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INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS Q UA L I F I C AT I O N S


Independent Schools Kohler Ronan is very aware of the challenges confronting today’s independent schools. These institutions must not just meet basic educational standards, but must far exceed them in order to effectively compete for top students. With education costs continually rising, both parent and student expectations are high. Perspective students look not only at the breadth of course offerings and the caliber of instructors, but also the quality of facilities. Our design and engineering services strive to provide appropriately innovative and technologically sophisticated systems while delivering energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, and ease of operation. At Kohler Ronan, we seek to enhance the learning environment.


Choate Rosemary Hall Ann & George Colony Hall (Auditorium) Location

Wallingford, Connecticut

Size

   51,761 square feet

Architect

   Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Cost

 $30 million

Services

  MEP/FP

Completed

2019

The new 51,761 square-foot auditorium and related music classroom facility opened to Choate students and faculty in September of 2019. The geometry of the building as well as its sculptural quality are in keeping the adjacent Paul Mellon Arts Center (PMAC), completed in 1972 and designed by I.M. Pei. Colony Hall features a 1,070-person auditorium, designed to accommodate the numerous and varied program needs of the school including regular school-wide meetings and orchestral/ vocal performances. A 100-seat recital hall offers both rehearsal and performance space, as well as additional practice rooms, classrooms, a percussion studio, and a green room. A dance studio is located on the upper floor and overlooks the school’s expansive Great Lawn. As flexibility was a primarily goal for the project, nearly all rehearsal and performance spaces throughout the building were designed to double as classrooms when needed. Also at the forefront of the building’s design was acoustical isolation for almost every space. Regarding building systems, the facility is all-electric, consuming no fossil fuels directly on site. Kohler Ronan’s designs called for heating and cooling to be provided via a closed loop geothermal well-field and a series of water-to-water heat pumps. Energy recovery and demand control ventilation systems were integrated into all of the main air handling units, while a 40kW-PV array was installed on the roof of the building to supplement power consumption. The building is LEED Gold certified, thus fulfilling a critical sustainability goal for the project.


© Peter Aaron/OTTO for Robert A.M. Stern Architects


Collegiate School 11-story New Construction Location

    New York, New York

Architects KPF and Studios Architecture Services

  MEP/FP, Sustainable Design,    Energy Analysis

Size

180,000 square feet   (11-story high rise)

Cost

   $150 million (estimated)

Completed

2018

On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Collegiate School serves approximately 650 students and employs over 100 faculty members. Previously, the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools span locations were on West 77th and West 78th Streets with a reception area allowing for access between both facilities via 78th Street. Over time, the landmark schoolhouse had acquired buildings and expanded in order to accommodate its growing population and programs. The school also had shared space with the adjacent West End Collegiate Church. Early in 2013, the school announced plans to build a new facility between West 61st and 62nd Streets between West End Avenue and Riverside Boulevard. Consisting of nearly 30% more indoor space and 613% more outdoor space, a new building would offer the greatest potential for space and flexibility. Kohler Ronan provided MEP/FP designs and energy modeling services for this exciting 179,000 square-foot school project. The high rise consists of nine floors above and two floors below grade. The nine floors of program space allows the K-12 students to be housed under one roof. Substantial energy modeling was conducted and subsequent sustainable features are included throughout the building. Among them are the following: thermal ice storage, demand control ventilation, dedicated outdoor air units, and chilled beams. Collegiate hopes to obtain LEED Gold or Silver certification and anticipates energy savings of 25% compared to ASHRAE baseline.


