HADP Architecture, Inc. - Coral Gables
Project of Distinction Winner 2009 Education Design Showcase
||Facility Use: College/University 4-Year Institution
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Residence Halls (College Only)
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
District/Inst.: Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
Richard Ackert Chairman, Florida Gulf Coast University Financing Corporation, Inc.
Completion Date: July 2008
Design Capacity: 407 students
Enrollment: 10,221 students
Gross Area: 124,075 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 305 sq.ft.
Site size: 5 acres
Cost per student: $52,334
Cost per sq.ft.: $171.67
Total project cost: $21,300,000
Building construction cost: $18,269,800
Furniture & equipment cost: $728,027
Fees and other: $2,048,230
South Village - Florida Gulf Coast University
For over 10 years, UHS has helped Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) meet their increasing student housing needs to become the fastest growing public university in Florida, now with over 10,200 students. FGCU South Village, UHS’ latest master-planned project and FGCU’s first five-story facility, opened its first phase of housing, Everglades Hall, in August 2008. Consisting of 407 suite-style beds, a dining hall, associated parking, campus support facilities and a central energy plant, the project is a well-crafted collaborative effort among all parties involved and serves as a model in sustainable design towards a true living-learning community.
Project Goals and Visions
Known as Florida’s “environmental university,” FGCU’s guiding philosophy is to instill in their students a consciousness that balances their economic and social aspirations with the imperative for ecological sustainability. Adhering to this guiding principle, the FGCU Foundation fostered a collaborative approach to the development process that ensured that the following environmental goals were clearly communicated to all project stakeholders:
- Maximizing the development potential of the 124-acre project site
- Preserving the wetlands, pinelands and cypress domes that surround the site
- Incorporating the project site into the jurisdictionally mandated water management plan and maintaining the appropriate buffer to a major wetland drainage slough immediately adjacent to the property
- Developing 3,000 master-planned beds with associated parking, amenity and campus support facilities
The Planning Process
Collaboration between the team was very productive from the onset with the free flowing of ideas from all sides of the table. Planning and coordination, particularly of the student housing complex, was performed extensively by the UHS team prior to the start of construction. Taking advantage of already being on site, Kraft built a mock up of a typical student suite, a housing product new to campus, which provided the following advantages:
- Allowed critical review and comments from the development team members
- Provided opportunities to change material selections and design
- Enabled the administrative staff to gain a better understanding of what the final product would look and feel like
- Allowed coordination of congested mechanical systems at the suite entry ways.
Environmental Considerations & Sustainability Measures
The South Village project incorporated a tremendous number of sustainability measures not only in the building and its systems but also in the development of the site. The potential impact of a development of this magnitude, built on a tightly constrained site surrounded by wetlands, was significant. UHS performed a detailed evaluation of many different building systems with sensitivity to both cost and environmental impact. The result was the determination of a building structural system that was both highly cost effective and non-damaging to the surrounding environment.
To minimize vehicle generated dust and other anthropogenic emissions, the entire building structure was precast offsite at a local manufacturer and transported to FGCU. This approach significantly reduced the impact of construction traffic through a heavily populated campus, reduced jobsite vehicular dust by limiting the number of vehicles and workers required on site and eliminated a considerable amount of waste debris due the fabrication of these components in a controlled environment. These measures alone significantly reduced the development’s “carbon footprint” and aided in maintaining of the pristine flora and fauna surrounding the project site. Additional sustainability measures undertaken include:
- The construction of wind rows and a temporary site recharge sprinkler system to reduce and contain airborne dust and debris
- Construction debris recycling system, whereby 85% of the construction debris was recycled and 15% was incinerated to produce a source of “renewable power”
- Selection and installation of interior finish material that contains recyclable or recycled content (e.g. carpet, floor tile)
- A new central energy plant which will provide a highly efficient means of interior environmental control
- Thermal break, non-operable, Low E-tinted windows
- High-efficiency florescent lighting
- Temperature limiters on all HVAC fan coil unit thermostats
- DDC building control system
- Low-flow shower heads and faucets
- Trash compaction and recycling program
Special Challenges & Solutions
Construction manager Kraft’s first task during the planning and development process was to build a causeway to allow access to a remote upland parcel that had been designated as the new South Village development. At 110 feet, the causeway was designed using a pre-cast concrete culvert system. Casting the culverts in place was the method selected, which proved to be substantially less expensive. Thus, not only did FGCU realize valuable savings to their overall budget, but they gained access to the site several months earlier than alternative methods would have allowed.
