North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND

North Dakota University is an ever-growing university that offers students education in a variety of different fields. In need of expanded, agricultural research facilities on campus, NDSU constructed a state-of-the-art greenhouse complex. The intent of this project was to increase research capabilities at the university, attract scientists involved in new plant research and teaching, and enhance graduate students’ education through exposure to new agricultural technology. The complex is made up of one program level, including a mechanical space, one suite of BSL-3 labs, along with their supporting areas. NDSU hired Cornerstone as the commissioning agent to commission the facility during the construction and acceptance phases of the project.

Challenges included:

  • Being hired after planning/design phase, which presented many challenges,
  • Ensuring BSL-3 room integrity, with no leakage, and
  • Difficulties reconciling airflow devices with the Building Automation System (BAS).

Cornerstone had to adapt its commissioning process to match the pace of the project. Room integrity tests were performed within each of the BSL-3 labs, confirming they were leak-free. Regarding airflow device/BAS reconciliation, Cornerstone’s communication with key project stakeholders helped resolve this issue.

Today, the Greenhouse Complex is an invaluable asset for the Agriculture Department at NDSU. With Cornerstone’s help, the labs housed within the complex function safely and efficiently and support research in plant breeding, genetics, horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, plant nutrition, and associated disciplines.