Case Study: Consulting Engineering

Health Sciences Building

Cincinnati, OhioUniversity of Cincinnati

A Project in Progress

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, and 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 lab area with a two-fan lab set. This allowed the space exhaust to shut down when not in use, and only one, 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, and provide 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 on 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 to permit for replaceable LED boards and drivers to align with the client’s sustainability and maintenance goals.

It's All About the (architectural) details

The project also included a large, multi-story atrium which 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 had to be examined to align 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, and their partner architecture firms. We were able to reduce energy needs while coordinating with designers to conceal the building’s MEP systems, and operate within the University’s traditional budget. By working closely with the construction management company, the design time was able to stay within the project budget without sacrificing user programming requirements.

We can’t wait to see the finished project! We know that this building will be a showpiece for the University of Cincinnati’s campus, and will be 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