University of Central Florida – Dr. Phillips Academic Commons

Achieving sustainable goals within educational facilities

The new University of Central Florida (UCF) downtown campus is revitalizing Central Florida and downtown Orlando with vibrant educational spaces.

The 149,000 SF Dr. Phillips Academic Commons is the first building on the urban campus. This four-story classroom building hosts resources for digital media, communication, public service and health programs for students at both UCF and Valencia College. These classrooms, laboratories and offices are conveniently located within a half-mile of the city’s main public transportation hub.

EXP provided fundamental and enhanced commissioning through the design, construction and post-occupancy phases of the project. The systems commissioning included chilled water air handling units, terminal units for all classroom and laboratories and fan coil units for auxiliary spaces. Electrical commissioning included the normal and emergency power systems.

To achieve energy reduction goals, schematic-level energy modeling established a design using 35% less energy than similar buildings, with systems served by chilled water from UCF’s LEED Gold downtown central energy plant. Optimized control sequences further reduce the energy burden on the utility. Building envelope, mechanical and electrical system operations were verified through enhanced commissioning.

The new building uses 30% less water than similar buildings and supplies 50% of its annual energy needs through off-site, renewable sources in Orlando’s OUCommunity Solar program. These results have helped the building attain the 28 mandatory LEED credits outlined in its Green Building Construction and Renovation Standards.

Since completion, the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons has become the 30th LEED certified building on UCF’s campus, certified under LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C). With this certification, a total of 12% of the University’s conditioned space is now LEED-certified.




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