Union Tower West Wins ACEC Award

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MDP recently took home the Merit Award for our Union Tower West project from the ACEC Excellence in Engineering Awards. MDP provided mechanical and plumbing design for Union Tower West, a 12-story, 300,00 SF commercial mixed-use building adjacent to Union Station in Downtown Denver.

Typically a building of this size would be designed with a central plant for mechanical and plumbing systems, however  Union Tower West is unique in that it was designed with two separate MEP systems to accommodate the 180 key boutique hotel, the ground level restaurant/retail, and the 100,000 square feet of office space separately. This design dramatically reduced the costs associated with designing, installing, and operating the MEP system for the building compared to traditional, singular practices.

Union Tower West Photo Credit: Caleb Tkach

For hotel Indigo, MDP designed a water source heat pump system to deliver exceptionally efficient heating and cooling to the 4-story hotel space. Floor to floor windows and dedicated outside air also factored heavily into the equipment selection. The energy efficiency of the selected mechanical system supported the Client’s LEED certification goals.
On the Class AA Office levels, floors 9-12, the condenser water system was designed to connect to the office floors for cooling of the computer and server rooms. This system provides for 25 tons of cooling per floor and is a more energy efficient option than computer/server rooms with remote condensing units.

ACEC Awards Luncheon Photo Credit: The Unfound Door

A challenge was the design choice of a glass façade. The floor to floor windows meant that MDP needed to account for elevated solar heat gains throughout the building. Higher air volumes are required to maintain comfortable indoor air temperatures for building occupants. Balancing the need for higher than typical air volumes with energy efficiency required evaluation of multiple potential mechanical systems.

MDP Engineering successfully fulfilled the Client’s goals for a LEED certified building with low environmental impact. The project was design/build led, and extensive coordination occurred throughout the life of the project to ensure the Client’s goals were met.

Architect: John Portman & Associates
General Contractor: Hensel Phelps
Structural Engineer: S.A. Miro
Mechanical Subcontractor: Trautman & Shreeve

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