Location: Espanola, NM
Lopez Engineering, Inc. (LEI), subcontractor to Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, provided electrical design services for the 10,000 GSF (est) Solar Engineering Park and Academy (SERPA) for Northern New Mexico College, located in Espanola, NM, which will be LEED Silver Certified.
The building is a new high-tech academic study, research laboratory, testing, and evaluation facility designed to reflect and advance the “solar culture” of the region.
LEI performed field investigation, coordinated with the electric, telephone, and cable TV utilities, prepared basis of design documents, calculations, drawings, and specifications, and developed cost estimates. Calculations include load, lighting, short circuit, voltage drop, overcurrent coordination, IECC, and potential Photovoltaic (PV) energy generation.
The main architectural goal for the building, led by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, is to create a welcoming and modern exterior that expresses the building use for engineering and the function of the building systems such as expression of the structural system and integrated solar collecting strategies.
The design has been completed and is awaiting funding. Once funding is approved the project will be bid, awarded and constructed. LEI will assist during bidding, and provide construction administration services during construction. Electrical systems include power, high efficiency lighting with occupancy sensor controls, window integrated PV system (alternate recommended), Fire Alarm, internet, telephone, PA, cable TV, snow melt system, window actuator system, security alarm system, time clock system and conduit infrastructure to the yard test area. Project planning and implementation have used regular design charrets to conceptualize LEED points to be pursued and progress to obtaining them, to conceptualize utility points of connection, to locate (a) solar PV site research area(s), and develop a list of the LEED points along with their requirements, which will be pursued in order to achieve LEED certification.
This building will provide the infrastructure to train and develop NNM technicians and engineers to work in the energy efficiency and renewable energy field. A portion of the site has been set aside for experimenting with PV and wind systems. Classrooms have been dedicated to teaching energy audit techniques. Central monitoring systems will be installed in this building to enable students to learn about PV systems as well as other renewable energy technology both building mounted and located on the site.
This project contains 2 phases. Phase 1 consists in Teaching, Lab & Research, Admin, student support, and building support spaces for a total of approximately 9,044. Phase 2 (Future) consists in Lab & Research, training center, and public spaces.
The Photovoltaic Research System recommended will consist of bi-facial PV modules w/micro inverter 120V single phase AC output that will be installed in the Electrical Room and Test Field. Conduit and wiring from the Test Field inverters will be provided. Photovoltaic collectors will be provided by the University as part of future research projects. A total of 150% spare capacity will be added to the total estimate calculated to support future phases.
SERPA was designed with a building envelope that emphasizes energy performance while meeting the client’s desire to express both technology and local material traditions. These envelope strategies, along with the mechanical and lighting strategies, are expected to reduce the building’s energy costs by 35%.
Light pollution reduction will be achieved by utilizing exterior light fixtures with full cut-off light distribution and interior dimmable fixtures that are controlled by occupancy sensors and photocell (day-lighting) controls. At least 90% of individual and group lights will be controlled in shared multi user spaces (conference rooms, classrooms, offices).
Electrical power is provided from a pad mounted transformer, provided and installed by the local electric utility company. The transformer provides power to an approximate 1200A, 208Y/120V, 3-phase, 4-wire main building switchboard through three (3) underground parallel runs of 500 MCM feeders. The switchboard sizing is based on Article 220 of the 2008 National Electric Code, see table 5.1 below for estimated load summary, plus a minimum 50% spare capacity to support future phases. 208Y/120V, 3-phase panel boards shall be provided as required to power mechanical, plumbing, lighting and receptacle loads as required.
The building will not be provided with emergency power. Emergency lighting is provided from light fixtures with 90 minute battery packs. Receptacles will be recessed in walls in all areas. Flush mounted floor receptacles shall be provided where required. Mechanical and plumbing equipment shall be power from the 208Y/120V panelboard as required. Fused safety switches and starters shall be provided as required.
The electrical systems will utilize high efficiency lighting ballasts, fluorescent lamping, LED lighting and automated lighting control systems to help reduce the building energy consumption.
Electrical, mechanical and other support area/room lighting will be provided from surface mounted fluorescent strip lights, with wire guard where appropriate. Illuminance levels for interior and exterior areas shall be designed in accordance with Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) recommendations. Task and special lighting will be provided as required.
Lighting controls in the Conference Rooms are provided from a central lighting control panel. Multiple sliding dimmer switches are provided within each space for abundant lighting control. Light fixtures in other occupiable spaces shall be controlled from surface mounted dual technology (passive infrared and ultrasonic) occupancy sensors, mounted on the ceiling with recessed wiring where possible. Service areas, such as storage rooms, mechanical rooms and janitors closets shall be controlled from wall mounted passive infrared occupancy sensors.
The fire alarm system provides full coverage with fire alarm notification and detection devices. Devices are connected to a new addressable fire alarm control panel with a remote annunciator panel. The fire alarm system includes heat and smoke detectors (one with sounder base), double action pull station, horn strobe, weatherproof horn strobe, strobe only, input and relay modules, a water flow/tamper switch and sync module, depicted on plans, schedules and riser diagrams. A total of 50% spare capacity will be added to the total estimated calculated to support future phases.
The building and site security system was provided and includes an alarm panel, keypad, door switch, motion sensor and siren. The time clock system includes a master time clock, battery backup surge protector, 75ft GPS antenna expansion and clock with battery booster lithium battery pack.
A snow melt system is provided and includes a heatizon tuff cable cabkit 300 low voltage electric radiant heating element, heatizon control unit, 16”x12”x9” and utilizes 208, 40 or 277 volt power and a pavement mounted sensor.
The window actuator includes an electronic double link chain actuator and 6.5A power supply with control up to 6 actuators.