Case Study: Consulting Engineering

Health Sciences Building

University of CincinnatiCincinnati, Ohio

Sustainable Meets Beautiful

CMTA was able to bring a wealth of experience to the new construction of the University of Cincinnati’s Health Sciences Building in 2017. We partnered with the University to provide MEP Consulting Services on the project, to develop a building that is as sustainable as it is beautiful.

The Challenges

  • Maintaining the project budget while achieving the maximum level of efficiency possible.
  • Creating an energy saving plan to help the client meet their sustainability goals.
  • Integrating the client’s architectural vision into an energy efficient plan.
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CMTA took a very hands-on approach to energy efficient design and helped the client and design team select systems and products that realized significant energy savings throughout the project. Created with Sketch.

Daniel Ferrario


The Solutions

CMTA employed energy modeling services to determine the ideal materials and systems for the University of Cincinnati’s Health Sciences building. We were able to identify the ideal window glass area of the façade and glass U-factors, as well as solar heat gain coefficients. We also integrated a total energy recovery wheel for minimum outdoor air conditioning.

Because the building includes laboratory environments as well as classrooms, CMTA scrutinized the lab exhaust systems and provided peak flow for the main laboratory area with a two-fan lab set. This allowed the space exhaust to shut down when not in use, while a smaller fan would continue to run. In the nutritional lab, we were able to engineer recirculating residential range hoods in lieu of direct exhaust hoods. CMTA also provided controls for the space exhaust on the central system. This allows the management staff to track VAV supply to the space and reduce it to the minimum exhaust required. This strategy reduces energy while maintaining the airflows and pressure relationships required.

To conserve energy with lighting, CMTA performed life cycle cost analyses to compare LED and fluorescent lighting options in the classrooms. We determined that the most effective lighting system would employ a combination of LED and T8 fluorescents to maximize the LCC. Careful consideration was given to LED product selection so that the replaceable LED boards and drivers chosen aligned with the client’s sustainability and maintenance goals.

It's All About the (Architectural) Details

The project also included a large, multi-story atrium that required a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) study to determine the required airflow for smoke evacuation. This was done to minimize the amount of fan and ductwork required and to reduce the impact on the ceiling and atrium finishes. All of these architectural details were closely examined to ensure alignment with the structural elements and window mullions throughout the facility.

The Results

CMTA is proud to have overcome many unique design challenges while meeting the high expectations of the University of Cincinnati, working together with their partner architecture firms on this project. We were able to reduce energy needs while coordinating with designers to conceal the building’s MEP systems, operating within the University’s traditional budget. By working closely with the construction management company, time and budget constraints were met without sacrificing user programming requirements.

We are proud of the finished project! This building is a showpiece for the University of Cincinnati’s campus, a truly impressive place to learn, teach and visit.

Health Sciences Building Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: AIA 2030 Annual Energy Use Goal
Actual: The Measured Energy Use of This Project