Leers Weinzapfel Associates - Ohio University Chilled Water Plant #3, an attractive, metal and glass gateway to the campus
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Ohio University Chilled Water Plant #3, an attractive, metal and glass gateway to the campus

Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Production  /  Completed
Leers Weinzapfel Associates

On a prominent site between campus and athletic fields, the new chilled water plant facility is in an area highly visible to both the university and the community, and in proximity to mid-rise housing and recreation activities. It creates an attractive campus entrance gateway experience for campus arrival from the north. The plant building’s straightforward rectangular form and copper-colored insulated metal panel system blends with the neighborhood context in height, color and alignment. Two copper-colored colors, each with a correspondingly different texture of the metal panel system, animate the exterior. Glass with gray ceramic frit or clear glass on each elevation is inset to relieve the flatness of the panel system. The interior workspaces are thus all infused with natural light for workplace safety and wellbeing. The glazing also puts “technology on display” to students and the community. Roof-top perforated screening gives additional dimensional interest and proportional balance to the facility. The new chilled water plant will provide up to 7,500 tons of chilled water capacity to the university campus; its expansion of a resilient chilled water loop system provides immediate connection of student residences and service to a larger campus area. The plant not only serves as chilled water generation, but also serves as an electrical substation, feeding sections of campus around the plant with 15kV electric. The plant does not generate electricity but is used as a distribution point to help with electrical resiliency and load balancing. The facility design provides an attractive economical building aesthetic, and addresses environmental issues such as potential flooding, noise and plume factors. For resiliency the main equipment floor is raised almost three meters above the floodplain; this also allows an efficient ventilation system for the elevated main floor from below. An elevated ramp provides vehicular access to the elevated main floor. Large glazed bifold doors at the elevated main level allow chiller maintenance and installation of future large equipment. Extra-large swinging doors and hoisting supports allow installation of future large electrical equipment to the raised mezzanine above the main equipment floor. Rooftop cooling towers were selected to minimize plume issues. An effective and innovative acoustic sound wall with screened enclosure at the roof level provides noise protection for nearby residential complexes.

Credits

 Athens, Ohio
 Brody Bauers; Senior Project Manager; Ohio University
 01/2021
 1013
 17000000
 Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects
 Jane Weinzapfel FAIA, Tom Chung FAIA BD+C, Taehoon Lee, Matt Vocatura
 Elford (Ohio Office)
 RMF Engineering, Vincent Jarrett, PE
 N/A
 Brad Feinknopf

Curriculum

Leers Weinzapfel Associates is a practice recognized for its exceptional quality of design for the public realm in urban and campus contexts. The group’s special strength is a “mission impossible” ability to meet extraordinarily difficult building challenges with uncommon design clarity, elegance, and refinement. We are committed to providing meaningful spaces for human interaction and to promoting social well-being. Our work is diverse, including technically demanding infrastructure installations, advanced learning and living environments for educational institutions, to civic buildings and community recreation centers. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects honored us with the Firm Award, the highest distinction the AIA bestows on an architecture practice, the first and only woman-owned firm to be so honored. ARCHITECT Magazine has included the firm on its list of Top 50 architecture firms in the country, for the past five years in a row.

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