Tennessee School for the Deaf: HVAC System in Ward Building
LOCATION: Knoxville, Tennessee
- Steve Bostic
- Award Winning Project
- Special Requirements for the Deaf Community
- Preservation of Historic Building
LDA worked with the State of Tennessee to provide design and construction administration services for a new HVAC system in the Ward Building at the Tennessee School for the Deaf (TSD). The building is owned by the State and managed by Real Property Management Division. TSD is a school with campus housings specializing in deaf education, and the Ward Building is a historic building constructed in 1924. The 43,000 square feet building was originally heated by steam radiators fed from a coal-fired campus boiler.
The school required some unique features for the benefit of the students. Since many deaf individuals can hear minimally at specific frequencies generally within a common range, it was imperative that all background noise at these frequencies low to non-existent. Additionally, line-of-sight and visual notification/warnings were critical to the success of the project. Other challenges included:
- Providing a modern HVAC system
- Protect and restore the exterior architecture
- Meet the unique needs of the students
- Make use of available energy resources
These challenges were met by the selection of a hydronic medium HVAC system utilizing the existing steam energy source through a heat exchanger and a remote chiller. The remote chiller is designed to keep noisy compressors at a maximum distance, and the air handlers are oversized to work at lower revolutions to minimize noise. On the exterior all window air conditioners were removed and replaced with two fresh air intake structures were placed on the roof. These were constructed to resemble the original exhaust system to protect the exterior architecture. Our design team also researched noise at specific frequencies from common florescent lighting fixtures and products were selected which did not emit the specific frequencies. Last, the fire/security system had to be compatible with the campus system, also designed by LDA. The system included ultra-high intensity indicators capable of waking individuals by light intensity and audio alarms for security, hazardous weather, and fire.
LDA Engineering provided design, bidding assistance, and construction contract administration services. LDA also responded to unforseen conditions typically encountered during renovation projects including asbestos containing materials, uninsulated and brittle hot water piping, undersized electrical service, corridor walls that were not fire-rated, and unsafe electrical wire/cable feeds in the transformer vault. The project won the 2004 ACEC Engineering Excellence Award in the category of Building Technology Systems.Back to Projects