Projects – HU HVAC



Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Completed with Perkins+Will

This unique modernization project was conceived as a “lung transplant” for a fully occupied and active research facility on the Harvard campus – implementing state of the art HVAC equipment and distribution, while maintaining continuous operations in the building. The project centers around redeveloping approximately 10,000 sf of underutilized space at the center of the building, to implement new centralized air supply and exhaust infrastructure, replacing older distributed equipment throughout the building. This new infrastructure drastically transforms the exterior appearance of the building – replacing a chaotic layout of existing single zone equipment with a single monolithic rooftop addition, refocusing attention to the historic building below. Constructed in five consecutive phases, the project created a fully interconnected and redundant supply air system, mixed flow exhaust systems with energy recovery, and a Konvekta system – all utilizing and back feeding existing building air distribution with limited impact on research activities. Due to the increased efficiency of the planning, the project also returned approximately 8,000 sf of new program space to the building, which was concurrently developed and fit-out as teaching laboratories, offices, and core facilities supporting the overall research mission of the Biological Laboratories Building.
Influenced by a preliminary study, the design process for this project involved a detailed architect-led analysis of the building, including analysis of building use, renovation ages, and existing infrastructure distribution areas, as well as programmatic projections to determine potential use scenarios of the building for equipment sizing.