Consulting Engineering

College of Design

University of KentuckyLexington, Kentucky

The University of Kentucky College of Design (CoD) will become the largest geothermal project on UK's campus. This 131,700 SF adaptive reuse project will create the most sustainable building on campus by not only drastically reducing operational carbon emissions, but also the embodied carbon of the historic building. This living example of an environmentally focused yet beautiful design provides the first electrified building on campus and showcases the resiliency to the world's future designers. CMTA provided MEP engineering, security, technology, and audio/visual services for the project.

Originally spread across six buildings throughout the UK campus, the University had a goal of consolidating the CoD into one building. Historic Preservation being one of the main programs at CoD, it was natural to take the abandoned Reynolds Tobacco warehouse and recreate this building through one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

To enhance energy reduction, the project incorporates a geothermal system (the largest on campus) with 87, 550-feet deep wells, supplying energy for heat pumps. Additionally, the enhancement of the building envelope reduces the overall energy consumption. The exterior walls and roof are being insulated, ensuring the building will have heating and cooling retention while lowering energy costs, lessening noise intrusion, and providing an overall improved environmental impact. The windows are being replaced with energy efficient, high-performance windows, which will improve energy savings, protect from UV rays, reduce condensation, provide noise protection, and require less maintenance.

Over 50 years, the building will reduce total emissions by 77% or 75,899 MT. That's equivalent to 16,980 gasoline-powered cars driven, or 9,566 US homes' energy use, for one year. This is also equivalent to planting 1,254,996 trees and letting them grow for 10 years. The project is expected to complete in 2023.