Rockhurst University - Richardson Science Center

The Players

“It was nicknamed the Richardson Sauna Building when it first opened. We had water pouring out of ducts and up to 80 percent humidity,” claims Brenda Tidmore, Assistant Director of Physical Plant at Rockhurst University, a Catholic-Jesuit comprehensive school with 2,500 students in Kansas City, Missouri. Opened in 1996, the Richardson Science Center, a 76,290 square foot facility, includes lecture rooms, labs and faculty offices for the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Occupational/Physical Therapy Education.

Indeed, the science building itself was an experiment in human survival. “It was totally out of control,” commented John Blaha, Sales Representative at Control Service Company, a veteran firm headquartered in Independence. “Cold spots measured as low as 63° in the summer, and in the winter, students came to classes with blankets. The Center’s original HVAC system included constant volume air handling to exhaust fumes from the chemistry labs. We found blown fuses and defective reheat coils. By running outside air 24/7, it cost as much to operate that building as all the other academic buildings on campus combined.”

The Solution

Control Service’s work for Rockhurst University evolved from its relationship with the affiliated Rockhurst High School. The retrofit project began in early 2003.

Among the equipment changes, “we converted the system to VAV on 59 boxes to reduce heating and cooling requirements for incoming air,” Blaha continued. “We also reactivated or replaced 20 defective reheat coils and added occupancy sensors for lighting and temperature setbacks.”

At the center of it all: Automated Logic®’s WebCTRL® system. With the system successfully integrated (including BACnet interface to Tekaire fume hoods in the labs) and working properly, the building is operating comfortably, saving an average of $4,000 per month in energy costs since fall 2003. Faculty and students have been freed from survival mode. And University officials want to replace the proprietary control system used across the campus.

“It’s made our job a lot easier,” said Glen Haywood, Rockhurst’s Director of Physical Plant. “With WebCTRL, we just bring it up, look at the facility and zero in. Problems are easily fixed – it’s rare that we get a complaint. And Control Service has done a great job – they’ve been great people to work with.”

Proving once again that smart solutions are always the best.

Client: Princeton University High-Performance Computing Research Center

Location: Forrestal Campus, Plainsboro, New Jersey

Controls Contractor: Automated Logic

Project Type: New construction

Building Size: 47,000 square feet

Reduce energy consumption/costs and staffing requirements; fulfill computing capacity demands.

Design Considerations: Achieve minimum LEED Silver certification

Major Decision Drivers
Automated Logic’s experience, success with mission-critical installations and engineering/construction vendor team

HVAC Controls: Automated Logic

Installation Date: January-August 2011

The Challenge

  • Eliminate drastic temperature and comfort swings throughout building
  • Reduce excessive energy bills due to defective equipment and inferior system control
  • Complete work with building in use


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