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Building a Quality School

posted Mar 7, 2018, 5:32 AM by Ryan Palmer

Building a quality high school is important to the Board of Directors and the Building Committee.  One important aspect of quality is assuring the different building systems perform according to their design.  These systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical, life-safety, and security.  Another impact aspect of quality is assuring the different elements of the building envelope (walls, doors, windows, etc.) are installed correctly to keep the building dry and energy-efficient.  The process of testing and verifying that all of these systems work as designed is known as “commissioning.”

In September 2017 the Board of Directors took an important step forward in accepting the recommendation from the Building Committee to hire the engineering firm of Rist-Frost-Shumway (RFS) Engineering of Laconia, New Hampshire to serve as an independent, third-party commissioning agent for the high school construction project.  Their selection followed a competitive process overseen by the Sustainability and Building Systems Committee, who publicly solicited proposals and interviewed different firms.  RFS Engineering is experienced in serving as both the design engineer and commissioning agent for schools throughout New England.

The total cost of commissioning services is $192,920.  The construction budget includes additional local funds to support a more robust scope of commissioning work, including RFS engineers conducting third party reviews of the engineering drawings and specifications during the design development process, and conducting additional testing of the building envelope.