Data Center

The Rise of Commissioning Project Management for Mission Critical Facilities

The pace of design and construction for mission critical facilities has accelerated exponentially in recent years. The speed required to bring these facilities to market is critical for clients, and construction teams are under increasingly more pressure to deliver. Clients expect reliable, redundant and efficient facilities from the design and construction firms executing these complicated and rigorous projects. In order to deliver these large-scale projects with confidence, many construction management firms are beginning to augment their teams with dedicated Commissioning Project Management (CxPM) professionals.

Commissioning Project Management is essential to bring these complex projects to successful completion. The typical commissioning process for a large-scale data center requires detailed coordination between all members of the project team—the client, architect, engineer, construction manager (CM) and the trade contractors. The unique demands of these projects often require the CM to augment the team with a third-party firm with the proper expertise to coordinate the commissioning process. This approach has resulted in the CM adding a Commissioning Project Manager to the team.

The Commissioning Project Manager is independent from the commissioning agent. They work closely with the design and construction team members while managing the overall commissioning process. They review the commissioning agent’s procedures and tests to make sure critical building systems are challenged and conform to the design documents. The Commissioning Project Manager is an extension of the construction team responsible for managing and executing the lightning-fast commissioning testing/reporting schedules prevalent in mission critical projects.

The service of CxPM is an emerging trend largely driven by increasingly aggressive construction schedules. Over the past several years, Bala has successfully provided these services for multiple, hyper-scale data center projects. These projects have concurrent design and construction schedules with critical path activities where a Commissioning Project Manager is vital. Our services have included but are not limited to reviewing all pre-functional and functional tests, streamlining and processing the necessary paperwork plus rapidly responding to all inquiries and requests from the project team. Having the Commissioning Project Manager responsible for coordinating the processes required to meet scheduled targets, allows the construction team to focus on construction activities.   

The CxPM service is quickly becoming a welcomed team member in the fast-paced, hyper-scale Data Center environment. Their ability to fill this essential and critical role will continue to grow in the on-demand world of mission critical facilities.


Executive Vice President, Mission Critical + Commissioning Leader