Student dorms going through another phase

BY ROBERT P. MADER OF CONTRACTOR'S STAFF ST. LOUIS Washington University here has had a long working relationship with Haberberger Mechanical. That relationship has paid off for the contractor, which is replacing two of the school's old dormitories. Construction is underway for Washington University's Phase 4B Student Housing, a four-story dormitory that connects to the Phase 4A Student Housing building,

BY ROBERT P. MADER
OF CONTRACTOR'S STAFF

ST. LOUIS — Washington University here has had a long working relationship with Haberberger Mechanical. That relationship has paid off for the contractor, which is replacing two of the school's old dormitories.

Construction is underway for Washington University's Phase 4B Student Housing, a four-story dormitory that connects to the Phase 4A Student Housing building, a project in which Haberberger was also involved. Haberberger, which is working for general contractor Tarlton, is developing a high-rise stacked fan coil unit system for heating and air conditioning that will work in conjunction with a heat recovery ventilation system.

Additionally, Haberberger is extending the mechanical room from Phase 4A into the new building. In late March the pipe rough-ins were 75% complete and total mechanical installation was about 25%. A small percentage of the piping and a substantial amount of duct work and equipment setting remains to be finished, with an expected completion date of July 1.

Project manager Steve Batey noted that it was especially challenging to plan the logistics of building such a large project on a small site area. Project fore-man Ted Reigner and the team, however, have applied lessons learned from the first phase of the project to make operations both in the office and in the field more efficient.

"After having been involved with Phase 4A and getting ourselves familiarized with the owner's needs and expectations, we've been able to streamline the process and development of Phase 4B so that we accomplish those goals in the most efficient way possible," Batey said. "Having the support skills and well-organized coordination of Tarlton's project manager, Eric Nichols, has also been instrumental in helping to move the project forward."

Phase 4A and B projects involve building dorms adjacent to the Liggett and Koenig Residence Halls, which they will replace. The first phase has been named Koenig House and the old Koenig has been demolished. Liggett will see the wrecking ball after Haberberger finishes its work this summer.

The school considered renovating instead of replacing the halls, but the logistics didn't work out.

"We have tried to develop a plan that would renovate Liggett and Koenig but were unsuccessful due to the configuration of the buildings," said Ralph Thaman, associate vice chancellor and director of facilities planning and management, in a university publication. "We could not design what we need in a residence hall today in the existing buildings."

One big change is private bathrooms. Each pair of double rooms will share a bathroom in between.

The dorms include seminar rooms for small classes and academic tutorials; music practice space; multipurpose rooms; computer clusters; study rooms on every floor; laundry facilities; a main commons with adjoining library and community kitchen; and lounges with kitchenettes.

The university was founded in 1853 and occupies a 169 acres. The campus features predominantly Collegiate Gothic architecture, including a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The re-built Liggett and Koenig Houses fit right in with the existing architecture.

Phase 4A had about 80 rooms and the current project has about 50 rooms, Batey told CONTRACTOR. Some are single rooms, some are doubles and some are similar to small apartments.

The buildings have their own air-side systems that are independent of each other. The chilled water and hot water come from the existing mechanical room in the lower level of Phase 4A, consisting of a chiller and boiler plant.

The chiller is a 350-ton, R-22 York remote condenser chiller that supplies a four-pipe system. The boilers are Bryan Steam, natural gas with dual fuel backup with oil. The pumps are all Taco in primary-secondary piping configurations. Variable-frequency drives control the pumps. Hot and chilled water lines were extended into the Phase 4B structure.

The individual rooms are climate controlled with Envirotech vertical fan coil units. The common areas have individual air handlers, and the building is ventilated with a pent-house-mounted heat wheel heat recovery unit that takes heat from the exhaust system.

The chillers and boilers in the dorms are actually supplemental to a central chilled and hot water loop. The campus has a dual temperature loop that the university extended 1,300 ft. into the building.

"The building chiller's only function is, if they need cooling in winter, it will come on without the need for cooling from the campus loop piping, or if they need supplemental cooling in summer," Batey said.

The campus dual-temperature loop was running in the heating mode in late March.

A unique feature of Phase 4B is that the study areas and library will have high-end casework and millwork, so humidity control will be an objective for the control scheme. Haberberger plans to have the HVAC system running soon to try to get the building acclimated during construction, so it will be easier and faster to get the building under control once it's finished.

Johnson Controls was a subcontractor to Haberberger on Phase 4A and Johnson contracted directly with the construction manager on the current building. Batey still ended up handling all the coordination anyway.

"Johnson Controls has a lock on Washington University, at least this campus," Batey said.