University of California, San Diego Supercomputer Center
LEED Mechanical Construction Services
Expanded research capabilities; high levels of occupant safety, productivity, and comfort; significant energy consumption and cost savings; avoidance of construction delays; a living laboratory for future energy-efficiency initiatives; the prestige of LEED certification.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT OBJECTIVES
To double the size of its supercomputer center with an 80,861-s.f., five-story addition containing a new server room, administrative offices, meeting rooms, and a 250-seat auditorium.
MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS
Having completed more than 100 building information modeling (BIM) projects over the last decade, UMEC was the natural choice to be the mechanical and plumbing contractor for a major expansion to this premier international research facility.
To facilitate design and installation coordination, UMEC led the BIM effort for all trades. As there were no “as-built” drawings for the construction area, the company began its coordination effort with total station surveying. Another challenge was the subfloor installation of six large, high-efficiency air-handling units in a 5,200-s.f. server room. Any adjustments made during installation to overcome spatial constraints had to maintain the energy efficiencies called for in the original design. Using its BIM expertise, UMEC successfully met this challenge.
In addition, the company put in fan coil units, exhaust fans, and one outside air fan, which provides natural hybrid displacement ventilation for the HVAC system. By leveraging filtered outside air, this ventilation approach lets the building “breathe” thermodynamically, further reducing energy consumption and costs.
Additional Information: Even before its completion, the five-story structure became the first campus project certified as LEED Silver equivalent. The facility now serves as a living laboratory for efficiency initiatives to be used at other large data centers around the world. It is designed to operate 53 percent more efficiently than California standards, which earned it a Best Practices Award from the California Public Utilities Commission.
EDUCATIONAL FACILITY BACKGROUND
The San Diego Supercomputer Center is the University of California, San Diego’s largest data center. Founded in 1985, it has served more than 10,000 researchers at 300 academic, government, and industrial institutions in the U.S. and around the world, advancing international science and engineering discoveries through research in computational science and data-intensive, high-performance computing.