© xxxx of STUDIOS Architecture, © Ines Leong Images: Courtesy


The Hewitt School Expansion and Renovation Location

  New York, New York

Architect

   Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Services

      MEP/FP

Size

  9,000 square feet (addition)

Cost

 $20 million

Completed

2017

With a 15% increase in the Hewitt School’s student body, this independent, K-12 school for girls needed to expand its facilities in order to better serve both students and faculty. The school found a fitting opportunity at 42 East 76th Street, an adjacent townhouse that could afford the school about 25% more space as well as maintain its quaint community. The renovation and expansion created space for ten multi-purpose classrooms including new performing arts and movement spaces, science and fabrication labs, and a roof terrace. A phased construction schedule and approvals from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as well as the City’s Board of Standards and Appeals were necessary. Kohler Ronan’s designs called for new MEP systems throughout the existing school building and the acquired townhouse. Systems include a variable refrigerant volume (VRV) heat pump system utilizing modular air-cooled heat pumps connected to indoor fan coil units, and a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) providing ventilation air to classrooms and offices in order to minimize carbon dioxide levels. Heating throughout the building is provided by high-efficiency condensing boilers. In addition, high-efficiency LED lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures were specified and installed across the school.


Images: © Peter Aaron/OTTO


Far Brook School

Science & Environmental Studies and Music & Arts Buildings Location

   Short Hills, New Jersey

Architect

   Centerbrook Architects & Planners

Services

  MEP/FP, Sustainable Design,   Energy Analysis, Commissioning

Size

 Approx. 24,000 square feet (combined)

Cost

 $9 million

Completed

    2016

Kohler Ronan provided engineering systems design in collaboration with Centerbrook’s architectural design for three new buildings at the Far Brook School across its 9-acre campus in Short Hills, New Jersey. Founded in 1947, the independent, K-8 day school accommodates over 200 students. The new buildings provide classrooms for Science and Environmental Studies as well as additional space housing Music and Arts programs. The Science and Environmental Studies building adds 5,680 square feet across two floors and three classrooms incorporating labs, science prep rooms, and storage areas. Totaling 7,880 square feet, the Music and Arts Center replaces the existing Moore Cottage and accommodates a new orchestra, choral practice room, art studio, woodshop, and music room permitting acoustically isolated music instruction. Each space has been designed with the natural world in mind, allowing for the spaces to have maximum daylight as well as access to the outdoors. Construction of a new, 10,420 square– foot field house will be included within the scope of the next phase of construction. Kohler Ronan delivered innovative MEP/FP solutions in order to create an atmosphere that is both comfortable for students and staff as well as environmentally responsible. The school is designed to a LEED Silver equivalent.


Images: Š Derek Hayn/Centerbrook


The Buckley School

Arts & Sciences and Walsh Buildings Renovation Location New York, New York

Size

  15,000 square feet

Architect Sage and Coombe Architects

Cost

 Confidential

Completed

2015

Services LEED

MEP/FP, Sustainable Design

LEED Silver Certified (Arts & Sciences), LEED Silver Pending (Walsh)

The Buckley School, located in the historic district of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, serves boys K-9 across three main campuses: Walsh, Arts & Sciences, and Hubbell. Having acquired two five-story townhomes across the street from the existing buildings, the 100-year-old school embarked on a major series of renovations to both the existing spaces as well as the newly-obtained, historic townhomes which, it was decided, would house the school’s Arts & Sciences facilities. So, while one project consisted of combining the townhomes into a stateof-the-art 15,000 square-foot, science, music and art facility, the other consisted of renovating the 56,500 square-foot Walsh Building to better serve the faculty and students. The Walsh renovation made way for a new layout which accommodates a redesigned lobby, expanded classrooms, an updated auditorium, and foreign language labs. Kohler Ronan provided MEP/FP upgrades in support of this architectural program. In the case of the Arts & Sciences building, it was necessary to design mechanical systems to be accommodated within the shell of a 19th century space. Kohler Ronan’s goal was for each school building was to provide systems that would ensure that the environment be as conducive to learning as possible while at the same time meeting the project’s sustainability goals. Sustainable features were important to the school throughout the process, as such, Kohler Ronan’s designs included energy-efficient ventilation and central heating and cooling systems in Walsh. The Arts & Sciences Building received a LEED Silver certification, while the Walsh Building’s LEED Silver Certification is pending.


