Items of Engineering Interest

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Attic Space in OCU School of Law Houses Existing AHU’s

I was recently the luncheon speaker for the Engineers Club of Oklahoma City (ECOC). There was interest in the OCU School of Law a current FSB project under construction. There has been a series of recent press on the project lending to it being a current topic of interest. The presentation I had readily available was from a recent presentation at the State Historic Preservation Conference. The presentation focused on the history of the building going back to its original construction as Oklahoma High School in 1909. I decided I needed to incorporate something about the engineering systems considering my audience.

5th Floor Mech

As part of its normal agenda, the ECOC would query its attending members to see if they had any “items of engineering interest” to share with the group. This was for the most part a light-hearted segment of the meeting with bizarre stories, headliners and anecdotes. None the less, I thought it to be very appropriate that I had incorporated some items of engineering interest in my PowerPoint presentation. Having recently refreshed my memory of FSB’s approach to the engineering design for my audience, it was timely to share that aspect of the project on the FSB Blog.

4th Floor Mech

Fortunately we were not dealing with the original systems that were a part of the 1909 design of the building. The old high school had gone through a major upgrade and renovation when it was converted to upscale corporate offices for Bell Telephone Company in 1984. The building received regular upkeep and maintenance including care of the engineering systems over the years and because of that the major pieces of mechanical equipment were in good operating condition.

Mech Const

Branch Ductwork Being Installed

Here are the key points of the mechanical engineering systems approach for the renovation project.

Heat and Cooling Plant

  • Existing “backbone” was intact; gas fired boilers and water cooled chillers

Air Handling Units and Ductwork

  • 4 main existing AHU’s and duct risers remained and were reused in the design
  • Branch ducts and VAV units were replaced
  • 5th floor added new outside air units due to dramatic occupancy change; all new ductwork.

Roof View

While reflecting on the historic fabric of the building I noted that there is typically not a great deal of preservation work when it comes to the engineering systems. As far as engineering systems go, if it’s really old its bad; i.e. time to remove and replace. Fortunately we were not dealing with really old stuff; only circa 1984 versus 1909.

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Filed under Design, Historic Preservation

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