Advanced Engineering Consultants: OSU Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building

Automation, controls; electrical, power; energy, sustainability; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; plumbing, piping; technology/communications; educational facility; laboratory; and new construction

By Advanced Engineering Consultants August 9, 2018

Engineering firm: Advanced Engineering Consultants

2018 MEP Giants rank: 99

Project: OSU Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building

Location: Columbus, OH, United States

Building type: Educational facility; Research facility/laboratory

Project type: New construction

Engineering services: Automation, controls; electrical, power; energy, sustainability; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; plumbing, piping; and technology/communications

Project timeline: February 2017 to January 2018

MEP/FP budget: $1,500,000


Advanced Engineering Consultants (AEC) provided engineering designs for the new Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building located at The Ohio State University’s Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus. Working with architect Erdy McHenry, the team designed a 10,390-sq-ftbuilding to support a diverse selection of educational programs for citizens in the community and to provide a sustainable source of fresh food to campus dining services. Building features include private and open offices, reception, educational and meeting spaces, a teaching demo kitchen, and space for field research.

AEC was responsible for all MEP/FP engineering designs in the new building. During the design process, engineers faced several challenges including:

Electrical metering system: The electrical metering system was a challenge to design because it had to meet the requirements of the University and their energy partner as well as comply with LEED V4 -Advanced Energy Metering.

HVAC design: Selecting the optimum HVAC systems for the building while meeting LEED V4 energy requirements and maintaining the open space environment by limiting HVAC equipment and distribution space was a challenge the AECteam faced.


AEC worked closely with the University and Erdy McHenry Architecture to overcome each challenge.

Electrical metering system: AEC evaluated the building electrical loads to determine which building systems would need to be sub-metered. Engineers determined what metered data the University would need for historical data logging and how to transmit the necessary data to the University. After much discussion with local product vendors, AEC designed a system of LAN enabled components that will capture and distribute the metered data as well as provide a method to trigger load shedding in the future.

HVAC design: During early stages of the design, an energy analysis was performed comparing multiple energy efficient HVAC systems for the proposed envelope.It was determined that a variable-refrigerant flow (VRF) system with a decoupled dedicated outdoor air system was best suited for the design as it was the optimum choice based upon annual energy cost as well as first costs and comparable maintenance costs.

The building was designed for an open environment with high visibility to the exterior.Close coordination with the design team was crucial to ensure sufficient space was provided for mechanical equipment and air distribution systems while not compromising the indoor design intent.The selected VRF HVAC system was well suited for the design as it minimized air distribution ductwork.