Stinson-Remick Hall Multidisciplinary Engineering Building
New construction: Stinson-Remick Hall Multidisciplinary Engineering Building; BSA LifeStructures
Project name: Stinson-Remick Hall Multidisciplinary Engineering Building
Location: South Bend, Ind. (Notre Dame)
Firm name: BSA LifeStructures
Project type, building type: New construction, school (college, university)
Project duration: 3.5 years
Project completion date: Dec. 1, 2009
Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $19.25 million
Stinson-Remick Hall is the most complex mixture of program, function, and engineering on Notre Dame’s campus. The facility houses the university’s first clean room environment where white-suited researchers move carefully through a highly sterile environment. Inside, specialized lighting, power, vibration control, and air movement support the nanofabrication process. The nanofabrication space is actually three levels with a lower level equipment and service intensive subfabrication space supporting the specialized equipment needs. An upper level contains a bank of air handlers to create a constant flow of air down through the floor, always moving potential contaminants away from the work surface. This three-level volume is wrapped in more traditional research and classroom spaces. The building contains research space for material characterization, an energy center, and a nanoscience and technology center. The clean room supports the nanofabrication lab (an academic and research space). With research-intensive functions, the building operates 24/7 and needs to maintain strict environmental controls. The undergraduate academic learning center is the core of the building, allowing for multiple possibilities for collaboration among disciplines. The research and learning occurring in Stinson-Remick Hall is as groundbreaking as it is energy intensive. So, how did the designers create a facility that achieved LEED Gold status? Another challenge was designing a facility that could meet the diverse requirements of the building.
There are two key sustainable strategies that have helped Stinson-Remick Hall achieve LEED Gold status and reach new levels of energy efficiency. First, the nanotechnology research laboratories at Stinson-Remick Hall are equipped with fume hoods that require total exhaust to control chemical vapors. Makeup air to the laboratories must be conditioned and delivered continuously. Therefore, strategies for reducing airflow were implemented without compromising laboratory personnel safety. Airflows were lowered to the minimum requirement at all operating times and variable air volume systems are set to provide only the amount of air the fume hoods require based on the sash position. The use of fume hood occupancy sensors reduces the airflow to even lower levels when the laboratory is void of personnel.
The second key sustainable strategy involves the university’s central chilled water plant that is turned off in late fall and stays dormant until spring. Although Stinson-Remick Hall uses a high percentage of outside air and an economizer cycle is used to cool most of the spaces in winter, there is one condition that needs to be addressed. The large clean room in Stinson-Remick Hall continuously circulates over 200,000 cfm to maintain the quality of air required for the nanofabrication research. The clean room equipment, lights, and circulation fans create a large amount of heat all year long, and in summer the central chilled water system cools the air. However, in winter chilled water is not available.
The solution is to use the already installed chilled water system to transfer the heat from the clean room units to the incoming outside air that makes up for the laboratory and clean room exhaust systems. The chilled water system is isolated from the campus system. The building pumps are energized to circulate water through all the cooling coils in all the air-handling units. Heat from the clean room units is then transferred to the makeup air-handling units. So, the incoming air to the building is preheated in two stages: first by the heat recovered from the exhaust airstream (via an independent heat recovery system) and then second from the heat generated in the clean room. Small chillers are available in the building for those few mild days in winter when the free cooling option will not meet the full load.
The engineering system is as diverse and complex as the program space. The following is a partial list of the techniques applied to meet the building’s diverse requirements: variable air volume heating and cooling utilizing air tracking control to maintain proper airflow and pressure relationships; variable speed heating, cooling, and process system pumping to meet unique and high-ranging diversities; all-electronic building automation and control system with remote monitoring and system setpoint adjustments; and specialized clean room and laboratory gases and liquids systems including reverse osmosis water, liquid nitrogen, gasified nitrogen, E1.1 purified water, compressed air, a laboratory vacuum, and a host of exotic clean room gases and liquids.
View Bala Consulting Engineers Inc.’s presentation on Stinson-Remick Hall Multidisciplinary Engineering Building, Our Challenge: Design the First LEED-Certified Facility on One of the Nation’s Most Historical Gothic Campuses.
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