First designed by Elara Engineering in 2009 using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and then delayed significantly by sudden, unexpected State of Illinois budget freezes, final construction of Kankakee Community College’s (KCC) Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC) was completed earlier in 2019. The ability to maintain project focus over a ten-year period was only possible because of Elara’s, KCC’s, and the lead architect’s commitment to keep the same core team throughout the entire duration of the project. This long-term buy-in to the project’s ultimate completion and success was the critical success factor that made this objective possible.
State Funding Interruptions
Soon after construction bids were let in 2010, the State of Illinois froze its funding contribution to effectively cancel the project. In 2014, State funding was re-established, and construction bids were reissued. However, immediately after completion of the new building’s concrete footings in 2015, State funding was once again frozen, and the project was suspended for the second time. Finally, in 2018, KCC received the State’s funding portion to allow construction to proceed uninterrupted to completion in 2019.
Even though the building design was ultimately adjusted to accommodate (1) technology advances and opportunities to further enhance system efficiencies, (2) changes in student/faculty use habits within the building, and (3) the unavailability of previously specified equipment (e.g., production of the originally selected roof top AHUs had ceased); the project – even after ten years of inflation and incurred stoppage/restart costs – only required a less than 3.4% change order ten years after the initial design.
Recently awarded LEED Gold designation, ATEC earned a $133,048 U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity incentive to alleviate project costs and uses 30% less energy than a baseline ASHRAE 90.1-2004 building. The building features classrooms and functional, green technology laboratories; including wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, electrical simulation and “roof labs” where photovoltaic cells were installed with walk-out access to enable student “hands-on” learning.
The highly innovative design includes:
- Variable ventilation/demand CO2 control
- A dedicated outside air system to provide fresh air at the floor level
- A single pipe loop geothermal/ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling in lieu of a two-pipe geothermal system which reduced pipe and insulation use and material costs
- High-efficiency lighting throughout the building with external and internal shading to help maintain a comfortable learning environment
Although the ATEC project was atypically long due to impacts and hurdles beyond the client’s control, it is representative of the strength of our client relationships and of our unwavering commitment to see any project through to completion – no matter what it takes.
Additional information about this project can be found here.