On a prominent site between campus and athletic fields, the new facility is located in an area highly visible to both the University and the community, and in proximity to mid-rise housing and recreation activities. The new chilled water plant provides up to 7,500 tons of chilled water capacity on the Ohio University campus, and importantly with immediate connection of student residences. It also provides the campus with electrical circuitry and switchgear for a new looped electric service and new feed point. The facility design provides an economical building aesthetic, and addresses environmental issues such as potential flooding, noise and plume factors.
The plan building’s straightforward rectangular form and copper-colored insulated metal panel system blends with the neighborhood context in height, color and alignment. Two copper-colored colors and two textures of the metal panel system animate the exterior. Glass with opaque ceramic frit or clear glass on each elevation is inset to relieve the flatness of the panel system. The interior workspaces are thus all infused with natural light for workplace safety and well being. Roof-top perforated screening gives additional dimensional interest and proportional balance to the facility.
For resiliency the main equipment floor is raised about nine feet above the floodplain; this also allows an efficient ventilation system for the main floor. A ramp provides vehicular access to the elevated main floor, and glazed bifold doors allow chiller maintenance and installation of future large equipment at the the main level. An effective acoustical sound wall with screened enclosure at the roof provides noise protection for nearby residential complexes, and rooftop cooling towers were selected to minimize plume issues.