Energy Production Infrastructure Center (EPIC)
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
EPIC is a new 215,000 SF/3-Story building that provides classrooms and state of the art lab space to accommodate growth in energy infrastructure research and provides space for collaboration with industry partners. Key elements of the facility include a structural lab with strong floor and wall, wet and dry laboratories, classroom/ lecture halls and offices.
EPIC achieved LEED Gold certification. LEED aspects include rain gardens, gray water system, day lighting, and a chilled beam system.
Chilled Beam Technology – EPIC incorporates 750 active chilled beams. This project was one of the first two projects in North Carolina designed to meet the 30% energy reduction mandated by NC Senate Bill 668 and the largest chilled beam installation in the UNC system at the time. The challenge for reducing the energy use of the project lie in the intense internal heat loads anticipated within the space, as well as the air circulation rates required for labs. The project utilized active chilled beams for cooling and heating purposes. These chilled beams are integrated with the lab pressure control systems to meet individual space environmental needs and occupant comfort levels. Active chilled beams are fed the necessary preconditioned outside air from two 45,000 CFM two-stage energy recovery units located in the mechanical penthouse.
An expansion of Regional Utility Plant No.2 was part of the EPIC project effort. The existing plant was expanded to meet future demands of the Charlotte Research Institute Campus at UNC Charlotte. Project efforts included a 2-Story building expansion with new chillers that are capable of generating 6000 tons of cooling. A thermal ice storage system was also included in the RUP-2 project. The efforts for installing this system included the removal of the existing 300 ton water cooled chiller, its existing chilled water pump, its existing condenser water pump and related items. The new ice storage system also includes a new 600 ton ice generating chiller, a plate and frame heat exchanger, associated chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps, piping, controls and ice farm.
“The EPIC building as a whole, given the various user types, size and system complexity (i.e., chilled beams, grey water, fume hoods), has a very low number of calls and is performing very well.”
– Ed Diaz, Zone 2 Maintenance Supervisor – UNCC