Arundel Preserve

The Arundel Preserve project involved construction of a 150,000 sq. ft. shell office structure which will be LEED® certified for Core and Shell. Mechanical Engineering & Construction Corporation (MEC²) was the mechanical contractor responsible for the heating, ventilating, air conditioning system installation.

Construction was an intense coordination process with the Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), Whiting Turner, MEC², the commissioning agent, and the sub-contractors to build a state of the art office building that maintained site cleanliness, safety and environmentally friendly impacts to the existing area.

The HVAC system serving Arundel Preserve provides year-round temperature and ventilation that meets or exceeds all applicable code and industry standards as defined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE). The system utilizes water cooled chilled water units, cooling towers, heat exchangers, dedicated outdoor air supply units, high efficient boilers, and central station air handling units distributing air to fan powered variable air volume terminals. Heating is supplied by high efficient hot water boilers for treatment of the outdoor ventilation air and electric heating coils mounted on fan powered variable air volume terminal units for heating in the shell space. The overall heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system serving the building is monitored and controlled by a direct digital computer based control system. The control system automatically coordinates the function of all mechanical components to assure economical and reliable operation. The system may be monitored within the building and remotely for failures of equipment or operating criteria outside of pre-set levels.

The scope of the project consisted of providing heating, ventilating, and air conditioning for the new facility. The ventilation system is provided by dedicated outdoor air units that supply the ventilation air to the air handling units on each floor. The supply air is distributed from air handlers mounted at each floor through insulated sheet metal ductwork to fan powered VAV terminals with electric heat. The air handlers are supplied with chilled water from the chilled water system pumps, chillers, and cooling towers. The building is equipped with a heat exchanger that provides a free cooling strategy via condenser water pumped through the cooling tower and supplied to the cooling coils of the air handling units. The air handling units are equipped with variable frequency drives for supply air volume modulation due to decreased loads. High efficient filtration is installed in the rooftop units to remove airborne contaminants.

The heating system for the building is designed to provide heating water to the outdoor air ventilation units to heat the incoming outdoor air in the heating season. The fan powered VAV terminal units are equipped with electric heating coils to provide for heating due to heat loss through the building skin.

The building automatic temperature control system monitors and controls every HVAC component in the building. The control system contractor and MEC² required close coordination on all aspects of the construction effort. Coordination for dedicated equipment control, piping installation, and valve location as well as ductwork and terminal unit installation were planned to provide transition from the mechanical system install to the control system installation and start-up and balancing.

Challenges to this $2.45 million mechanical undertaking included coordinating the construction of the large mechanical equipment located in the mechanical rooms. Close coordination of every aspect of the installation and clear communication through the general contractor was critical in completion of a functional and efficient operating plant. Reviewing the design documents, shop drawings and submittals was important in assisting in the pre-planning phases of the layout and construction of the plant. Taking the additional time during the early planning phases saved countless hours on the installation labor side of the install.

LEED® requirements added additional tasks to the construction process including storage of materials off of direct contact with the floor, temporary capping of ductwork and terminal units to minimize debris entrainment, providing required filtration over the return openings, specific leakage testing of our systems, and a two week building purge was added to the schedule. Close coordination with all trades was critical to minimize dust and debris in construction practices.

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