Project Profile: NC A&T State University Engineering Research and Innovation Complex
NC A&T State University's (NC A&T) new Harold L Martin, Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex (ERIC) is the culmination of the University's effort to attract and retain the brightest minds in research, teaching and student body.
Engineering firm: RMF Engineering Inc.
2022 MEP Giants rank: 42
Project: NC A&T State University Engineering Research and Innovation Complex
Location: Greensboro, NC, 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; lighting; plumbing, piping
Project timeline: March 2017 to February 2022
NC A&T State University’s (NC A&T) new Harold L Martin, Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex (ERIC) is the culmination of the University’s effort to attract and retain the brightest minds in research, teaching and student body. The biggest challenge in the design of the ERIC was ensuring the building could adapt to the varied and unknown research projects developed in the building now and in the future. RMF met this challenge by leaning on our over 20-year history of working with NC A&T to understand the University’s vision and goals. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were designed to be robust, have redundancy and sufficient excess capacity for future program changes.
The new building, with its downtown facing orientation, is now the gateway to the greater Greensboro community, and stands prominently as a symbol of the NC A&T’s commitment to innovation.
Part of the vison for the Engineering Research and Innovation Complex (ERIC) was to advance the campus’ sustainability goals, provide students with a platform for a living laboratory and achieve LEED Silver certification. RMF designed the MEP systems to achieve this vision. The HVAC system included two sets of roof mounted 4-pipe VAV air handling units (AHU) with energy recovery and enclosed service corridors to facilitate ease of maintenance. The lab wing AHUs are 100% outdoor air with fixed plated energy recovery and the non-lab wing AHUs utilize energy recovery wheels. Chilled water is generated by two high efficiency variable speed centrifugal chillers and three high efficiency condensing boilers. The main mechanical room was laid out in such a manner to allow student groups to safely walk through and see the equipment in operation. In addition, a student interface monitor has been provided just outside of the mechanical room so that engineering students can get real time energy usage and savings data. The plumbing systems includes high efficiency domestic condensing water heaters and a state of the art pure water treatment system for laboratory use. Also included were interior and exterior LED lighting that surpasses ASHRAE 90.1 efficiency by 30%, as well as occupancy and vacancy sensors. Digital meters have been provided at all panels so that power usage can be tracked and reported back to the student interface panel. The spaces and systems provided for this building not only facilitate research, but allows the building to be a source of research itself.