The BC College of Engineering required an expanded data center to serve its classroom and lab spaces. In conjunction with BC’s architect, ESI designed the HVAC system for full climate-control of the new IT space.
ESI provided a study of boiler plant replacement options serving two large residence Halls on the Boston College campus. After completing the study, ESI prepared MEP construction documents illustrating the construction of a dual-fuel, high efficiency boiler plant, with dedicated DHW heating system. The Boiler Plant was incorporated into the Campus EMS. In addition, heating zone controls were added to the residence halls to minimize energy use. This project also included modifications to the existing normal power distribution system and upgrade of the existing emergency distribution system serving the boiler plant and residence halls including a new 250kW diesel emergency generator in a sound-attenuated weatherproof enclosure, new emergency electric room and standby distribution to support the new boiler plant.
ESI conducted a survey/study of the chiller plant serving the O’Neill Library at Boston College. The report identified existing Mechanical/Electrical conditions. To minimize major modifications to the existing infrastructure, ESI recommended at 260-ton chiller. Again, to minimize piping modifications, the recommended chiller was a 2-pass variety.
ESI was retained by BU and Wilson Butler Architects (WBA) to provide Mechanical/Electrical Engineering services in support of their Master Plan infrastructure upgrade program for the College of Fine Arts Buildings at 855 Comm. Ave and 808 Comm. Ave, both of which are over 80,000 sf. The first phase of this project was to conduct a Master Plan study, in collaboration with WBA. The second phase, completed in summer of 2008, was infrastructure upgrade design and construction services for 855 Comm. Ave including new 15kV primary electrical service (NSTAR 15kV Station located inside the building to serve this building and the adjacent building), new 480/277 Volt, 2500kVA single-ended substation, new 300kW diesel emergency generator in a sound attenuated weatherproof enclosure, new emergency and standby distribution system, new 800 ton central chiller plant with pumps, rooftop cooling towers, new steam-to-hot water converter system to serve two buildings from campus steam, and basement chilled water and hot water piping distribution to serve future risers on upper floors. Total cost for this phase of the project was over 5 million dollars.
The next phase of this project involved fit-up of the 855 Comm. Ave basement with Music Classrooms, pre-fab practice rooms, central station AHUs, and Direct Digital controls. This multiphase fit-up reached completion in spring 2009. This project presented some significant challenges due to space constraints, difficult access for survey, and critical sound criteria for the spaces served. Total cost for this phase of the project is valued at over 10 million dollars.
ESI also was involved in Mechanical/Electrical design upgrades for large Classrooms in the College of Arts and Sciences at 725 Comm. Ave.
ESI completed a Technical Energy Audit for BU’s Photonics Lab in Boston, a facility with Laser labs, Wet labs, Clean Rooms, and large Teaching Classrooms. As a result of this study, ESI was hired to design, provide construction administration, and commissioning services in support of implementation of over $2 million in infrastructure upgrade projects, which have decreased building energy consumption by over 25%. Additional details include:
- Replaced (8) induced dilution lab exhaust fans.
- Reworked chilled water piping to implement process chilled water free cooling utilizing AHU cooling coils for heat rejection.
- In the final stages of implementing a building wide controls infrastructure upgrade with optimized sequencing and night setback.
- Analyzed ventilation on a room-by-room basis and reduced overventilated spaces to code compliant minimums.
- Retrofitted (3) steam boilers with microprocessor parallel positioning controls and variable speed drives.
- Upgrades projected to reduce building energy consumption by 20%.
ESI designed a new Chiller Plant for the Administrative Complex at Brandeis University. The new plant includes a new 150-ton chiller, condenser and chilled water pumps, free cool plate and frame exchanger, ASHRAE 15 refrigerant machine room ventilation system and new direct digital controls for automatic control of the plant.
For the Kutz building at Brandeis University, ESI provided mechanical and structural plans and specifications to install a new cooling tower and related pumps for Kutz Building. One of the main objectives of this project was to relocate the tower to the building’s roof to eliminate it from the front of the building. In addition, ESI provided stamped electrical drawings for the project as well as Construction Administrative services.
ESI designed a new chiller plant, custom air handling systems and electrical infrastructure for this prestigious museum which houses priceless works of art. Due to limited mechanical space, a new custom air handler was designed that could be “stick built” in place during a limited shutdown period. The new system will provide both temperature and relative humidity control for the museum. The campus direct digital control system was expanded to include this new system. This project is currently under construction.
In 2011, ESI was introduced to Brown University via reference from Acentech Acoustical Consultant Doug Sturz, who was retained by Brown to evaluate acoustical problems associated with the recently installed HVAC systems for the Pembroke Hall Multi-Purpose Center. Although the project size was small, the architectural constraints to potential changes to the Room’s HVAC systems limited design retrofit options. Based on ESI’s evaluation and follow-up remedial design, the acoustical issues were reportedly resolved, providing a successful introduction of ESI to Brown University’s Facilities Dept.
