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Northern Kentucky University

Natural Science Center


Highland Heights, Kentucky


Northern Kentucky University


Retro Commissioning

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Northern Kentucky University broke ground on the Dorothy Westerman Herrmann Natural Science Center in late 1999 and construction was completed in 2002. The 175,131 square foot building features laboratories, classrooms, and a large central atrium space. The programs and departments located in this building include Biological Sciences; Physics and Geology; and, Chemistry. In addition, this building houses the Haile Digital Planetarium, which was added in 2007.
In late 2016, NKU invited multiple commissioning firms to propose retro-commissioning services on the facility. At the end of the RFP process, ZHCx was awarded the project. We immediately went to work developing a plan and coordinating the teams’ efforts as all onsite activities had to be completed during the University’s winter break when lab experiments and student activities were minimized. ZHCx was tasked with uncovering issues related to life safety, building pressurization, operation, maintenance, and energy conservation opportunities.
After spending the next 19 days functionally testing all air, hydronic, steam, and life safety systems, we presented an in depth, detailed, comprehensive report to University leadership. The report included a recommended course of action for each finding. These recommendations ranged from set point adjustments to additional hardware and sequence optimization.
ZHCx was happy to recently learn that ALL of our findings and recommendations have been approved for implementation in an upcoming 4 million dollar performance contract (by others).

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