Gulf Coast State College Advanced Technology Center
Panama City, Florida
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Construction Cost: $31.3 million
Size: 100,000 Gross SF
Mechanical Principal: Gene Schmidt
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: William Jones
Electrical Principal: Todd Nicholson
Structural Principal: Stuart Smith
Services Provided: Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Structural
Schmidt Consulting Group provided design services for the new Advanced Technology Center at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. The facility was designed to house technology-enriched programs for the GCSC Digital Media Bachelor of Arts program including robotics, Autotronics, sustainable building technologies, architecture and engineering, alternative energies, Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), cyber-security, Network Operations, and a Digital Arts suite. The building features a “green roof” living laboratory to study alternative energy featuring solar/photovoltaic cells and wind turbines. The facility is LEED Gold Certified.
The original facility plan called for a new, dedicated building chilled water system because the existing 1800-ton central chilled water facility serving the campus was operating near capacity and couldn’t support the new facility. SCG evaluated the existing central utility and developed a solution to increase its capacity and efficiency, eliminating the need for a new dedicated system. By altering the supply distribution system to a variable primary system and replacing the existing plant controls system with a new Siemens Demand-Flow control system, more than enough capacity to serve the new ATC facility was created. SCG’s solution allowed GCSC to defer plans for a system-wide capacity increase to accommodate this and future projects. SCG also provided the CxA LEED commissioning services for the mechanical systems, ensuring that the equipment was functioning properly and maximizing its efficiency.
The 480VAC, 3 Phase, 4-wire, 3000A power distribution supply is supplemented with three (3) 1KW solar wind turbines and 2.4KW of PV solar power mounted on the roof of the facility. In total, these systems produce enough power to run the facility’s solar power lab and wind power lab. An additional 10KW of PV solar power is planned for the roof of the lower covered parking area which will offset the facility’s electric vehicle charging stations. A 250 KW natural gas generator was provided to serve emergency lighting and kitchen refrigeration equipment. Security features include an access control system with card readers, electronic locks, and mag locks. A complete fire alarm and sprinkler system was designed. A structured cabling system supports the communications design. A complete Audio-Visual system was included.
The building is a structural steel frame supported on deep foundations. The substructure consists of precast piles installed prior to the final design. They support a post tensioned first floor slab. The superstructure is designed utilizing composite beam and floor construction to achieve long spans and minimize vibrations. Vibrations due to wind turbines on the roof plaza level were also overcome. Designing the complex geometry was achieved using 3D Revit and structural software.