Battlespace Environment Laboratory Commissioning

Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District
Completion Date: 2011
Location: Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico


Burns & McDonnell provided Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-required building commissioning services for a two-story, state-of-the-art Battlespace Environment Laboratory to relocate the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Battlespace Environment Laboratory (BEL) from Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) and to consolidate all AFRL Space Vehicles activities at Kirtland AFB.

The 145,000-square-foot facility contains laboratory and administration space for research, analysis, engineering, engineering support and management. The design supports required science and technology for high-vacuum environments, environmental and calibration, chemistry and spectrometry, computer modeling, processing of space data, space operations, remote sensing, and quantum computing.


  • LEED prerequisite commissioning
  • State of Minnesota sustainability guidelines
  • Pre-design phase commissioning
  • Design phase commissioning
  • Construction phase commissioning
  • Warranty and operation phase commissioning
  • Commissioning plan
  • Design reviews: 35%, 65%, 95%
  • Submittal reviews
  • Commissioning meeting leadership
  • Site and photo observation reports
  • Pre-functional startup tests
  • Functional performance tests
  • OPR workshop
  • OPR
  • OPR and BOD review
  • Commissioning specifications
  • Test and balance verification
  • Training plan
  • Training
  • Warranty review
  • As-built review
  • Commissioning report
  • Systems manual with operation and maintenance procedures
  • 10-month warranty inspection
  • 12-month lessons learned
  • Mechanical systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Emergency power systems
  • Fire and life safety systems
  • Public address systems
  • Security systems
  • Laboratory systems


  • LEED certified facility
  • Energy-efficient masonry and EIFS building envelope with low-e glazing and durable, low-maintenance exterior and interior finishes
  • Laterally-braced post and beam structural steel frame bearing on spread footings
  • Equipment foundations capable of providing 95% vibration isolation at frequencies up to 100 Hz
  • Air-to-air heat exchangers provide energy recovery of laboratory general exhaust
  • High-efficiency condensing-type boilers and premium efficiency air cooled chillers
  • Low-flow laboratory exhaust hoods
  • New 12 MVA substation and exterior electrical distribution system
  • Secondary electrical distribution system to include UPS, emergency generator and 110A, 225A and 400A busways in each lab
  • Tempest and X-ray shielding in required labs
  • Communications, public address (PA), mass notification, distributed control system (DCS), closed-circuit TV (CCTV), cable TV and building educational support systems (ESS)
  • Site improvements including roads, drives, parking, sidewalks and landscaping