Project Profile: Epic Corporate Campus

Firm name: exp

Project building name and location: Epic Corporate Campus, Verona, Wis.

Type of building and type of project:  Corporate Training Center/Commercial Office Space, New Construction

Project completion date and project duration: End of 2011

Engineering challenges and solutions:

The team at exp started design in November 2004 and work, including renovations of buildings not designed by exp, continues to the present. A software development company that competes with Microsoft and Google, Epic Systems Corporation needed a unique and sustainable campus to meet its growing needs and to compete for talent against rivals. Designed to support Epic’s staff, the campus also serves as a marketing tool for current and future clients by incorporating the latest trends in design, technology and sustainability. The team at exp has designed more than 3.5M SF of space and is currently working on more than 600,000 SF of new projects, all of which are being designed to be highly sustainable. Each building has a separate interior design theme that reflects Epic’s focus on employee and client satisfaction, work performance and corporate culture.

Engineering Challenges

  1. The Learning Campus normally houses 1,500-2,000 occupants; but two weeks a year the building occupancy increases to 10,000 people. The multiple wood burning fireplaces scattered throughout the building creates a need for building pressure control, particularly during this time of increased occupancy.
  2. A highly sustainable campus. A highly reliable electrical service for the campus.

Solutions to the Above Challenges

  1. The Learning Campus outdoor system is designed similar to a research laboratory system. Multiple Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) with dual heat recovery wheels and variable air valves on the supply and exhaust pretreat the outdoor air serving individual ground coupled heat pumps. There is an Aircuity control system that controls the amount of outdoor air into each room based on occupancy and monitors the carbon monoxide in the building to ensure the wood burning fireplace emissions do not enter the occupied spaces. Draft inducing fans are installed on all fireplaces as well. The DOAS ductwork system, heat pumps, sprinkler distribution, lighting controls, electrical and low voltage system distribution are incorporated into a “Technology Corridor” (see LC Tech Corridor.JPG ) that runs along the spine of the U shaped building, which allows facility maintenance staff to service and maintain all the equipment “back of house”, away from Epic clients. This feature helps Epic focus on its core competencies while also maintaining the facility.
  2. With Epic’s desire to be sustainable and energy conscious, exp designed the buildings with a ground coupled heat pump system. As part of the Campus 2 design, which includes four buildings, exp developed a water to water heat pump central plant that can simultaneously make chilled and hot water. Each of the six (6) heat pump chillers is composed of eight (8) 70 ton modules for a total of 560 tons per chiller. (see HP Chillers.jpg) A water to water heat exchanger is also incorporated into the central plan to allow free cooling when the ground water is cool enough. The chilled and hot water are then distributed to central air handling units and VAV terminal boxes though primary/secondary pumping systems. Dual flush valves and low flow fixtures were used in all bathrooms, and we incorporated LED and fluorescent lighting in all applicable areas.
  3. The exp team designed dual electrical services from separate electrical substations, distributed at 24.9 kV, with planned ductbank for future buildings. Early buildings had transformers exterior to the building. Due to aesthetic concerns, later projects moved these 2500kv transformers inside the buildings in dedicated vaults. These interior transfers are set up with a main tie main unit substation configuration to allow each building to be fed from either service.

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