IMEG Corp. was hand selected to serve as the design engineer for the expansion and renovation to the J. Wayne Reitz Union at the University of Florida. The central hub of the campus, the project entailed demolition of the colonnade building and construction of the addition between two buildings.
The Phase I expansion included offices and support space for student clubs and organizations. Lounges, meeting rooms, and dance rehearsal studios also were added.
The upper levels of the building have areas for student collaboration with access to audio/visual equipment. The electrical design included USB charging receptacles for cellphones, tablets and laptops. Lighting was designed to allow different collaboration methods to support whiteboard, audio visual or simply laptop. Wireless access points allow easy access to centralized printers.
Phase II renovated parts of the existing building, including replacement of all exterior windows and doors with low energy glass and insulated frames, restoration of exterior surfaces and structural components, replacement and updating of major infrastructure systems, and updating of interior finishes and lighting. The IMEG design team utilized a chilled beam system coupled with a variable volume air handling unit to reduce duct size and energy consumption associated with HVAC air-side systems. Other key energy-efficient features included a displacement ventilation system for the atrium and meeting and conference rooms, and LED lighting throughout the building.
To create additional meeting space, a floor was built in the middle of the existing two-story Rion ballroom and the space repurposed. The roof and structure were removed above the 4th floor to create a new two-story ballroom and event space. Existing utilities were reconfigured to serve the new spaces.
Other challenges included working in an occupied building, and finding locations in the existing buildings where openings could be strategically placed in the structure to allow ductwork and piping to feed utilities from the addition to the existing buildings.
The building is targeting LEED Platinum certification.