EDITORIAL: The Future of Cx – Wearable Technology?

Commissioning has been around for many years – are you still using the same checklists and forms you used 15 years ago? Technology has changed the MEP-FP systems. Buildings themselves have changed with more technology. Designing has changed into computerized design drawings. Construction has changed with digital drawings, use of new materials, pre-fab, and processes resulting in faster-completed facilities.

What can you do to improve clear communication in the field?

Communication is critical; emails, text messages, and even phone calls are not always productive. You send a new commissioning person to a site to fill out checklists and issues – yet you find they come back with many questions and little progress in the Cx process completed, even though they texted, and emailed questions. This is also costly. Texting, emails, and cell phones are quickly becoming poor methods for conducting in-field Cx.

There are technologies to help you – for example, wearable visioning hardware, where you view “something” in the field and instantly someone in the office “sees” it on their computer or iPad, or iPhone. They know exactly what you are viewing and can provide feedback or instructions quickly. Wearable hardware is like a ‘live TV show” with instant problem solving possible.

Wearable technology is not new to industry; it has been used in heavy industrial areas and even in troubleshooting IT servers and cabling, but is a tool new to commissioning. Wearable hardware includes a device you put on your hardhat in the field. The device is 100% hands free. It does not present problems with eyeglasses you wear all the time or safety glasses – and no problems with hearing aids. The unit is rugged (made for use on job sites) and it fits onto your hard hat (of course, you always have a hard hat on the job site, but the unit also fits over your head in the office or job site trailer). There is excellent noise cancellation when you are in an equipment room. These tools are dust proof, drop proof, and water proof as well. Field professionals can reference text, visual and video-based instructions, and many other features.

These kinds of tools are helping Cx Providers be more productive and save time. Our office has several of these units that can connect directly to a remote computer, laptop, iPad, and even an iPhone. Field staff become more productive and seasoned CxPs can be elsewhere and still have their “eyes” on a remote job site.

By David L. Lewis, Technical and Cx Project Director, CLAYCO
BCxA Best Practices Committee Member

Editorials are meant to influence opinion and promote critical thinking essentially, an opinionated news story. We added this section to The Checklist to allow for articles that reflect our market, and provoke thought or action. If selected, your article may either contain a byline or be anonymous.

  1. John Dombrowski

    Great article. I can see where this would be a good tool to help out newer Cx agents. Is there one that you would recommend?

Leave a reply

We encourage you to comment on this blog. All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *