Residence Hall for STEM Students
UConn NextGen STEM Residential Hall
This new $105-million multi-story residence building, the first project awarded under the University’s Next Generation initiative, includes 727 students beds in the 210,000-SF complex.
The first new on-campus housing in 13 years and housing mostly freshman and sophomores, half of the population includes students pursuing STEM fields, while the rest are drawn from other subject areas. With eight Living & Learning Communities housed at the residential complex, the new facility also offers a maker space for students and a large event space for social gatherings, guest speakers, exhibits, and workshops.
Achieving LEED Gold certification, BVH served as the design engineer during the bridging documents phase, and continued on throughout the project as UConn’s design consultant during the completion of the design and the construction phases, which included commissioning.
The building is heated by three high-efficiency gas-fired condensing boilers. The terminal equipment was designed to operate at lower water temperatures, in order for the boilers to operate in condensing mode, and at their highest efficiency throughout the heating season. Cooling is provided by two water-cooled centrifugal chillers, with an open cooling tower on the roof. The cooling tower sumps are located inside the building, so that condenser water is available immediately when needed during swing seasons.
The residence rooms are heated and cooled by two-pipe valence units. These are units that use natural convention to quietly heat and cool the spaces without needing electric fans or filters to move the air. In addition, each room has an operable window. When the windows are opened, the cooling is disabled. A signal is sent to the building management system through a contact on the window, so the rooms can be monitored and protected from freezing if a window is inadvertently left open in the winter.
Reclaimed water from the campus central reclaimed water facility plant is being used for flushing of water closets and for make-up water for the cooling tower. The system is estimated to save about 19,000 gallons per day of water during peak use days. With the reclaimed water use, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and no permanent irrigation system for plantings, water use will be reduced 50% from the LEED baseline.