NAI Burns Scalo

NAI Burns Scalo
Pittsburgh, PA

Innovative Solutions to Convert Office Space to Life Sciences Building

The Riviera, located in the Pittsburgh Innovation District, is now a 6-floor, 160,000 sq ft Life Science hub. This building conversion design led by RPA Engineering highlights our expertise in delivering creative solutions for complex projects with complex deadlines. The project involved converting the infrastructure of an office building to meet the needs of a building with operational labs and clean rooms.

Interim Measures Ensure Uninterrupted Operations

The existing system faced operational challenges and we devised an interim solution that minimized disruption to ongoing operations. This involved:

  • Replacing the electric heating coils in two roof-mounted air handlers, each with a capacity of 60,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute).
  • Installing four new laboratory exhaust fans, matched to provide the same total airflow as the replaced coils.
  • Constructing exhaust shafts with sub-ducts to meet the interim exhaust requirements.

This interim solution was implemented while the building remained fully operational, with operating labs and clean rooms on the 6th floor just below the roof.

Long-Term Vision with a Permanent Fix

For the long-term solution, RPA designed a comprehensive upgrade to the building’s HVAC infrastructure. This included:

  • Adding a 1,000-ton chilled water plant on the roof. This plant will utilize two air-cooled chillers for optimal performance.
  • Installing two custom-made make-up air units alongside the chillers on the roof.
  • Implementing a new hot water boiler plant on the first floor.
  • Installing new make-up air supply risers down, as well as new chilled and hot water risers were extended up through the building.

These solutions posed challenges as our team coordinated adding this equipment on the roof with critical cleanrooms already in operation on the 6th floor (just under the roof), as well as, coordinating the addition of the new exhaust and make-up air shafts in a fully functioning building.

Expedited Design Ensures Timely Completion

RPA prioritized a critical schedule throughout the design process. This ensured that all phases, from initial study to detailed design, were completed swiftly. This adherence to deadlines played a vital role in meeting the crucial move-in dates for tenants who relied on the new infrastructure.

RPA’s successful execution of this project demonstrates their ability to provide creative solutions that meet both immediate needs and long-term goals. Their commitment to delivering high-quality engineering services within tight timeframes makes them a valuable partner for any construction project.

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