ESI was retained by Brown in 2012 to evaluate feasibility of replacing the inefficient air-cooled chiller system serving the building’s central air handling system S-1 with chilled water from the central plant as well as converting the unit preheat from central plant steam to hot water. The Building EMS serving the AHU-S-1was also upgraded in this project. In consultation with Brown’s facilities engineering department, an innovative dual duty replacement coil configuration was chosen to permit use of the existing AHU fan system with central plant chilled and hot water. ESI successfully commissioned this project in early 2013.
Based on energy evaluation of the building performed by another consultant, ESI was retained by Brown to provide design and construction administration services for the implementation of a new Waterside economizer (Free Cool) system to permit chiller shutdown in the winter, as well as boiler system remedial design changes to permit efficient use of existing gas-fired condensing boilers for summer duty independent of the central campus heating plant. Project was successfully commissioned by ESI in 2012.
Engineered Solutions Inc. was retained by Brown in 2011 to evaluate HVAC system upgrade options for this historic vintage 1770’s facility. Due to tight space and historic preservation constraints, as well as the need to maintain year-round building operations during system upgrade construction made this project a major challenge. Working closely with Brown’s Facilities Engineering and Maintenance staff, as well as an outside Construction cost consultant, ESI identified feasible options for complete replacement of the existing building HVAC systems without major disruption of Building operations (allowing for partial space shutdowns during semester break periods). Based on the results of our study, Brown University decided to go forward with a capital improvement program valued at approximately $4.5 million dollars. ESI received positive feedback from Brown regarding the quality and depth of our study and was retained in late 2012 to serve as the prime consultant for development of construction documents for this project to permit bidding of the work in time for major construction commencing summer of 2013. We proceeded through schematic design; however, the project was suspended in early 2013 due to University funding constraints..
ESI was hand selected by Harvard University and their most trusted advisor, Northstar Project Management, to provide MEP engineering services for the complete replacement and modernization of Harvard’s most prestigious building, Massachusetts Hall. Massachusetts Hall, built in 1720, was originally utilized as a dormitory and was occupied by the American Army during the Revolutionary War. Currently the President and Provost of Harvard with their staff occupy the building. The building also houses a freshmen dormitory on the top level. The existing MEP systems in the building have exceeded their useful life and do not provide a comfortable, convenient and efficient environment for Harvard’s senior administration. The existing systems were in varying states of disrepair and newer HVAC systems were very loud within important office and conference room spaces. One of the most important challenges of this project was to maintain the historical and architectural beauty of the building.
The MEP upgrade designed by ESI include a new bathroom core up through all levels, new electrical service, and an entirely new HVAC system. Due to the low floor to ceiling overhead, ceiling ductwork could not be tolerated. ESI also did not want to apply a hydronic solution that would place noisy fans in the occupied spaces. After long hours spent in the building, ESI conceived of a VAV air handling system that would rely on perimeter vertical supply ducts that would rise within wall pilasters and millwork. Dual air handlers and VAV boxes located in the basement connect to the perimeter supply air risers. Careful consideration was given to noise attenuation. This $12M project required careful planning and pre-purchase of long lead time items so that construction could be completed over the summer of 2018.
ESI, as a consultant to Payette Architects, provided HVAC plans through Design Development for the Fogg Museum of Art on the main campus. Due to the collections stored on-site, climate control was a key element in the renovation project. Custom built-in-place AHUs were designed to condition the building along with state-of-the-art control systems. The project was put on hold due to budget constraints and has not been constructed as of this date.
ESI studied the feasibility of utilizing a cogeneration plant to provide power and heat for one of Harvard’s large research buildings (NRB). The study examined 800 KW gas engines and fuel cells, both with 100% heat recovery utilized for the buildings HW reheat systems. Harvard is in the process of reviewing the study.
ESI was hired to design new air handling systems to replace three existing air handling units which provide make-up air to this chemistry lab building. ESI developed a phased construction project that allowed the 3 units to be replaced with two new custom air handling units without loss of service to the critical labs in the space.
ESI designed a new 500-ton chiller plant (including cooling towers) for the JFK School of Government. The challenging aspect to this project was the tight space constraints we had to work with. Cooling towers were equipped with VFDs for control and the renovated plant was incorporated into their campus EMS.
ESI was hired to examine the design, construction, and operation of the “problematic” 240 ton geothermal HVAC system serving a portion of their campus. ESI identified design and construction deficiencies and provided construction documents to remedy the problems and revised Sequences of Operation to minimize the burden on the Operations staff.
