Syracuse Center of Excellence Commissioning

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems is a LEED Platinum Certified research facility located in Syracuse, NY. The building is a five-story, 55,000-square-foot structure that contains office, collaboration, and research spaces, as well as a state-of-the-art research laboratory for the study of indoor environments on human behavior.

C&S served as the commissioning authority for the project, providing commissioning services to meet the requirements of LEED-NC v2.2 Energy and Atmosphere prerequisite #1: Fundamental Commissioning of the Building Energy Systems, and credit #3: Enhanced Commissioning. The list of commissioned systems included the heating/ventilation/air conditioning system, domestic hot water and rainwater collection system, lighting controls, fire protection/life safety systems, and standby power generation.

The mechanical system in the building decouples heating/cooling loads and ventilation. The primary source of heating and cooling is a system of overhead radiant ceiling panels that use water-to-water heat pumps as a source of hot and chilled water. The water-to-water heat pumps are piped on a common header, with the cooling loop connected to one end of the header, and the heating loop connected to the other end of the header. Subsequently, the system can simultaneously heat and cool by isolating the appropriate number of heat pumps in their respective loops. Heat rejection and absorption to the heat pump loop is accomplished via a geothermal well field, with a natural gas fired condensing boilers and a closed-circuit evaporative cooling tower used for second stages. A free-cooling heat exchanger is also available for use when conditions allow.

Ventilation is provided by a central air handling unit with a total energy recovery wheel, as well as a desiccant dehumidification wheel. The unit utilized enthalpy-based economizer controls and demand-controlled ventilation. Natural ventilation is also available, through the use of operable windows and a notification system.

Other sustainable systems include a rainwater collection system (for use in water closets), building-integrated window blinds, automated daylighting controls, and low-flow fixtures in all restrooms (including dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals). The building was also constructed with provisions for future connection of integrated photovoltaics and wind power.