As a follow-up to my discussion on the need to change our shop drawing submittal stamp, we also recognize the need to change our submittal review stamp for the commissioning process.

Now, I don’t know how the commissioning competition tracks the mechanical and electrical equipment submittals, automatic control submittals, and fire alarm submittals coming into their office, but we do manage the documents similarly to how we manage designer engineer submittal review: via the submittal administrator.

For LEED(TM) projects, the commissioning engineer is responsible for reviewing the submittals associated with the certification scorecard credits. As commissioning engineers, we are not responsible for the approval of the equipment, materials, and/or systems specified by the design team, but we are responsible for reviewing for Design Intent-Basis of Design compliance and commissionability. To do this, we need to monitor those shop drawings that can influence the certification process.

If you review our latest submittal stamp for commissioning, you will see we are approving the document not for specification compliance but instead for commissioning compliance. Our goal is to keep track of the submittals so that we can readily access them in electronic format should an audit of the job be initiated. To do this, we need to bring our submittal administrator into the communication loop.

Why notify the submittal administrator? All shop drawings coming into our office pass through this person, who sorts the submittal by project and also stamps each submittal before passing these documents on to the commissioning engineer for their review, approval, disapproval, and associated notes. She has no way of knowing that certain submittals on certain commissioning projects should be filed in a separate documentation file for easy access at a future date should the project be audited for scorecard compliance.

How could we correct this dilemma? We approach the solution implementation the same way we looked at our shop drawing stamp, deciding we needed to update our commissioning submittal stamp. The result was a next-generation submittal stamp that our administrator would now use as shop drawings continue to come into our office.

When a shop drawing comes in, our submittal administrator still doesn’t know whether special filing provisions need to occur, but, once these shop drawings are forwarded on to the commissioning engineer, this person can check off the box titled “Yes” when completing and processing the documents. Returning the submittals back to the administrator, she now knows to electronically copy the “Yes” submittal and file it in the job folder titled “Job No./Submittal/LEED/HVAC.” Check out our new shop-drawing stamp, RDK-Commissioning Submittal Stamp-LEED, and let me know what your thoughts and experience with maintaining good submittal documentation for energy and environmentally friendly projects.