Upon completion of a 2014 study outlining the best approach to the replacement of the existing ice systems and arena’s HVAC system, PBA was contracted to provide MEP Infrastructure improvements design for Western Michigan University’s 3,667-seat Lawson Ice Arena.
The renovation of Lawson included the addition of a new ice sheet and a 1,200 square foot mechanical room that would house the new ammonia-based ice plant equipment. PBA worked closely with B32 Engineering (formerly Stevens Engineering) a nationally recognized ice system designer for arenas, in order to successfully integrate the mechanical and electrical systems within the ice arena.
Lawson Ice Arena is located adjacent to the Western Michigan University natatorium. To efficiently accommodate the natatorium, the project included the connection of the ice arena’s waste heat from its new refrigeration system to a heat exchanger used to heat the pool. This significant feature enables the heat generated from making the ice to be redistributed throughout Lawson and the pool at Gabel Natatorium.
To properly accommodate the new ice plant, a new mechanical ventilation system was needed. During design, a CFD analysis was conducted to determine whether an air scrubber would be required in the event of an ammonia spill from the new plant. However, the system was found to be adequate without the need for a scrubber.
Several additional MEP components and reconfigurations were added to the arena in order to accommodate the new ice plant, including:
The project anticipates LEED certification.
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