Professional Engineering Consultants PA: Koch Industries Building H

New construction at an office building.

By Professional Engineering Consultants PA August 14, 2014

Engineering firm: Professional Engineering Consultants PA
2014 MEP Giants rank: 60
Project: Koch Industries Building H
Address: Wichita, Kan., U.S.
Building type: Office building
Project type: New construction
Engineering services: Automation/controls, electrical/power, HVAC/mechanical, lighting, energy/sustainability, and plumbing/piping
Project timeline: 11/13/2012 to 4/17/2015
MEP/FP budget: $19,700,000

Challenges and Solutions

Koch Industries continues to grow. The company commissioned a new 200,000-sq-ft building to help accommodate up to 2,800 new employees. Working with architects Howard+Helmer, Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) faced the following challenges. First, the building had to be energy efficient. PEC used low-temp air distribution to limit fan horsepower. Heat recovery was used to recover energy from restroom exhaust. High-efficiency centrifugal chillers and variable primary pumping boost cooling efficiency. Condensing boilers, low-temperature heating supply water, and variable primary pumping minimize heating costs. LED light fixtures connected to daylight harvesting and motion controls are employed throughout the building. Second, the campus had to be pleasing aesthetically. The 1,200 tons of cooling tower, generator, and pump house had to be concealed from view of the campus buildings. The solution was a remote architectural cooling tower with subterranean inlet disguised to look like a building. To fit the parking lot layout, the entire building could be only 45 ft by 35 ft, and it had to be symmetrical so that it could be mirrored for future expansion. A 600 kW generator and 600 kW permanent load bank had to be concealed for aesthetic reasons. The solution was to locate the 600 kW generator inside a remote building integrated with the cooling towers, and a custom architectural screen wall to allow for proper airflow to the permanent 600 kW load bank while concealing the equipment from view security was imperative. As part of the Building H project, the entire complex was re-imagined to create a true campus environment. A total of four entry points were designed with security buildings at each entrance. The combination of security related equipment, mechanical equipment, and electrical equipment needed to fit into a 270-sq-ft building. Also, the four buildings had to have backup power to maintain operations. The solution was combined room functions, a 100 kW generator, and rack-mounted central uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Flexibility and employee comfort were mandatory. The chiller plant was located directly below occupied space. Noise level was a concern. The solution was quiet magnetic bearing chillers with spray foam sound treatment in the chiller room. Flexibility to adapt to floor plan additions, moves, and changes was essential. The solution was an electrical power grid located above the ceiling on each floor. The power grid allows the electrical infrastructure to adapt to changing space planning layouts while minimizing electrical shutdowns and costly rewiring back to the electrical infrastructure. The project budget included $9 million for mechanical systems, $5.8 million for electrical systems, and $4.9 million for site medium-voltage systems.