FirstEnergy - a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio and the fifth largest investor-owned electric system in the United States - serves Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Karpinski Engineering provided MEPT design services for First Energy's Technical Campus, which included three office buildings anchored by a central hub and totaled approximately 169,000-SF. Located in west Akron, the campus supports more than 800 employees and includes a full cafeteria and exercise facility.
An Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) system was incorporated within the raised-floor office environment - providing more effective and sustainable indoor air quality, increasing ventilation, enhancing occupant comfort via individual temperature controls, lowering energy consumption compared to other HVAC systems and minimizing the cost of office churn. Infrastructure for the technology system included: Category 6 horizontal cabling installed in conduit and cable trays; an intra-building backbone for voice, data, video and security; and an underground conduit system for connecting the new facility to two existing buildings, as well as local service providers. Ongoing air monitoring and a Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) system is provided via the building management system, providing acceptable air quality to spaces at all times.
In addition to the design of sustainable systems, contractors were required to protect the underfloor plenum ductwork from contamination throughout the construction process. Although the building envelope contains a significant amount of glass, the goal for building annual energy cost was predicted to be better than the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 by approximately 26%. This project was designed to fulfill the requirements for a LEED-certified building and has been awarded Gold certification.