Student Recreation & Convocation Center

Project Details

Client: Coastal Carolina University
Location: Conway, South Carolina
Services: Mechanical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Utility Infrastructure


The Coastal Carolina Student Recreation and Convocation Center project is a two-story, 130,000 SF facility that will house a student recreation facility, athletic arena / convocation center and student bookstore. The project will provide an increase in space for student recreation, student life activities and provide approximately 3,650 seats for university basketball and volleyball games, convocations, commencement exercises, university sponsored special events and inter-collegiate athletic contests.

With an emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency, the facility will be striving to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver Certification through USGBC. The goal is to have the buildings energy usage be approximately 28% less than that of a comparable building.

The Solution

The project was designed using an integrated design approach rather than the conventional design approach. The integrated design process required multidisciplinary collaboration, including key stakeholders and design professionals, from conception to completion. Decision-making protocols and complementary design principles were established early in the process in order to satisfy the goals of multiple stakeholders while achieving the overall project objectives. In addition to extensive collaboration, the integrated design process involved a “whole building design” approach. The building was viewed as an interdependent system, as opposed to an accumulation of its separate components (site, structure, systems and use). The goal of looking at all the systems together is to make sure they work in harmony rather than against each other.

Engineering Highlights

  • Total enthalpy recovery and desiccant dehumidification wheel modules for the air handling units reduce the energy required by 50% to condition the code required outside air.
  • Wall mounted CO2 sensors and the building energy management system have been incorporated to reduce outdoor air flow to un-occupied spaces.
  • A remote central utility plant with two high efficiency centrifugal chillers and matching counterflow cooling towers were provided to support the new building.
  • High-performance glass allows daylight in and provides expansive views while reducing the amount of heat gain in the building.
  • Water conservation features include high-efficiency, low flow toilets and urinals, water-efficient landscaping, and motion-activated flush valves and faucets.
  • Existing wetlands and forests surrounding the Student Recreation and Convocation Center are to be conserved during the building’s construction and delivery.

People & Technology Leveraged

RMF design staff utilized computer energy modeling to optimize the mechanical systems within the building to not only reduce energy usage, but to also show the interaction of different integrated design techniques.

The electrical design included indoor high bay lighting with theatrical type controls. Due to the multiple uses of the convocation center, several types of lighting and configurations were researched to provide the appropriate fit for the arena space. All lighting was designed to meet NCAA television national broadcast levels and uniformity while including lighting controls to scene set for the other uses. A motorized shading system was used to provide an instant on/off capability for theatrical and special effects.

This project also included extensive A/V rough-in and power requirement coordination. Design was coordinated with owner furnished equipment including scoreboards, ribbon boards, scorer’s tables, theatrical/stage lighting, television truck company switch power, coaches game video system and central game clock system.

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