Another challenge in constructing the causeway was protecting the slough from impact due to the requirement to start construction of the culverts’ foundations during the early stages of the rainy season. Several feet below the water table, the foundation was dewatering from the slough. To resolve this issue, Kraft selected a well-pointing system and utilized a water-filled bladder dam, or Aqua Barrier, both to retain the water in the slough and prevent any contamination of the wetlands from construction activities.
Precast Concrete Structure
Kraft placed a qualified concrete inspector at their plant to control and improve the quality of the panels, both in dimensional tolerance and finish. After casting a textured coating was applied to the exterior of the building, which resulted in the use of a very satisfactory finish at a substantially lower cost than architectural pre cast concrete. This innovative approach enabled the team to maintain the quality expected, while resulting in minimized repair and patching required to the concrete.
The UHS team used a more unconventional approach for the mechanical system through the use of standalone vertical stack fan coil units that had an exposed finished exterior, thereby eliminating numerous walls, doors and sprinkler heads. To meet FGCU’s program in terms of insulation, ease of maintenance, control, noise levels and cost, the design was customized to include several features, such as slide tray access for motor replacement, double-wall construction, temperature control limiters, stainless steel drain pans and access ports to the condensate drains.
“Top Down” Finish
The reduced erection time and sequencing of the precast structure led to the development of a top-down completion of the interiors. All drywall framing and subsequent finishes began on the fifth floor and crews worked down to the ground floor. As finishes in the units were completed, access to the upper floors was limited to essential workers, and when completely finished and punched out the access to the higher floors was restricted. The result was little or no damage to interior finishes from construction traffic.
Since a locally fabricated pre-cast concrete structure was chosen for the student housing complex, significant economies of scale were realize through offsite cast exterior walls and double-tee supported floors. In addition, accurate budgeting had to be performed by the development team to provide FGCU with the confidence to move forward with the production of the structure prior to accepting a final GMP. The result was the completion of the student housing complex, ahead of schedule in mid July of 2008 with a final construction cost approximately 25% less than the national average cost for student residence halls of this size.
Safety & Security Considerations
UHS’ construction team members met with the erection company several times prior to the beginning of the work with safety officers from both companies present. The team determined to set the crane on the inside of the building footprint and erect it from the inside, rather than the outside, which provided easier and safer picks for the crane, but it offered the operator better visual control since there were few or no blind picks.
UHS’ construction team also employed a 100 percent tie-off policy for the pre-cast erection crew and roof workers which was strictly monitored by the on-site superintendent. Since all the exterior walls and staircases were in place, minimal temporary handrails were needed for fall protection, leading to maximized safety.
How Education Programming Needs Were Achieved
UHS worked closely with FGCU, HADP Architecture, Inc., and Kraft Construction Company to develop a building program that was sustainably responsible and eco-friendly. While the site chosen for South Village encompassed a total of 124 acres, the final development plan utilized just less than 50 acres to achieve the stated goals. Although it was not originally intended to be a LEED certified building, South Village is currently being reviewed for compliance to certification standards.
Satisfaction among on-campus student housing residents at FGCU is high. According to Brian Fisher, FGCU’s Director of Student Affairs, FGCU has one of the highest return rates for on-campus housing in Florida—an approximately 50 percent return rate year to year over the last several years. FGCU’s annual Quality of Residence Life survey which was completed in March 2009 found that of those students living on campus:
- 90% said living on campus has enabled them to feel connected to the University
- 87% would recommend living on campus
- 91% said on campus housing provides opportunities for social interaction
|1) Control of Institution: Public|
2) Type of Institution: Traditional
Methodology & Standards:
|First-Cost; Prototype Design; State Mandated Standards|
|Primary Source: Primary Source: Revenue Bonds|
Project Delivery Method(s):
|Principles Followed: LEED|
Certifications Obtained: LEED Silver
Site Selection and Development: Site Selection; Stormwater Management; Building Orientation
Water Conservation: Water Conservation
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency; Building Automation/Energy Management Systems; Natural Ventilation; Alternative Energy Source
Materials Use: Recycling/Reuse; Sustainable Materials Selection
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting; Electric Lighting Systems/Controls; Acoustics; Indoor Air Quality
Alternative Energy Sources: Solar
Commissioning: Building/systems have been commissioned
Associated Firms and Consultants:
|Landscape Architecture: HADP Architecture, Inc.|
General Contractor: Kraft Construction Company (Jack Dillon, Project Manager)
Structural Engineer: TKW
Electrical Engineer: Matern Professional Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Matern Professional Engineering
Civil Engineer: TKW
Energy Consultant: NeuGreen
Other: Developer - University Housing Services, Inc. (Robert Mills, Executive Vice President)