Liberal Arts Building Renovation
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia

PACE Collaborative provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services for the renovation of the Liberal Arts Building at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. This LEED Silver certified, 17,900 gross square foot building, was originally constructed in 1899 and currently houses instructional programs for the School of Performing Arts and Cinema. The facility is on the National Historic Register and fronts the famous Virginia Tech Drill Field. This facility was the first building on campus to be constructed on campus using the famous “Hokie-Stone” façade cladding.

The renovation included full replacement of the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as improvements to the exterior envelope, hazardous material abatement, and minor structural improvements. The project also included the construction of a small building addition which houses a new stairway and restroom facilities.

The mechanical design included the use of active chilled beams which allowed the central station air handler and duct distribution systems to be significantly downsized as compared to a conventional VAV air handling system. The ability to downsize the equipment and ductwork was instrumental in being able to preserve as much of the original interior architecture such as high/open ceilings within the building. The HVAC systems utilize campus chilled water for cooling and campus steam for heating.

The electrical system was designed with energy efficient LED light fixtures and a state-of-the-art lighting control system, which includes the use of occupancy sensor to turn off general use light fixtures, as well as convenience receptacles to further reduce energy use when the building is unoccupied.