Manhattan College, Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons, Bronx, NY

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In a partnership with Perkins Eastman, Syska Hennessy Group completed the MEP design for a new student commons for Manhattan College. The commons connects the college’s north and south campuses, and provides a modern space for student and faculty engagement, learning and recreation.

The central challenge was to design the infrastructure to sustainability goals for the building while adhering to the project’s performance criteria and energy-efficiency objectives, within budget constraints and tight project timetable.

Our solution included five separate direct expansion (DX) air-handling units to accommodate fluctuating occupancy schedules and loads in the building. Areas not requiring ventilation are cooled or heated using variable refrigerant flow (VRF) units so that we only had to use three rooftop condensing units to serve multiple indoor spaces. Demand control ventilation (DCV) using CO2 sensors varies the amount of outdoor air, while all building systems are controlled by BMS. We conducted a solar study in order to design the optimal daylight control and automated shading of the curtain wall, with override controls operated on preset positions.

In addition to our MEP design, Syska provided the following engineering services:

  • IT/telecommunications infrastructure design included network cabling distribution to support network connectivity, VoIP, wireless access points, security-system cameras and access-control communications, and coordination to keep existing buildings online during construction.
  • Security-system design encompassing access control and video surveillance integrated into the existing access-control system and providing the level of required security.
  • Audiovisual design included presentation systems for several conference rooms, divisible meeting rooms and ballrooms along with building-wide digital signage and an overhead audio system to allow different audio sources to be played in unrelated areas of the building such as the fitness center, lounges and ballroom pre-function areas.
  • Lighting design developed to work in conjunction with available daylight and achieve energy-efficiency targets and LEED certification.

LEED Status
LEED© Gold

70,000 sf

Manhattan College

Perkins Eastman

Pavarini Northeast Construction Company, Inc.

Fire protection
Architectural lighting design
Sustainable design
Daylight-responsive controls
High-efficiency condensing boilers
Energy recovery heat wheel
Occupancy sensor-based controls