Our relationship with Boston University is one that is long-standing and has continued to grow throughout the years. One of our recent projects on campus, located at 930 Commonwealth Avenue, was a 40,000 sq. ft. fit-out in an existing building.
Our team designed a new energy efficient VRF system, as well a new energy recovery unit on the roof to bring in outdoor air. The VRF system was designed to connect with BU’s campus-wide controls system so that all of the units can be monitored from a central location. Additionally, we did necessary electrical infrastructure upgrades, consolidating all of the panels into a single electrical closet.
Because the building’s infrastructure was old, we discovered there were numerous code violations that needed to be corrected.
SQ FT7,000 - 15,000
ArchitectDavis Square Architects
Our team has worked on several Bright Horizons throughout the Northeast. Each project began with a due diligence study prior to signing the lease to help our client understand how the MEP systems could work with their project goals.
The majority of the sites were located in former offices, so we had to upgrade the existing systems for the change in occupancy. That meant that we had to make numerous plumbing upgrades to accommodate for the additional bathrooms and sinks. We also designed new sprinkler systems, as well as smoke detection and CO2 monitoring systems. Designing for early childhood education means that there are more stringent safety standards that we need to comply with such as locating heaters and thermostats higher.
One of the recent projects, in Brookline, MA, included the demolition of an existing office which was renovated into a new early education and preschool facility to accommodate over 100 children. The expanded facility includes classrooms for children ranging from infants to per-kindergarten, an interior playroom, a staff lounge, a kitchen area, office space for employees, and an exterior playground.
ServicesDue Diligence & Commissioning
ClientBronx Charter School for Excellence
Bronx Charter School for Excellence
We performed a due diligence study on behalf of the Bronx Charter School to assess the existing facilities for the school’s long term lease renegotiations. Our goal was to better understand how to resolve a variety of MEP/FP issues that the school had been experiencing.
Following our survey, we provided an MEP/FP analysis of the deficiencies exist and made recommendations of how to improve the installed systems to operate more efficiently. Our recommendations were mindful of the client’s budget and the current installed condition. In addition to our study, our commissioning team recommissioned the systems to ensure the building operated in accordance with the original design intent and get a more detailed evaluation.
SQ FT85 acres
We have worked closely with Fordham University on multiple projects throughout their main campus in Bronx, NY and at Lincoln Center.
We have conducted various site surveys to gather information for utility upgrades and improvements. For the fitness center renovation project, we used the existing systems for the various gym areas. In order to optimize the University’s construction budget, we modified the dual duct heating and cooling system with new HVAC mixing boxes and provided exposed ductwork in the cardio room. The space was also re-equipped with a new fire sprinkler system and lighting system that includes both localized and remote location control switches.
Another project was the upgrade of the main dining hall. We used the existing system’s dual hot and cold air ducts and upgraded their mixing boxes with new controls to serve the spaces. We designed a new rooftop AC unit and power for the office’s lighting controls.
In the Library, our work involved evaluating the existing system. We determined that the deteriorated piping, outdated assembly and air compressor should be replaced with a new nitrogen generation pre-action system. This solution would improve the protection around the memorabilia and also mitigate the potential for pipe corrosion, leakage, and water damage in the future.
Our team performed special inspections for the projects to ensure that the installations were completed in accordance with the NYC DOB’s approved drawings.
We have collaborated with Harvard University on numerous projects, including Gutman Library, the Harvard Square Hotel, and the Faculty of Arts & Sciences building.
What was interesting about the upgrade at the Faculty of Arts & Sciences building was that the property was not owned by Harvard. Used to owning their own buildings, we advised Harvard throughout the design and construction process as to how to work with an external landlord. We upgraded all of the MEP systems in the space to meet Harvard’s design standards.
The program for the Gutman Library included a new ground level conference center, with six divisible event rooms. The challenge with designing a space like that is to make sure that the HVAC systems will accommodate any size room with any capacity. The center also included a commercial kitchen with extensive plumbing requirements for the cooking and cold storage areas.
New York, NY
We designed the engineering systems to support Inwood Academy’s new charter school on the first and second floors in upper Manhattan. The existing two-story building was constructed in the 1920s, and was originally used as a parking garage.
To support the new use as a high school, the building required new infrastructure and distribution systems, including all-new electric, gas, water, fire, life safety generator, and drainage services. We designed the systems to support the future addition of two floors as a second phase of the project.
The program for the new school facility will include classrooms, a woodshop, science lab/gym, kitchen, cafeteria, a guidance suite, a computer lab/media/art/music space, a teacher’s lounge, collaboration areas, and support space.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
We designed an incubator space for MIT, known as “The Engine”. It is a joint collaboration between MIT and Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), and provides an incubator space for new startups working on scientific and technological innovations.
