Welcome Center Commissioning

University of Rhode Island welcome center

The Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center is located on the University of Rhode Island’s South Kingstown campus. The Welcome Center is an interactive, one-story building that serves prospective students and families, visiting scholars, guest lecturers, as well as community and business leaders.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification for the Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center. A program of the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED Certification is a globally-recognized symbol of excellence in sustainable construction. To achieve LEED Silver status, the university elected to pursue EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental Commissioning of the Building Energy Systems.


University of Rhode Island welcome center parking lot

Commissioning and MEP Support

Fuss & O’Neill was contracted to serve as the Commissioning Agent (CxA). We led, reviewed, and oversaw the commissioning process in accordance with the applicable sections of U.S. Green Building Council LEED BD+C: New Construction and provided commissioning services for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems.

Mechanical systems included heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration, as well as associated controls. Electrical systems included service, distribution, lighting, and associated controls. Plumbing systems included domestic hot water systems, pumps, and associated controls.


During the design phase, our team reviewed Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR), the Basis of Design (BOD), and verified the BOD against URI’s OPR. We reviewed contract documents and developed a commissioning plan, which included the commissioning requirements and specifications to be included in the construction documents.


During the construction phase, we developed functional performance tests, as well as coordinated, witnessed, and documented functional performance tests performed by the contractor. We compiled a summary Commissioning Report and completed the online LEED forms and attachments.

Franz to view of the University of Rhode Island welcome center

The building achieved the LEED Silver Certification and the Welcome Center is the gateway to the University.

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