As part of the contract, Burns & McDonnell will conduct design review, observe construction progress and participate in equipment start-ups


Image: Rendering of Raven Precision Agriculture Center at South Dakota State University. Photo: Courtesy of Burns & McDonnell.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) has selected construction engineering company Burns & McDonnell as the commissioning agent to provide LEED Fundamental & Enhanced services for its Raven Precision Agriculture Center.

The commissioning team will conduct design review, observe construction progress, participate in equipment start-ups and test all systems to confirm that they are operating efficiently and according to their designs.

Burns & McDonnell will help in pursuing LEED v4 certification for the 110,500ft² Raven Precision Agriculture Center. The new building will include classrooms, laboratories and collaboration spaces to support a multidisciplinary major in precision agriculture in the nation.

The new facility will also help develop a uniquely qualified workforce that will be ready to increase the value of agriculture industry.

Burns & McDonnell’s integrated 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 in guiding the coordination and installation of crucial systems during construction.

Burns & McDonnell project manager and senior commissioning engineer David Fairchild said: “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.

“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.”

Raven Precision Agriculture Center was built at a cost of $46.1m

Built at a cost of $46.1m, Raven Precision Agriculture Center will house modern precision farm equipment and will provide collaborative learning spaces for student design projects. Scientists from a variety of departments and industry will also be offered space so that they can collaborate in research and education.

The classrooms and laboratories will foster innovation and collaboration across the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, as well as the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in last October, Raven corporate development director Lon Stroschein said: “Raven is excited for the future of the Raven Precision Agriculture Center and the positive impact it will have on the next generation of precision agriculture professionals.

“We felt strongly that we needed to invest in this partnership with SDSU – not only for the workforce that it will help develop, but also for the collaboration and innovation that it will bring to the field of precision agriculture. What we are doing here really matters.”