Drexel University Chestnut Street Housing
New construction: Drexel University Chestnut Street Housing, Bala Consulting Engineers Inc.
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Firm name: Bala Consulting Engineers Inc.
Project type, building type: New construction, school (college, university)
Project duration: 2 years
Project completion date: Sept. 1, 2013
Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $21 million
The three new residence halls will wrap two sides of a city block and are being constructed between the public sidewalks and existing university buildings. Prior to beginning construction of the new buildings, steam, electric, telephone, and cable utilities serving the existing buildings had to be relocated into corridors between the residence halls. Mechanical and electrical spaces within the existing buildings were no longer located in perimeter spaces, and new ventilation and cooling pathways were identified through both the existing and new buildings. Separate mechanical systems were required for the apartment tower and the townhome units. The stacking nature of the apartments was ideal for vertical stack water source heat pumps; one heat pump is provided in each apartment with limited ductwork in each living space. The townhomes alternate living rooms and bedrooms and interior walls do not align; Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems with individual fan coils are utilized. In all cases, the ability to simultaneously heat and cool different living units or interior spaces is maintained.
All three buildings are served from the same central utilities. High-voltage electrical service, natural gas, domestic water, domestic hot water, and the circulating heat pump loop are all extended from building to building through common spaces and crossing below grade in the areas between buildings. Appropriate access to all utilities was maintained.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey