Video: Commissioning A Prison Complex: Overview, Technology, and Lessons Learned

This presentation will provide an overview of commissioning a prison complex project from design through construction, warranty, and into occupancy.

By CxEnergy and the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG) January 18, 2023
Courtesy: CxEnergy

Learning objectives:

  • Overview of prison design and system requirements.
  • Understand the approach to commissioning management.
  • Applying FDD software as part of large complex commissioning project.
  • Things to think about when designing and building a complex building (some stories you may not believe).

Video courtesy: CxEnergy


  • Greg Schlegel, PE, CxA, LEED AP, Bernhard
  • David Meyers, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
  • Vince van Oostenbrugge, CCP, Bernhard
  • Steven Haynes, PE, BCxP, Burns & McDonnell.

The new Utah State Correctional Facility is the largest construction project currently active in the State of Utah. It comprises 40 buildings on an 130 acre site located due West of the Salt Lake Airport. Prisons are one of the most complex facilities designed, constructed, and operated. Security is critical, but the inmate buildings must maintain specific indoor air requirements or the State can be sued. In addition, the buildings must be designed to operate differently in the event of a security event where tear gas is distributed, or in the event of a life safety emergency.

Other unique aspects of the project:

  • Technology unique to Utah’s dry climate was leveraged in the design including indirect-direct evaporative cooling with a centralized cooling water plant, allowing facilities to operate without the need for much mechanical cooling.

  • Controls are a combination of robust PLC controls integrated with a Tridium Niagara control system.

  • IT networks are completely isolated for security purposes. This includes State, Department of Corrections, HVAC, information, and security networks.

  • The State of Utah’s High-Performance Building Standard requires commissioning but also requires individual building sub metering and energy monitoring, carbon reporting, and fault detection and diagnostics (FDD).

This presentation will provide an overview of the project from design through construction, warranty, and into occupancy. We will review the unique commissioning approach and the technologies the commissioning management team utilized during the project, including commissioning software, construction management, and FDD software.

CxEnergy is the premier conference & expo in commissioning, building technology, and energy management. CSE subscribers receive a 10% discount to the CxEnergy 2023 with promo code CSE10 (May 2-5, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX). Learn more and register.

CxEnergy is presented by the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG), the Energy Management Association (EMA), and the Associated Air Balance Council (AABC). Together, these Authorities in Building Performance represent over 600 member companies and 2,500 certified professionals in the testing, adjusting, and balancing, commissioning, and energy management industries.