Three SOM Projects Win ASHRAE Illinois Excellence in Engineering Award

Three SOM projects—Beijing Greenland Center, OKO Tower, and the United States Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development—won the 2016 ASHRAE Illinois Excellence in Engineering Award. Presented at a ceremony in Chicago on Tuesday, December 6th, the awards recognize outstanding engineering work by members of the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), an international organization founded in 1894.

The mixed-use Beijing Greenland Center is a highly sustainable landmark building that anchors Beijing’s Dawangjing business district, equidistant from Beijing’s bustling core and the airport. The 260-meter-tall, 55-story tower prioritizes sustainability and efficiency and is clad in a prismatic trapezoidal glass facade that generates self-shading to enhance the building’s environmental performance. The design aims to achieve a 30% reduction in energy use and water consumption by utilizing sustainable features such as a Direct Digital Control building automation system, a heat reclaim wheel, variable speed pumps for heating and cooling, and a water-side economizer to utilize evaporative cooling.

The 1.5 hectare OKO Tower, located in the new Moscow City development, provides nearly half a million square meters of new development including residences, premium office space, and parking. The facade of the residential tower is randomly faceted with angled strips of glazing, directing light further into each unit and providing an opportunity for natural ventilation on the elevation. The building’s lighting design employs high-efficiency fixtures with daylight sensors and dimming controls in the perimeter public zones. Supply and return air systems employ variable speed controls, modulating fan speeds in response to changes in cooling and heating requirements. This strategy limits wear and tear on HVAC equipment while providing energy savings.

The Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) is a new architectural focal point on the United States Air Force Academy campus. The building’s most prominent feature, a 105-foot-tall skylight, symbolically serves as a navigation aid and as a reminder of the Academy’s core values. The CCLD is certified LEED® Gold and is designed to achieve LEED® Platinum. To meet these goals and reduce energy costs, the design team developed integrated building systems that influence all aspects of the building’s design, construction, and operation. Radiant heating and cooling, high-efficiency air handling units, and displacement ventilation help to significantly reduce energy costs.