University of Louisville Novak Center for Children's Health

Louisville, Kentucky

For years, it was the goal of the University of Louisville Physicians Group to bring all services together under one roof to provide a single location for high-quality pediatric primary and specialty health care. CMTA’s consulting and commissioning teams helped to make that vision a reality by delivering one of the healthiest and most energy efficient medical office buildings in Kentucky.

The Novak Center is the first medical office building in Kentucky to utilize a highly efficient chilled beam heating and cooling system. The HVAC system is fully ducted and ventilated by a dedicated outside air system, and all recirculated air is local to the zone filtered with both MERV 8 and MERV 13 filters. CMTA's Commissioning team oversaw high-level programming of the control system, verifying advanced dewpoint alarm sequences, direct digital temperature controls, building automation, lighting, metering, plumbing and fire protection. Additionally, CMTA performed an ASTM E779 Building Pressure Test. Throughout the commissioning effort, many issues were uncovered, reported, and remediated. The building was both designed and commissioned by CMTA. The shared goals between the CMTA design and commissioning teams provided synergy to ensure a successful facility operation.

The air quality metrics far exceed that of the typical medical office building. The measured average TVOC levels were 165 parts per million (PPM), with a typical building having a goal of less than 400 PPM. The fine particles that can negatively impact health are called PM 2.5 particles, and the goal for a WELL certified building is 15 microns of these particles per meter cubed (μg/m3). The Novak Center measures at 2 microns per meter cubed (μg/m3), far exceeding the standard. This project is a prime example of how CMTA Consulting and Commissioning teams work together to create a building with an environment enhancing Occupant Health and Wellness.

Novak Center Air Quality

[{"x":"SUN","Typical Office Building TVOC":"362.5","Novak Center TVOC":"163.3","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"14.3","Novak Center PM2.5":"1.1"},{"x":"MON","Typical Office Building TVOC":"267.5","Novak Center TVOC":"120.0","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"12.5","Novak Center PM2.5":"1.9"},{"x":"TUE","Typical Office Building TVOC":"255.5","Novak Center TVOC":"121.8","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"13.0","Novak Center PM2.5":"1.5"},{"x":"WED","Typical Office Building TVOC":"242.5","Novak Center TVOC":"137.5","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"14.9","Novak Center PM2.5":"0.3"},{"x":"THU","Typical Office Building TVOC":"237.7","Novak Center TVOC":"171.3","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"12.9","Novak Center PM2.5":"1.2"},{"x":"FRI","Typical Office Building TVOC":"260.1","Novak Center TVOC":"193.3","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"15.1","Novak Center PM2.5":"0.9"},{"x":"SAT","Typical Office Building TVOC":"282.2","Novak Center TVOC":"151.0","Typical Office Building PM2.5":"13.7","Novak Center PM2.5":"1.1"}]
What does this data mean?

Typical Office Building TVOC:

Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) are organic chemical compound groupings to simplify reporting. Consumer products and building materials emit these pollutants, and impact the health of occupants exposed. LEED-NC guidance specifies that the maximum concentration of TVOC in a building (post construction, pre-occupancy) is 500 µg/m 3.

Novak Center TVOC:

After one year of occupancy, the Novak Center’s TVOC level was much lower than a typical office building and surpassed the LEED goal.  

Typical Office Building PM2.5:

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that can harm people's health by traveling deep into the respiratory tract. Factors such as age and pre-existing health conditions can increase the risk associated with exposure to PM2.5.

Novak Center PM2.5:

The measured PM2.5 in the Novak Center measured significantly lower than a typical office building and performed better than the WELL Building Institute’s threshold of 15 μg/m3.