University of Alabama

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Aquatic Center Renovation – U of A

The $21M renovation to the 70,900 SF Aquatics Center provided UA Athletics swimming and diving teams and the university community a much needed, state-of-the-art facility for training, competition, and recreation. The renovations will allow UA Athletics to host competitive swimming and diving events, and increase recruitment and growth of the program by attracting top-class swimming and diving athletes. University Recreation will benefit with new locker rooms, training areas, and access to the 25m and 50m pools. The 50m aquatics training and competition pool, including the diving boards and diving platforms, will be completely renovated. The existing indoor 25m Natatorium pool will be converted to an outdoor pool facility.  The 25m pool was originally constructed as in indoor pool facility in 1958.

HHB Engineers, P.C. served as Consultant to Davis Architects for the mechanical, plumbing, and FP design and construction services for the renovation project.  The 50m natatorium was converted from a heated and ventilated only facility to fully conditioned and dehumidified year-round.  The remainder of the facility received all new HVAC system and plumbing systems.  A FP system was added to portions of the 50M Natatorium building.  New MP systems are comprised of:

  1. Cooling for all but the 50M natatorium is from a 190-ton air cooled chiller with desuperheater for heat recovery. The heat recovery off the chiller is used to pre-heat the large domestic hot water load in the building (shower facilities).
  2. The outdoor pool is heated and cooled to maintain the water temperature range for athletic events and training. An energy analysis was performed on cooling of the pool, with the facility benefiting from the increased heat recovery off the chiller during the summer, helping to offset the energy costs of cooling the outdoor pool.
  3. The HVAC heating plant consists of natural gas high efficiency condensing fire tube boilers arranged in a variable primary configuration.
  4. The 50M natatorium is conditioned with specialized air-cooled DX equipment with integral heat recovery off the air-cooled condensers, recovered heat used for indoor pool water heating and air-side reheat.
  5. Central Variable-air-volume air handling units hot water reheat VAV boxes are used to condition the remainder of the building, with air-side energy recovery utilized for the locker room areas that run 24-7.
  6. Domestic water heating via condensing type natural gas water heaters with separate storage, water is preheated by the chiller desuperheater.