Florida Polytechnic University is located in the heart of Florida’s high tech corridor within 60 miles of more than 11,000 technology and engineering firms. The Innovation, Science & Technology Building is the architectural flagship of the Florida Polytechnic University campus. The design of the building is a space age looking masterpiece and it presented some challenges with its unique shape, high arching atrium and large heat loads.
Florida Polytechnic University IST Building
Project: Florida Polytechnic University – Innovation,
Science and Technology Building (IST)
Location: Lakeland, FL
Architects: Santiago Calatrava Festina Lente, LLC – NY;
Alfonso Architects – Tampa
Engineer: TLC Engineering for Architecture – Tampa
Contractor: Skanska USA
Contractor: Tappouni Mechanical Services Inc.
Sheet Metal Contractor: Wyatt Fitzgibbons Sheet Metal
The Innovation, Science & Technology Building is the architectural flagship of the Florida Polytechnic University campus. The design of the building is a space age looking masterpiece and it presented some challenges with its unique shape, high arching atrium and large heat loads. This along with tremendous diversity of spaces, it was quickly apparent that a typical mixed air distribution system would not be appropriate throughout the facility. Recognizing the problem, the design team looked to Price Industries to assist with developing an architecturally pleasing yet energy efficient solution.
Designers at Price Industries performed Computational Fluid Dynamic modeling of the facility. Thermal Displacement Ventilation was determined the best system for the atria (large open areas) and professor offices (quiet, comfort) while mixed flow air distribution was used in classrooms and other spaces.
Displacement Ventilation is a stratified air diffusion method where much of the stratified air in the unoccupied spaces is left alone. Supply air, slightly warmer than with a mixed air system, is introduced at a low velocity which causes minimal induction and mixing. Buoyancy forces in the room, generated by heat sources in the occupied space like the occupants, computer equipment and warm windows move heat up and away from the occupied space.
The system is extremely energy efficient, comfortable and quiet. As Displacement Ventilation systems had yet to be widely applied in Florida, Mike Tappouni, PE and President of Tappouni Mechanical, was at first skeptical of the technology. He and others from the construction Team visited the Price Technical Center where they gained further understanding of Displacement Ventilation as well as insight on installation methods of the custom diffusers.
The installation has been completed, and several years have passed. James Tapley of Tappouni Mechanical recently commented that he hasn’t heard a thing about the ventilation system at Florida Poly. This brought a smile to all as that is what contractors would like to have on every installation. James further commented that the definition of building comfort is being completely unaware of the mechanical system.
Displacement Ventilation at the IST building is the right comfort energy solution – the air devices blend in with the unique architecture and the slow moving air is comfortable, quiet and energy efficient.