Images: © Alexa Hoyer


The Calhoun School Commons & Learning Center Location

 New York, New York

Size

   16,900 square feet

Architect

     FXCollaborative

Cost

     $7 million

Services

   MEP/FP, Technology Design

Completed

2015

Following a 2005 expansion and more recent feasibility study, this Upper West Side, Pre-K through 12th grade, private school expanded its nine-story facility by 1,800 square feet and renovated/reorganized another 15,000+ square feet to create a new Commons and Learning Center. Project scope included modifications to the existing mid-century landmark façade, a new commercial grade kitchen, cafeteria, library, and main lobby entrance. The work was designed and phased to be completed over the course of just one summer. Kohler Ronan’s designs called for new MEP systems including air handling units, split systems, kitchen exhaust fans, make-up air units, grease interceptors, gas piping, fire alarm devices, audio visual, and IT throughout the renovated spaces. The relocation of the library to the lower level and the relocation of the cafeteria and kitchen to the ground floor permitted the creation of a welcoming and open space with natural day light for all students and visitors to enjoy upon entering the school.


Images: © Chris Cooper


Brunswick School Natatorium Environment Location

  Greenwich, Connecticut

Size

    23,000 square feet

Architect

     Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

Cost

   $18 million

Services

   MEP/FP

Completed

2014

This newly constructed natatorium environment is truly state of the art and rivals many college aquatic facilities. It was welcomed by both the school’s nascent water polo team and the surrounding community who have access to the pool facilities for “learn to swim” programs. Kohler Ronan’s team created MEP/FP systems to accommodate this natatorium environment featuring a 25-yard, 8-lane pool. The depth is seven feet from end to end, but adjustable to eleven feet for diving practice. A section of the pool rests on pistons allowing the staff to raise and lower the pool floor as needed. Building systems include a geothermal envelope designed to maintain a constant 80°F (+/-2°F) and 55% relative humidity (+/-5%), thus insulating the building from extreme temperatures. Additionally, the pool is heated with excess energy recovered from the building’s dehumidification and air handling systems. As the facility’s roof houses a turf football field, our team had the added challenge of designing systems to accommodate this field; MEP equipment, intakes, and vents could not interrupt the playing field. Engineers met the design challenge, and the resulting facilities and systems have allowed the school to greatly expand its athletic programs.


Images: (interiors) Š James Ewing Otto, (exteriors) John Majoris | Aerial Photo New Jersey


American School for the Deaf Gallaudet-Clerc Education Center Location

 West Hartford, Connecticut

Size

  60,000 square feet

Architect

   TSKP Studio

Cost

 $16 million

Services

  MEP/FP, Technology Design

Completed

2013

The American School for the Deaf was the first permanent school of its kind in the United States and today remains a leader in providing comprehensive educational programming for the deaf and hard-of hearing. Kohler Ronan is pleased to have designed mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology design systems for the multi-faceted, innovative institution. The brand new learning environment opened in September 2013. Kohler Ronan’s designs incorporated highly-efficient, low-profile engineering systems serving the 60,000 square-foot facility and over 200 students from K-12 and birth-to-three programs, as well as its corresponding faculty. Within the bright and inviting spaces are 26 classrooms, science and life skills labs, occupational, speech and physical therapy spaces, meeting rooms, offices, library, health and fitness center, and cafeteria. Systems include unique sound, strobe lighting, and alarm features to meet the specific needs of the building’s occupants. The engineering team adhered to strict acoustical standards to maintain extremely low NC (sound) levels, while a condensing boiler was selected to achieve up to 92% efficiency. Both mechanical and electrical systems will operate in a power outage, and the facility may be used as a shelter.


