Built in 1903, the 83,000 SF Ingalls Building in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, is recognized as the first concrete-reinforced high-rise building in the world, standing at 16 stories. In the 1970s, the building was given landmark status by the American Society of Civil Engineers and added to the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, the space was partially abandoned and fell into disrepair in the 2000s, igniting the need for a complete renovation to revitalize the building.
The 2020 renovation and hotel conversion balanced sustainable design decisions with historic preservation goals, which can be challenging when receiving preservation tax credits prioritizing historical aesthetics. CMTA worked closely with the Owner to implement multiple cost-shifting measures to keep LEED and energy goals intact. For example, the one-pipe mechanical design was chosen to save 30% of total piping/fitting/labor costs. The facility program utilizes the basement spaces for operational back-of-house and a guest gym, the lower two levels for public gathering, dining, and cooking, the upper 13 floors for guestrooms, and the top-level and roof for MEP infrastructure. This project demonstrates that historic preservation does not require sacrificing sustainability and energy goals in an urban community.
Our team overcame several constraints to achieve drastic energy reduction. First, the tight, 5,000 SF urban site eliminated the option for a geothermal wellfield. The west facade imposed a significant and unavoidable solar heat gain with a window-to-wall ratio of 0.4. Historical criteria constraints prevented removing, externally shading, or significantly altering the glazing. Storm windows were incorporated and reduced the U-value of the windows from 1.0 to 0.5. A 3” layer of spray foam insulation was added to the uninsulated concrete walls, increasing the R-value from R-2 to R-22. High-efficiency water-source heat pumps (WSHP) were chosen for space conditioning, with a cooling tower and condensing boiler used for heat rejection/addition. Ventilation and exhaust are provided 24/7 as required by the hotel standards via the roof-mounted dedicated outside air unit (DOAS) with sensible and latent energy recovery. The guestroom WSHP temperature sensor uses passive infrared occupant-sensing, setting back the temperature when the room is vacant.