South Dakota State University Selects Burns & McDonnell for New Precision Agriculture Building Commissioning

As part of a robust design and construction plan, South Dakota State University (SDSU) has selected Burns & McDonnell as the commissioning agent to provide LEED Fundamental & Enhanced services for its state-of-the-art Raven Precision Agriculture Center. The commissioning team will conduct design reviews, observe construction progress, participate in equipment start-ups and functionally test all systems to confirm they are operating efficiently and as designed.


Burns & McDonnell will help the 110,500-square-foot Raven Precision Agriculture Center pursue LEED v4 certification, which will be comprised of innovative classrooms, laboratories and collaboration spaces to support the first multidisciplinary major in precision agriculture in the nation. This program and new facility will develop a workforce that will be uniquely qualified and ready to provide value to the agriculture industry.


An integrated commissioning team of mechanical, electrical and envelope professionals performed a review of the owner's project requirements, basis of design and the design documents, which will help guide the coordination and installation of crucial systems during construction.


Construction phase services will consist of site observations, observing equipment startups and functionally testing equipment to confirm it is operating efficiently and as designed. Commissioning services are being performed for the following systems: HVAC, direct digital controls, plumbing, normal and backup power distribution, building envelope, lighting, solar wall, laboratory and specialty.


"We're excited to help SDSU through the design and construction of a facility that will be a cornerstone of the first precision agriculture program in the country," says David Fairchild, Burns & McDonnell project manager and senior commissioning engineer. "Commissioning is increasingly becoming part of the programming, design and construction of highly complex facilities to enhance building performance and confirm systems operate and can be maintained properly once construction is complete."


Burns & McDonnell — ranked as one of the largest commissioning firms in the U.S. by Consulting-Specifying Engineer — has provided services for more than $11 billion in new construction commissioning within the past six years. The firm has designed more than 250 laboratories and critical environments for medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and electronics/microelectronics clients. The Raven Precision Agriculture Center was designed by EAPC Architects and Farris Engineering.  McCownGordon is the construction manager at risk.


About Burns & McDonnell
Founded by two entrepreneurs in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and innovators entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned and is proud to be on Fortune's 2019 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information, visit

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