LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU ROBINSON CENTER
LITTLE ROCK, AR
- Size: 115,000 Square Feet
- Construction Cost: $50 Million
- Services: MEPFP Design, Energy Modeling, Commissioning, Construction Administration
- Completion Date: 2017
Bernhard TME provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design, construction administration, and commissioning services for the historic renovation and addition to the Robinson Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The facility was renovated and expanded to a total of 115,000 square feet. The additional space includes new meeting and banquet rooms, a stage expansion, and an extended lobby. The project provides a modernized, state-of-the-art performing arts center for the city of Little Rock, while maintaining the iconic façade and prime location of Robinson Center.
One key design challenge for the project was maintaining the building’s historical features while improving its function and ensuring energy efficiency. Bernhard TME used the architect’s 3D model to design the building’s mechanical systems. This helped the design team determine how equipment would fit into complicated spaces. For example, the ballroom had high, 20 foot ceilings with acoustical paneling which left only 16 inches or less of space for mechanical equipment. Bernhard TME’s design team looked at customized applications to solve this and other issues, like triangular ductwork and return air plenums constructed of concrete. The lighting was designed to streamline lighting control with one control panel used to control various bays of lights rather than individual switches for specific fixtures or spaces. Our team also implemented building control strategies like setpoint resets and setbacks to improve the building’s energy efficiency.
Bernhard TME also provided energy modeling for the project. The energy model was used to evaluate various design features, like the type of glass used in the windows and the building envelope’s u-value, to determine their energy savings value. The goal was for the project to achieve LEED certification. The energy model helped the design team to choose the appropriate systems and features for energy efficiency.
Bernhard TME’s commissioning agents worked to ensure functionality and optimize the building’s systems. The complex nature of the project meant that a range of consultants and sub-contractors were involved in various, specialized components of the project (for example, acoustical design, stage lighting, and historic preservation). The commissioning team used CxAlloy commissioning software to help improve coordination and communication among the different project team members. Individuals from eleven different companies had online, web access to CxAlloy. This helped with coordination of each trade during construction and streamlined information sharing by providing all relevant testing and issues log information in one place.
In August 2017, the building achieved LEED Gold certification.