Using Innovation & Sustainability to Control Interior Temperatures

Tinkham Veale University Center Shows How Innovation and Sustainability Can Help Control Interior Temperatures
Planned as a pass-through building that serves as a connector to all other points on the Case Western Reserve University campus, the 89,000 sq. ft. Tinkham Veale University Center provides students a 24/7 gathering place, a home for student organizations, as well as a state-of-the art gathering space for community events. With input from students on the design, the two-story building is a mix of horizontal, wedge-like shapes that stretch in three directions. 

With such a unique footprint, maintaining temperatures in smaller spaces such as offices and classrooms, as well as in large open spaces such as the ballroom, dining area, and gathering spaces was a considerable project challenge. To conquer this challenge, innovative and sustainable construction practices were implemented. 
  • Built 90% to completion in United Glass’s Canton, Ohio facility, the prefabricated, double-paned energy-efficient windows boast better quality as the windows were assembled in a controlled environment. Better quality means better protection against seasonal temperatures.
  • The double curtainwall glass provides ongoing energy savings with its passive air system. Pulling air from outside through the curtainwall, a 3′ buffer to heat and cool air is created and helps maintain interior air temperatures which reduces the amount of energy used to heat or cool the building. 
  • To install the glass curtainwall, giant trusses were first set, then the tension cables between them were torqued in a certain sequence to provide the proper tension and airtight seal needed.
  • A chilled beam system provides cooler temperatures to individual office spaces. Resembling a light fixture, the air in the office is cooled, rather than having cool air travel through duct work to reach the office space.
  • A full epoxy mesh underlayment, along with more expansion joints in the terrazzo, provided a custom solution to mitigate the differences between the terrazzo floor and radiant heat tubing system expansion and contraction tolerances.
  • A fully-automated, solar-intelligent shade system known as the MechoShade System helps maintain interior temperatures. A unit on the roof measures the sun and automatically adjusts the shades throughout the day.
Tinkham Veale University Center is a 2014 Build Ohio Winner through the AGC of Ohio. Criteria for the award included meeting the challenge of a difficult job, excellence in client service, excellence in project management, and innovations in construction techniques/materials. 

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