North Park University

Johnson Center, Commissioning

Johnson Center, Commissioning - Chicago, IL


G/BA provided LEED Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning services for 101,000-square-foot, three-story academic facility housing all science classrooms as well as student engagement activities. LEED Gold certification was achieved.


The building offers 10 smart classrooms and 30 smart labs, with lecture-capture capabilities, distance learning, and advanced collaborative technologies. Sustainable design choices include high-efficiency lighting and HVAC, a green roof and native plantings, light pollution reduction, use of local/regional/recycled materials, and other features.

G/BA commissioned the building’s mechanical systems (HVAC, controls, energy recovery, monitoring); electrical systems (indoor lighting and controls, photovoltaics); and plumbing systems (domestic hot water heaters). Design-phase, bidding-phase, construction-phase, and post-occupancy services were provided.

Benefits of the commissioning process included:

  • Identification of difficult-to-maintain fan coil units during design reviews and BIM coordination. G/BA helped the construction team coordinate appropriate accessibility throughout construction.
  • Revised sequence of operation of a high-plume lab exhaust fan. G/BA worked with the design team to improve stability and performance while achieving the design intent.
  •  An air cooled chiller could not achieve the design chilled water flow turn down. The chilled water bypass valve was too small to handle the extra flow required and had to be upsized. G/BA assisted the design and construction teams in making the necessary changes.
  • The commissioning engineers worked with the controls contractor to tune operation to avoid excessive noise.
  • G/BA attended the start-up of med gas and domestic water booster pump equipment to ensure that BAS alarm monitoring points were correctly landed and tested.