Published March 15, 2021
Air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems at Discovery Park are receiving major upgrades. This work, which began in February, will improve the safety, reliability, and performance of the Discovery Park campus for years to come. The project is scheduled to be completed by spring 2023.
Project Manager, Carl Parsons, a mechanical engineer with UNT Facilities is overseeing the execution of this work to improve the overall comfort, safety, and sustainability of the building's utility networks.
“Most of these systems and equipment are original to the building from when it was built in 1985 and well past their normal life expectancies. The upgrades will “provide better energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, better temperature control, more reliability, less maintenance calls, and a safer environment for the lab areas.”
The work will include installing new air handling units for the E and F wings. The units will be installed on the roof and tied into existing duct systems. In-room air units will also be replaced, and some areas of the building may be temporarily closed to accommodate this effort.
The project is being carried out in phases so as to minimize impacts on students, faculty, and staff in the building. The first phase is projected to last up to six weeks, and will impact the first and second floors of the F wing. Work will occur in one quadrant of each floor before moving onto the next area.
According to UNT mechanical engineer Scott Harris, this type of phasing is designed to “limit the amount of time the contractor spends in each individual space so that each room will only be taken out of service for a small portion of the time we are working on rooms in each phase.” Any rooms that will be affected by the work will be given advance notice of the interruption.
The project will also be upgrading the air conditioning and heating systems in the M wing, as well as the lab exhaust and ventilation systems. One of the major changes will be to the cooling equipment in the Central Plant of the M wing. The chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant chillers that are currently in use will be replaced with new, environmentally friendly chillers.
“We are excited about starting work on this project,” says Harris. “Lowering the overall energy use and carbon footprint associated with the Discovery Park campus are worthy goals.”
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