Photo of an artsy, architecturally challenging building.

How Commissioning Shapes the Built Environment

Over the past few years, the focus in the construction and design, especially in the K-12 world, has shifted to thinking about the built environment. Simply put, the built environment considers and encompasses more about a space – it includes what the space is used for, who the space is used by, and how we want those people to feel when they use the space in that way. You can then shape your space to meet those needs, from furniture selection, color schemes and lighting, all the way to HVAC and security.

The built environment can be a fragile end product. For example, we may choose to design an educational space to be warm and inviting, with an open layout and a bright, inviting color scheme. If the HVAC equipment for the space can’t maintain temperature well during the colder months of the year, you now have a space where people want to leave as opposed to learn. All of the pieces must fall into place for the envisioned built environment to be realized by building occupants – especially daylighting, HVAC, and security.

Commissioning serves as one of the most critical quality check for the built environment. The commissioning process will first look at these systems individually, rigorously testing them through all modes of operation to ensure they can perform in the most extreme conditions your building might face. Once individual systems are performing as-designed, we look at the integrations between those systems and identify any operational issues that can impact the built environment of a given space.

When you as an owner spend time to plan, envision, design, and construct a new space, especially for students – commissioning ensures that the built environment you planned is realized by all building occupants.

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