Facilities Management Nears Completion of a $5M Project to Install Air Conditioning in Dodd Hall
FM’s Design, Project Management and Operations (DPMO) team is wrapping up a major infrastructure project to install an air conditioning system on the second and third floors of Dodd Hall. When the building was constructed in 1948, the second and third floors were fitted with a mechanical system for air ventilation and radiators for heating. The scope of this project was to replace the original systems with an energy efficient central heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system that will provide better indoor air quality for the second and third floor occupants.
The project posed considerable challenges for the project team and the Project Manager, Steven Chang. All work had to be performed after hours, at night, and the equipment for the new system needed to be located inside the building in order to preserve the exterior aesthetics. The equipment for the new system requires considerable space, but Dodd Hall was not designed with a large mechanical room to afford such space. In addition, the building structural system was not designed to accommodate much excess weight.
To resolve the problems, the project team designed a system that utilizes multiple smaller air handlers that are suspended from the second and third floor building structural system. However, that approach created challenges for routing all of the ductwork that distributes air to each conditioned space. A viable path for every duct had to be identified. With only a few exceptions, the team was able to locate the system without imposing on the offices below.
The professors and the administrative staff have been very accommodating and flexible throughout construction, which started in January 2017 and is on schedule to complete in November. With the recent installation of an air conditioning in Rolfe Hall and now Dodd Hall, the only two remaining campus buildings without a central air conditioning system are Moore Hall and the Life Sciences Building. FM is currently evaluating a design to potentially add an air conditioning system to Moore Hall in the next one to two years.