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Planning a Large Scale Infrastructure Replacement

Michael Cooper, Harley Ellis Devereaux
Anthony Lozier, SFA Architects, Inc.

The presentation will focus on the planning and design of the complete HVAC system infrastructure in a large laboratory facility, circa 1970. EPA's Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center (AWBERC) Infrastructure Replacement Project in Cincinnati, Ohio, will serve as a case study. This ten story, 400,000-square-foot laboratory is slated for full replacement of its HVAC system infrastructure.

This presentation will begin with a discussion of up-front project planning. This encompasses evaluation of existing systems, determination of current laboratory requirements, and preparation of a cost model. Effective up-front planning is critical to the success of the project. The existing systems must be fully understood. How are code deficiencies, antiquated equipment, and inaccessible spaces dealt with? Progressive laboratory managers are examining laboratory functions and asking whether fume hoods and other containment devices can be downsized, or even eliminated.

This presentation will conclude with a discussion of implementation planning and the design of the first phase of the project. This includes development of new system strategies, construction phasing, re-utilization versus replacement, and commissioning. It is critical that the majority of the facility remain functional during construction, so an effective phasing plan is the key component of implementation. Equipment planning, to ensure that older equipment can be removed from the facility and new equipment can be installed in its place, helps minimize the impact to the building structure. System testing, validation, and commissioning plans must be established to verify that the design intent carries through to the finished project.

Throughout the presentation, energy efficiency and conservation will be addressed. One of the main drivers of the AWBERC project is reduced energy consumption. Every aspect of the HVAC system concept development, from system types to specific technologies employed, includes strong consideration of energy impacts for long term sustainability.


Michael Cooper is a principal and senior mechanical engineer with Harley Ellis Devereaux. He has 17 years of experience in the design and management of high technology building projects, including a multitude of engineering and laboratory facilities. Mr. Cooper has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is a licensed professional engineer in 14 states. Mr. Cooper has also served as a construction site field engineer, which allows him to bring a "real world" perspective to his projects.

Anthony Lozier is the principal engineer with SFA Architects. He has 34 years of experience in the design and management of technology based building projects, including many engineering, manufacturing, and laboratory facilities. Mr. Lozier has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He is a licensed professional engineer in seven states. Mr. Lozier started the engineering department at SFA Architects and has served as the architecture and engineering representative for EPA Region 5 for the past 10 years.

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