ESI was hired by Tufts University and Payette Associates to design and oversee construction of Tufts Medical School’s new Gross Anatomy (GA) Laboratory, cadaver embalming and teaching space within its BRPH complex in Boston. ESI was selected by Tufts because of our successful long track record of designing and completing difficult building MEP infrastructure and renovation projects at Tufts’ Medford and Boston campuses. This GA project also required extensive building HVAC infrastructure system upgrade, of which is one of ESI’s specialties. This $15M construction project involved the complete renovation of 25,000 SF of Tufts BRPH complex in Boston. New infrastructure systems to meet the stringent air change, temperature, and relative humidity requirements of the lab included a new 40,000 CFM roof-mounted air handler, new exhaust systems, new air risers, heat recovery systems, electrical infrastructure, and extension of other building utilities. The new lab will maintain appropriate temperature and relative humidity levels for preservation of cadaver specimens even when occupied by 240 students and faculty regardless of outdoor conditions. Since the BRPH is fully occupied, careful planning and design was required to ensure the safety and comfort of building occupants during construction of the new GA lab.
Click on these links to learn more about the Tufts University’s Gross Anatomy project:
ESI was selected by Tufts to develop an MEP master plan for this complex Laboratory that incorporates four older buildings in downtown Boston. Currently the HVAC systems do not provide adequate air changes and cooling to the lab spaces. There is also insufficient emergency power and normal power at the complex to support larger HVAC systems to properly ventilate the building. Working with the project architect and owner, ESI has developed a plan that will allow for the installation of new HVAC system to meet the required air changes in this complex without constructing a new normal power service and without significant interruption to normal operations in the building.
2009 Boiler Burner Study – ESI evaluated the (4) Tufts Boiler Plants for merits of burner control retrofit options for the low-pressure steam boilers.
2011 - Phase I of the Tufts Central Boiler Plant Upgrade Project - installed new gas service for the (2) 700BHP Cleaver Brooks low pressure steam boilers and also burner control upgrade for the (2) CB boilers with new dual fuel burners (gas and No. 2 fuel oil), originally fired via No. 6 fuel oil.
2013 – Phase II of the Tufts Central Boiler Plant Upgrade Project – new fuel oil system to serve the (2) 700 BHP Cleaver Brooks Boilers and (1) Erie Watertube 800 BHP boilers, consisting of (2) new underground fuel oil tanks, new duplex fuel oil pump set, new tank monitoring/leak detection control system.
ESI was hired to design a new HVAC and kitchen ventilation system for this main dining facility at Tuft’s Medford Campus. The existing system was very ineffective at maintaining comfort and proper ventilation for the two commercial kitchens in the building.Also, during hot summer months, the walls of the occupied spaces and kitchens would become wet with condensation due to insufficient cooling/dehumidification and control of room temperature setpoints. ESI designed a new building wide HVAC system that corrected all of the temperature and humidity problems with the building but without an increase in the operating cost of the building. The new system included a new chiller plant for cooling to replace inefficient DX cooling systems, variable volume grease hood exhaust controls, makeup air VAV control and four new air handlers to supply to dining and kitchen spaces. Another efficiency enhancement maximized the transfer of dining room ventilation air into building kitchens so that dining room air could be used twice rather than only one time before being exhausted from the building. This project has exceeded all expectations and runs without mechanical disruption.
ESI has completed design of a new process chiller system utilizing a heat recovery chiller to allow for free make-up air preheating during winter months. ESI first studied many different chiller replacement options and helped the owner understand the pros/cons of each option. Based on the favorable energy savings and simple operation, a heat pump chiller solution was selected.
Because of ESI’s extensive experience with existing building infrastructure system upgrade work, Tufts University selected ESI to plan, design and oversee construction for the installation of new air handling systems to replace three original, 50-year-old air handlers. This project was complicated by the fact that the library is occupied year-round, and extended interruption in HVAC service is not acceptable. Also, due to lack of space for replacement air handling units, the new units had to be installed in the same space as the existing air handlers. ESI developed a phased scheme that called for the installation of two new, custom, stick-built, 45,000 CFM air handlers over a two-year period so that the library would never be without air handling capacity for an extended period.
ESI was hired to provide MEP/FP engineering services for the design of a new 45,000 square foot student campus center. The new campus center was just completed on the two lower levels of an existing building that was originally constructed in 1967. Very little infrastructure upgrade work had been completed at this building over the past 40 years making this renovation very challenging. To make matters worse, the main kitchen and cafeteria, which serves all commuter and resident students, was located on one of the floors to be renovated. After an extended SD phase that established the extensive MEP/FP requirements for this project, ESI designed all new HVAC systems, kitchen ventilation systems, electrical infrastructure and distribution systems, emergency power systems, plumbing and fire protection systems for the building and project. This $17 million, multi-phased project was successfully completed in July of 2012.