In today’s mechanical contracting industry, the main keys to a successful, high quality project are staying within budget and on schedule and meeting the owner’s requirements. Schilling Green II is a 131,360 sq. ft. new office building that exemplifies these factors both in the design and construction of the building’s mechanical systems. The project involved installing some of the industry’s most advanced technologies on an accelerated schedule while still maintaining a high quality of work. In addition to being a successful mechanical systems project, Schilling Green II has earned LEED Platinum certification for Core and Shell.
Four energy-efficient, packaged rooftop units provide primary cooling to all spaces. Supply air is ducted from the rooftop units and distributed throughout the building via raised floors and manually operated floor diffusers, allowing each occupant individual thermal comfort. An energy-efficient Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system is used primarily to compensate for building envelope heat loss during the heating season and provide supplemental cooling for the building envelope during the cooling season. The VRV system allows for independent zoning control via thermostats while using zero ozone-depleting refrigerant properties. An Energy Recovery Ventilator is used to bring in outdoor air, improve indoor air quality, and reduce HVAC equipment capacity. A carbon dioxide monitoring system also helps to enhance indoor air quality. Smart metering equipment enables energy usage to be remotely monitored as well as provide the ability to sub-meter tenants individually.
Fidelity’s in-house engineers performed a building energy model to determine the building’s energy usage. This involved using a computerized simulation of the building to calculate energy consumption, utility bills, and life cycle costs of various energy-related items such as air conditioning, lights, and hot water. By using energy-efficient mechanical equipment, the project recorded a 28.1% energy cost savings relative to a baseline building. A BGE rebate totaling approximately $150,000 was obtained to offset the high initial cost of the energy-efficient systems and to stay within budget.
Similar to the building’s HVAC system, the building’s plumbing system uses low energy and water consumption equipment to promote an eco-friendly environment. Domestic hot water is heated using a solar tube vacuum collector system to reduce energy consumption by using the sun to preheat domestic water. Water efficient restroom fixtures such as dual-flush toilets, water-free urinals, and self-metering faucets are used to lessen the burden on municipal water supply.
Careful planning and coordination with the general contractor kept obstacles at a minimum during construction. The most challenging obstacle of the project was the accelerated time schedule during the winter. What would normally take roughly a year to install was completed in four months. Triple the normal man power was placed on the job to ensure that it was completed on time and within budget. Despite a fast-paced construction environment, safety during construction was maintained as per Fidelity’s Safety and Loss Prevention Management Manual. Fidelity was fortunate enough to earn a Baltimore Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors 2012 Excellence in Construction Award in the “Mechanical Construction Over 1 Million Dollars” category.
Due to the extensive planning of physical, environmental, budgetary, and time factors, the mechanical systems were installed with ease, making Schilling Green II yet another successful design-build, LEED Accredited project from Fidelity Mechanical Systems.
Mechanical Contractor – Fidelity Mechanical Services
General Contractor – Merritt Properties, LLC