H.D. Woodson High School
New construction: H.D. Woodson High School; Setty Group
Location: Washington, D.C.
Firm name: Setty Group
Project type, building type: New construction, school
Project duration: 3 years
Project completion date: Aug. 17, 2011
Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $12 million
H.D. Woodson High School holds the distinction of being the first newly constructed Washington, D.C., high school in nearly 40 years. With this merit came the challenge to not only comply with all requirements of the local constituency but also to bring forth a conscious effort in establishing the benchmark for all future Washington, D.C., schools and surpass the minimum requirements of local energy code, ASHRAE, and U.S. Green Building Council LEED. Some of the challenges included a below-grade main mechanical room and conditioning a natatorium and a large state-of-the-art auditorium while maintaining the high efficiency goals for a project targeting a LEED gold certification. Despite its challenges, the project came in on time and under budget, which is an incredible testament to the entire design and construction team given the project’s sheer size and lofty goals.
Pool dehumidification units were used on the project to condition the large open natatorium space. In keeping with the effort to design above the minimum requirements, and therefore reduce the load on the pool water heaters, waste heat off of the coils of the pool dehumidification unites was hydronically transferred over to the pool water via a heat exchanger. The amount of outside air was also exceeded via an airside economizer cycle to condition the space when ambient conditions were conducive to reduce the mechanical refrigeration requirements for the space. High-efficiency chillers and condensing hot water boilers were used to further improve the energy savings. All dedicated outside air units were also specified with integrated energy recovery wheels, and an automated building automation system was installed to serve all of the equipment in the building. In the state-of-the-art auditorium, architectural floating acoustic clouds for sound baffling were suspended, thereby requiring resizing of all ductwork in intricate detail in order to fit and route it through the webbings of the truss system to meet all of the distribution requirements. All of the ductwork and major piping was modeled and checked for clash detection on a computer before any installation in the field, which allowed for a relatively smoother construction process.