Kline Fitness Center Expansion, Dickinson College

Addition to existing building; Kline Fitness Center Expansion, Dickinson College; Barton Associates Inc.


Building rendering. Courtesy: Cannon DesignEngineering firm: Barton Associates Inc.
2013 MEP Giants rank:
Kline Fitness Center Expansion, Dickinson College
Carlisle, Pa., United States
Building type:
School (college, university)
Project type:
Addition to existing building
Engineering services:
Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
November 2011 to June 2014
Engineering services budget:
MEP budget: $2.5 million


The Dickinson College Kline Fitness Center expansion presented several challenges including coordinating Building rendering. Courtesy: Cannon Designwith the extensive fenestration on both exterior walls and roof, maintaining the client's construction budget, and designing effective mechanical systems while maintaining the desired architectural aesthetic. More than half of the exterior walls associated with the fitness center are glass. While this provided great opportunities for views and daylighting, it presented significant challenges in creating an environment that was both comfortable and energy efficient. The architectural aesthetic of the building also presented challenges. The space itself is an open steel structure, with the structural steel being part of the finished look within the space. This created difficulty in air distribution strategies.


Building rendering. Courtesy: Cannon DesignBarton Associates addressed these issues through early and extensive use of building information modeling (BIM) and energy modeling. The firm collaborated with Cannon Design to reach the best balance between cost and performance. BIM allowed Barton Associates to understand the composition and components of the building very early in the project design. This was critical in meeting the client's budget and  significant energy use index goals.

Significant shading elements as well as high-performance fenestration products allowed the building to use 30% less energy than a comparable baseline facility. One way the team overcame the architectural aesthetic of the building was to use a double wall system to serve as a vertical air distribution pathway around the core of the building. This allowed for air distribution while providing the added benefit of sound isolation between the squash courts and other occupied spaces. Additionally, Barton Associates took advantage of operable windows and skylights to create an active natural ventilation system. When outdoor conditions are suitable, this system allows for increased ventilation and free cooling of the space, thereby improving indoor air quality and reducing energy use.

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