Rutgers Academic Building

Open Access
Koffke, Andrew Steele
Area of Honors:
Architectural Engineering
Bachelor of Architectural Engineering
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Donghyun Rim, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard George Mistrick, Honors Advisor
  • Rutgers
  • Academic
  • Energy Model
  • AE
  • Building
  • Construction
  • Mechanical
  • HVAC
  • eQuest
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
This report analyzes the Northeast Education Building, which is a new university building project consisting of office space as well as several lecture halls. As a new icon on this university’s campus, the building was originally designed with energy in mind striving for a LEED Silver rating. From a mechanical perspective, this thesis report studies the current design to see where potential improvements could be made, ultimately providing an alternative solution to the original project. Overall, the alternative design proposal is analyzed to see whether there are potential benefits to the new system and to understand why the design team may have chosen the original system. For this report, the main study revolves around an analysis of the building’s heating and cooling system in the office spaces on the upper levels. As designed, the offices are conditioned utilizing a standard air-driven system with VAV terminal units. While this system is fully capable of conditioning the rooms appropriately, the newly proposed design involves two different hydronic systems – active chilled beams and fan coil units. In general, the main study of this report analyzes whether an air or water driven system operates more effectively and efficiently to heat and cool each space. As stated, the original engineers designed this building with energy in mind; therefore, one of the main goals of the redesign system was to enhance this project with an energy efficient system that would offer future payback in both utility costs and energy usage. The other main component of this thesis report was to analyze the potential daylighting benefits in conjunction with the proposed mechanical design. Currently, the architecture of the Northeast Education Building is underutilized with respect to daylighting. As one system, the mechanical and electrical designs should utilize more natural light in the building to improve the cost reduction benefits and provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment for the students and professors alike. By implementing a photocell design in the circulation spaces in addition to providing new LED luminaires, the building realizes potential energy benefits with this newly specified equipment. Given the analysis provided by both the mechanical and electrical system redesigns, this report also shows the difference in upfront capital costs in addition to potential pay back periods. While saving energy is a beneficial part of new building designs, owners will not realistically consider the more expensive technology if it does not prove to be cost effective. This report shows how each redesign compares when new equipment is specified as well as the potential cost savings on downsized equipment and materials. Ultimately, between all three major studies, the Northeast Education Building is redesigned in a logical, energy efficient manner. And while some of the hypothesized studies did not prove to be as beneficial as originally thought, there are several design considerations and further studies that would benefit the original design.