BBS Architects Engineers

Ames Lab

Owner: US Department of Energy
Architectural and Engineering Design Services:  BBS Architects | Engineers
Construction Completed: 2021

Client Need
Ames Laboratory identified three air handling units in their Metals Development Building that were in need of replacement. One air handling unit supplies 15,000 CFM of outdoor air to laboratories, one supplies heating and cooling to a metal-working shop, and the other serves 2000 square feet of office space. 
The team at BBS Architects | Engineers worked with Ames Lab to define project constraints and current issues with the air handling units. The Shop and Office AHUs were sharing a mechanical room with limited access for maintenance. The Laboratory AHU required careful planning due to the difficult access to the mechanical room in the center of the building. Ames Lab also expressed concern regarding the outdoor air intake ductwork of the Laboratory AHU gathering snow during the winter. The engineering team worked closely with the architectural team to coordinate ceiling, wall, roof, and structural modifications. 
Each room was modeled with a BIM 350 Level of Detail to accurately represent existing conditions and allowed careful planning of the air handling unit replacements including piping, coil, ductwork, and mechanical equipment modifications. The Shop AHU was relocated to the roof and designed as a custom air handling unit with a service vestibule for ease of maintenance. The Laboratory AHU outdoor air intake was relocated to the roof and designed for a very low face velocity to prevent entrainment of snow. Two new steam pressure reducing stations were designed to bring steam supply pressures down to 10 psi. Because of budget constraints the project proceeded with construction only of the Laboratory AHU. 

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