The cooling decisions made during the initial design of the central cooling plant for Taibah University would influence the design of all future additions or renovations to the campus. Considering the university’s desert location and their expansive collection of 24 colleges, they needed consulting and design to maximize efficiency and reliability of the campus-wide system.
A unique hybrid central cooling plant was designed to be the heart of the campus’s cooling system. The plant provides and distributes chilled water throughout the campus utilizing water cooled chillers on the ground floor, air cooled chillers on the roof, and storage tanks with 72,000 ton hours of stored thermal energy.
We leveraged Building Information Modeling (BIM) to quickly and clearly refine and test concepts for the plant’s automation system, technology backbone, fire protection, and plumping systems. This saved time and money throughout the design, and also led to the reduction of the piping weight (by 70%) and footprint (less than 7,850 square meters). The design process was a collaboration with contractor Saudi Binladin Group, which helped optimize the plant performance, constructability, and cost.