Higher Education

University at Buffalo Crosby Hall

Pathfinder is providing mechanical, plumbing and fire protection engineering and energy modeling for the renovation of the historic 76,000 sq. ft. building, which houses the School of Architecture and Planning. This project is being designed to — at a minimum — meet the SUCF Directive 1B-2 Deep Energy Retrofit target, and the goal of  LEED Gold certification. Pathfinder has performed extensive energy analyses to compare various HVAC system options and how the existing campus central plants operate maximize the energy efficiencies for Crosby Hall and the South Campus chilled water loop. Pathfinder has made it a priority to ensure all stakeholder’s questions and concerns have been addressed and any nuances to each system were fully discussed with SUCF and Campus personnel.

With the Campus, Pathfinder identified and partially designed a mechanical system option that meets the Fund’s 1-B2 directive and complies with the SUNY Chancellor’s and the State’s overarching goals of fully electrifying buildings and eliminating the need for fossil fuel heating. This option, utilizing water source heat pumps tied into the existing campus chilled water loop, is innovative in how it utilizes the existing campus central chilled water plants and piping loop while removing the need for steam heat — while staying within the project budget.

Three potential mechanical systems were analyzed: Variable Air Volume with Reheat (VAV-RH), Water-Loop Heat Pumps (WLHP) and Fan Coil Units (FCU). A whole building analysis considered envelope upgrades (roof, exterior walls and windows), enhanced lighting and controls, and low-flow fixtures. All potential systems reduced the EUI to below 50 kBtu/sf-yr. The energy model shows that the WLHP system had the lowest operating EUI of 25.7 kBtu/sf-yr and provided an all-electric option using the central chilled water plant. The FCU option provided the next lowest EUI of 33.5 kBtu/sf-yr and takes advantage of the existing steam and chilled water plants on South Campus. In addition, deep energy savings target goals could be achieved using a VAV-RH system with an estimated operating EUI of 41.0 kBtu/sf-yr. Energy analysis aided design discussions, indicating the multiple paths to meet deep energy retrofit target goals.

Mechanical design includes a full replacement of the existing HVAC systems with new mechanical equipment, ductwork, piping and DDC controls to tie into the existing campus BMS system. Plumbing and fire protection design includes a new domestic water and sanitary distribution piping to new fixture locations, new domestic hot water system, and an automatic sprinkler system on floors above the basement. New exterior perimeter drainage systems will address water infiltration issues in the basement.


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