Fort Collins, Colorado | Higher Education, Laboratory

Colorado State University
Suzanne and Walter Scott Jr. Bioengineering Building

$64 M | 120,000 SF

Cator, Ruma & Associates provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services to support a new building to house laboratories, offices and classroom space for the College of Engineering at Colorado State University.

  • LEED Gold, variety of wet and dry laboratories, sustainable systems, data center.



The building is 120,000 square feet, three stories, with a partial basement and partial penthouse. There is a large three-story atrium separating the office/classroom space from the laboratory space. The laboratories include a variety of wet and dry labs, including biomedical, environmental, water quality, optics/laser and microscopy. In addition, there is a large data center located in the penthouse sized to accommodate 80 racks.

The building is rated LEED Gold and incorporates the following sustainable systems: data center hot air energy recovery, variable flow lab exhaust systems, lab exhaust energy recovery system, low flow plumbing fixtures, increased ventilation, evaporative cooling, natural ventilation in the atrium, CO2 monitoring of high occupancy spaces, daylight harvesting, and occupancy based lighting controls.

The data center is initially comprised of 30 low density racks, each up to a maximum of 12 kW per rack with space to grow an additional 50 high-density racks. Power to the data racks is provided from an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system.

The data center mechanical system is designed to be a hybrid system to accommodate both today’s and future needs. For today’s needs, a 38,000-cfm air-handling system with overhead distribution to cold aisles is provided. This system has 100% outside-air economizer capability, evaporative cooling and warm air recovery to the laboratory air handling units (AHUs). The data center system design to address the future needs is to accommodate in-row or in-rack cooling.

Emergency and stand-by power are provided from a 1250 kW diesel generator, with paralleling equipment for connection of a future generator.

A process cooling system generates chilled water from the chilled water return from all of the building AHUs to create chilled water in the 58° to 60°F temperature (above dewpoint) to service the laboratories. By utilizing the chilled water twice, the building as a whole will have a higher Delta-T, which improves the efficiency of the campus central plant.

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