Images: Š Anna Wesolowska/www.photographerhedman.com


Choate Rosemary Hall Kohler Environmental Center Location

  Wallingford, Connecticut

Size

 31,325 square feet

Architect

   Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Cost

  $20 million

Services

  MEP/FP, Sustainable Design, Completed   2012  Energy Analysis LEED Platinum Certified Boston Society of Architects Education Facilities Design Award, 2016

LEED Awards

Choate Rosemary Hall embarked on a plan to create an innovative environmental center on over 260 acres of property adjacent to its existing campus. Made possible by a generous gift of Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. (class of 1957) president and chairman of Kohler Company, the new center combines interdisciplinary academics with a residential program focused on environmental science. Designs incorporate 14 dormitories, dining facilities, seminar rooms, laboratories, faculty/staff housing, and a state-of-the-art greenhouse. Kohler Ronan is delighted to have designed the sophisticated MEP/FP systems for this unique facility. Sustainable elements are integral to the project since one of the goals was to achieve a LEED Platinum certification for the building. Other goals included achieving net-zero energy usage. Nearly 100% of the energy needs are provided by a photovoltaic array and roof mounted thermal solar panels. To help achieve such ambitious goals, Kohler Ronan conducted several energy simulations using advanced modeling software. We were able to determine the building’s best performance based on innumerable variables like orientation, window and door placement, insulation, type of equipment, daylighting, and natural ventilation. Today, students are able to track this performance via specialized dashboard monitoring systems.


Images: Š Anna Wesolowska/www.photographerhedman.com


The Taft School

Horace D. Taft Dining Hall & Servery Renovations Location

   Watertown, Connecticut

Size

   45,000 square feet

Architect

   Gund Partnership

Cost

 $20 million

Services

  MEP/FP

Completed

2010

Dining Halls at The Taft School are spread across two main facilities on campus. The Horace D. Taft Hall dates from 1913 and houses the main dining hall, headmaster’s office, admissions, college counseling, classrooms, and residences for the lower school boys. It is a campus hub. Built in 1959, Armstrong Dining Hall serves breakfast and lunch cafeteria-style and twice weekly accommodates “sit-down” dinners with faculty. Kohler Ronan was approached to provide a complete MEP/FP engineering plan for proposed additions and renovations to the dining spaces within The Horace D. Taft Hall. Included in the scope of the project were the relocation and expansion of the existing kitchen, along with modifications to the dining hall room, private dining and ancillary spaces. Due to the stringent standards regarding required outside air per person, the project team was particularly interested in minimizing wasted energy resulting from conditioning the outside air. Our team’s selection of an air handling system incorporating a heat wheel to maximize energy recovery addressed the issue. The system extracts heat from exhaust air streams and “pre-conditions” the outdoor air before any mechanical heating or cooling is performed. The result is a significant reduction in the load of the HVAC system and a subsequent reduction in operating costs to building owners.


Images: Š Robert Benson


Horace Mann School John Dorr Nature Laboratory Location

  Washington, Connecticut

Size

  19,000 square feet

Architect

   Centerbrook Architects & Planners

Cost

 $8 million

Services

      MEP/FP, Sustainable Design

Completed

2009

LEED

LEED Gold Certified

Awards

Connecticut Chapter of the USGBC Merit Award, 2011

Almost all of the initial work in preparing the building site for the John Dorr Nature Lab was done by the students of Horace Mann School. They split wood, cleared trails, stream beds, and built shelters. The original lodge had no plumbing or shower, only an outhouse accommodating eight. The lab was then, and is now, an exemplification of the school’s belief that educational institutions should provide experiences both inside and outside the traditional classroom. All students of the school visit this 275 acre outdoor campus as part of the academic curriculum. In this living laboratory, an awareness and appreciation of the earth and environment are instilled. There’s no question that sustainability was a major concern for when plans were being made for John Dorr’s new lodge and bunk house. Kohler Ronan’s extensive sustainable design experience was applied throughout the design process for this project. Our team devised new HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection (MEP/FP) systems with the idea that all sustainable elements would be an integral part of the learning environment. Rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic, electrical generation, solar water heating, water conservation, and radiant floor warming systems were designed to be easily studied on student visits.


171 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 T 212.695.2422

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Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers - Independent Schools  

Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers - Independent Schools