Data-Driven Energy Engineering for a Student Recreation Center
A busy metropolitan school, the University of Louisville witnessed the occupational usage of its Student Recreational Center grow so rapidly that the need quickly outpaced the facility’s capacity. They partnered with CMTA to engineer an energy solution for a new student recreation center.
Generating data-driven design solutions for a large project.
Creating a recreational space that was fun and functional.
Collaborating with a large team.
Completing the project with a short design period.
These astonishing savings have led to an immediate return on investment, proving that more can be achieved with less.
From the first design meeting with the team at the University of Louisville, CMTA was able to bring statistical evidence to the table. Our research and experience helped generate high-quality designs from the beginning, and Data-Driven Design truly changed the trajectory of the project. We held First 30 charrettes in our corporate headquarters and took the client on tours of past projects to see real results firsthand.
We also proved our mettle in a collaborative environment, as we partnered with a national architect, a local architect, an engineer, and a very involved University architect to ensure that the new Student Recreation Center was as fun as it was functional. Large glazing designs, such as a 70 foot x 180 foot glass wall, were faced north to reduce solar heat gain while also increasing the quality of the work-out area in the gymnasium. Similarly, east-facing windows into high-activity areas were enhanced and coordinated with HVAC equipment to reduce first costs.
Research Pays Off
To further improve the facility’s energy efficiency, the design included radiant floor heat at the windows, dedicated outside air distribution, high volume/low velocity fans, and LED lighting throughout the double-stacked gymnasium. Research paid off as we engineered innovative ways to maintain thermal comfort and ventilation efficacy while minimizing the University’s initial investment.
A Geothermal First
For the first time, the University introduced geothermal heating and air conditioning to the Belknap campus. This system made the most significant impact on the sustainability of the building, utilizing the earth's energy to heat and cool the building, including all domestic water used in the building. This geothermal system provided 14 LEED points in the area of energy performance and minimized the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion.
CMTA relied on years of operational engineering expertise to reach National Energy Goals, surpassing the AIA 2030 initiative and achieving LEED Gold certification. Occupational use of the new facility has tripled when compared to the previous Recreational Center, yet energy costs were reduced to provide the University of Louisville with almost $100,000 of savings per year.
We are quite proud of what we were able to accomplish for the University of Louisville while staying within their mandated traditional budget. Thanks to their astonishing savings, the client’s return on investment has been immediate, proving that sometimes more can be achieved with less.
This is a remarkable tribute to students past, present and future. It celebrates the unique community and culture building experiences that will take place in this grand venue. I believe it will stand out for many years as a pinnacle student center experience among the finest in North America.
John Herbst, Executive Director of the Gatton Student Center