Cordish Lacrosse Center

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning System

The Cordish Lacrosse Center project at JHU involved the construction of a two-level, 8,400 sq.ft. structure incorporating Meeting and Conference spaces, Team Rooms, Locker and Shower facilities and is targeted LEED® certified Silver. Mechanical Engineering & Construction Corporation (MEC²) was the mechanical contractor responsible for the mechanical system installation.

Construction was an intense coordination process with the Owner, Riparius Construction, and the subcontractors to build a state-of-the-art training and meeting facility that maintained site cleanliness, safety and environmentally-friendly impacts to the existing area.

The HVAC system serving the Cordish Lacrosse Center provides year-round temperature and ventilation that meets or exceeds all applicable codes and industry standards. The HVAC system utilizes chilled water and steam utilities extended to the building from the existing campus utility tunnel; the chilled water provides cooling to a variable frequency drive-controlled central station air handler that supplies air to VAV terminal units equipped with heating water coils; the steam system provides the heat to the domestic water heater and the steam to heating water converter where system pumps circulate the heating water to the terminal units and also to heating radiant flooring in the Locker Rooms, Showers, and Training spaces. The ventilation for the building is provided through the air handler which provides filtered outdoor air as required. The system is also equipped with a free cooling economizer for ventilation air when no mechanical cooling is required. The overall HVAC system is monitored and controlled by a direct digital computer-based control system. The system monitors the building locally and remotely for equipment alarms or operating criteria outside of pre-set levels.

Challenges to this $1.7 million mechanical undertaking included the coordination of the installed systems. Coordinated drawings were required by contract but MEC² went the extra step to have a 3D model of the building created so that all parties could see the potential conflicts and provide strategies to avoid them. The utilities trenches were an issue when we found that after trenching to the tunnels, there was no access into the tunnel, so MEC² cut an access port and fed 1,3OO ft. of piping through the access port and built piping racks to support this piping and connect to the utilities. Due to the schedule, the mechanical room was built before the air handler delivery, so MEC² installed the modular parts of the unit inside the mechanical room which assisted making the dates. A green challenge was the installation of the roof drains which needed to be installed under roof pavers that were installed on support legs so that the green/living roof could be properly installed — this type of drain installation was a first for MEC².

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 and specific leakage testing of our systems.

Challenges to this $1,100,000 mechanical undertaking included the underground plumbing and electrical issues, as stated above, working in an active, occupied retail facility and coordinating the scheduling of construction tasks for successful mechanical system completion without impeding the process of the other subcontractors. Specific challenges included existing rooftop steel coordination for our new rooftop HVAC units. Renovation projects are always challenging with the coordination of the bulk materials storage and coordination with the multiple trades occupying the same building space.

All said, the project was a success and was completed on time and within budget.

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