NKU Health Innovation Center

Highland Heights, Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University embarked on an ambitious addition/renovation project at Founders Hall, creating NKU’s second largest academic building totaling 210,000 square feet with a 108,000 square foot addition. This new $97,000,000 building will create a truly interdisciplinary education opportunity which will be used to help train future healthcare professionals in and around the region.

NKU wanted to pursue energy conservation aggressively. The existing building was connected to the campus central chilled water and steam utilities; however, the design team implemented a hybrid approach utilizing both campus utilities as well as a new geothermal well field which would serve a portion of the existing building. This hybrid approach used water source heat pumps in the classrooms, chilled beams in the laboratory spaces and traditional VAV air handling units in the Vivarium. The result was a building designed with an EUI of 68, which utilizes 50% less energy than the baseline code requirements.