The Engine occupies the second through fourth floors and includes office space, meeting areas, a café and a one pass clean air wet lab area taking up the entire fourth floor. The space was designed with an open ceiling concept, leaving the MEP/FP systems exposed.
One of the project challenges was that building had a wooden frame. For our mechanical team, this meant designing an unconventional system where the return air was ducted and all of the AC units were heat pumps.
We also worked closely with a structural engineer and the City of Cambridge on the design of the laboratory space. We used stainless steel ductwork for the lab’s exhaust, ensuring that the metal would not corrode. We also designed custom mechanical details for soldering benches and provided extra CFM to ensure the lab space was kept to a comfortable temperature.
Successfully completing the project has provided a space for tech founders to begin building the next generation of revolutionary companies.
In an effort to consolidate their central services and free up previously used space for academics, Montgomery College decided to purchase a four story office building. The project’s original commercial interiors scope was expanded during the course of the project to include replacement of the distribution ductwork, electrical service coordination for an abandoned data center, a replacement of all VAV terminal units, replacement of the complete building automation system, and as well upgrades to the building’s central chiller plant and central air handling units.
Overall, the extensive project design schedule was compressed to three months which meant meeting the client’s needs in the allocated time required intense coordination and cooperation between the architect and the general contractor to meet the schedule providing a complete and coordinated design package.
Stevens Institute of Technology
As part of our site utility assessment work for Stevens, our team visited the campus to analyze the readily observable conditions of the campus infrastructure and to survey the utilities. The team used 3D scanning technologies to document the existing site utility components and identifying considerations for anticipated campus infrastructure improvements.
In addition to making our observations about the infrastructure, we interviewed operations staff and facility personnel to gain a better understanding of their day to day experiences. Our final report suggested options for rehabilitation technology such as pipe relining and trenchless methods as well as consideration to full replacement of various infrastructure systems.
Along with the MEP/FP work completed by our internal team, we managed the work of three sub consultants: a land surveyor, a utility mark-out specialist, and aerial mapping contractors. Our combined information will help Stevens make informed decisions on the future expansion and renovation of their buildings.
Success Academy Charter School
New York, NY
We provided engineering design for a seven-story \school within a new residential tower at 555 Tenth Avenue. The build-out provides a multi-level private charter school for elementary and middle school students, as well as a Teacher Training Facility (TTF). The design includes homerooms and specialty classrooms, offices, student/faculty lounges, and TTFs.
Design considerations include circulation, restrooms, and other accessory spaces, as well as a new convenience stair inserted into an existing multi-level atrium, and a new stair connecting the ground-level entry to the first floor. The project design is integrating environmentally responsible, sustainable building practices that raise building performance standards.
We designed redundant AC units and a central UPS the three server rooms. The project involved very detailed coordination with the architect and other consultants to define pathways for services above ceilings and in walls.
Suffolk University is located in the heart of downtown Boston. The university’s expanding business school needed additional faculty offices, classrooms and multiple break-out spaces. Because of the changing nature of students’ study habits, the university decided to modify Sargent Hall, the library, into the new educational space for the business students.
To accommodate the university’s budget, we modified the existing base building MEP systems. Our team is also designing a new generator for the building to accommodate afterhours use.
University of Maryland College Park
College Park, MD
We were engaged by the University of Maryland, Physical Plant Department of Engineering, to provide outsourced engineering resources. Our team supported the university with electrical engineers to support their effort in keeping up with the aggressive growth and help meet ever changing demands. Over twelve months, we staffed multiple positions enabling our team to immerse ourselves with the current team in place at the physical plant engineering department.
We provided engineering for various lighting and power upgrades. The projects included site lighting, interior lighting, classroom renovations, electrical distribution upgrades, lecture classrooms, lab class rooms, and research labs. This experience enabled us to better understand the owner’s perspective, demands placed on the university staff and the level of documentation required for the university’s directed construction activities.
University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia hired our team to work with them on the fit-out of additional space for their graduate business school. This two phase renovation consisted of redeveloping office space into a high occupancy education space on two floors. One of the floors included reception and classrooms, the other included conference and office space.
Because the space was being converted from a standard occupancy office, to a densely occupied classroom/learning environment, supplemental mechanical equipment was necessary to meet the increased load requirements.
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Located in Boston, Wentworth Institute of Technology is growing. In July 2017, it received approval for “university” status from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. An exciting milestone for the university (which decided to keep their founding name), we have worked with their facilities team to make various upgrades to their campus to accommodate their growth.
Highlights of the projects that we have worked on with them include converting lab space in the Altsculler Wing into classrooms and a lounge. We modified the MEP systems in Dobbs Hall in order to accommodate more offices. We upgraded the systems in the Rubenstein building in order to accommodate an expanded robotics lab. And we modified the MEP systems in Watson Hall for new faculty offices.