of Commissioning

When we look at commissioning a data center, by following these commissioning levels the stakeholders can minimise the risk and ensure that all systems are tested, giving a more "commissioning sequence" focused process, maintaining a quality assurance procedure and structure that follows a workflow which requires each stage to be completed before moving onto the following stage.

Combining these commissioning data centre levels and the ASHRAE Commissioning Process maximises the delivery of commissioning on a Data Centre project