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Jul 13 / Stephanie Bausman

The Highlands at Wyomissing Community Center


The existing building consisted of approximately 56,000 sf and renovations were 39,000 sf of administrative, food services, meeting rooms and activity spaces. Additions totaled approximately 40,000sf of new office, auditorium and service spaces.

Core Area — Mechanical

PES designed high-efficient heat pumps that have an environmentally safe R410 refrigerant. The units were tied to the existing heat pump loop and new energy recovery units located on the roof for fresh air. The heat pumps have been designed to efficiently heat, cool and ventilate each space with the constraints of the proposed floor plan and available ceiling space.

The cooling towers and high efficient boilers are now equipped with automatic change over from cooling to heating based on the heat pump loop temperature.

Core Area — Electrical

Existing panels to the electrical distribution system were kept to allow existing panels to be reused. New panels were installed to provide additional circuits as needed.

The lighting design utilized T5 fluorescent lighting and LED lighting. 277/480V was specified throughout the facility which reduced the number of breakers in panels and sizes of step down transformers required. An emergency generator was placed adjacent to the new cooling towers on the roof. A natural gas generator has been installed because of its low maintenance and constant fuel supply. One automatic transfer switch was installed to provide circuit emergency lighting loads to the generator and the core emergency lighting load was removed from the existing diesel generator to provide spare capacity on serving future electrical loads.

The new lighting control approach was designed around Watt Stopper Digital Lighting Management (DLM). The DLM system was designed to provide control for individual rooms, an entire floor, or campus. The control options include: room controllers for switched or dimmed lighting, Plug loads, digital occupancy sensors, switches or handheld remotes, and daylighting controls. The wiring uses a standard Cat5e cable with RJ45 connectors and because devices have a free-topology the devices can be configured in both star and daisy-chain patterns simplifying design, installation, and maintenance. The open protocol segment network enables easy integration with a building automation system.

Private office areas are controlled with local occupancy sensors, low voltage manual overrides, and optional plug load controls. Common spaces such as corridors, lobbies now have lighting reduction controls based on occupancy to reduce the lighting by 50% saving energy when those spaces are unoccupied. Multi-Purpose room/meeting rooms will have multiple levels of controls including dimming, A/V operation, shade control through a multi-button wall station or remote control.

Building Automation System (BAS)

The Building Automation system has the capabilities to expand and handle the entire building complex.

The BAS supports user access via standard browsers (such as Internet Explorer and Netscape), without any special software loaded on the thin client. Users will access the system via any computer with access to the Highlands network (either via intranet or internet).

Control and monitoring of building subsystems, including HVAC, electrical systems, lighting controls, CCTV, security and fire alarm will be via a single user interface that facilitates simplicity and use of the system. Industry standard, open protocols such as BACnet, LON, and MODbus are all supported for integration to a single platform.

The automation incorporates the latest in energy conservation strategies for systems of this type, including:

  • Scheduling & Occupied/Unoccupied Modes
  • Zone Set point Limiting
  • Demand Ventilation in Applicable Areas
  • Variable Hydronic Flow
  • Economizer Mode
  • Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Fire Alarm System

The Simplex 4100U Fire Alarm System transitioned over to the Edwards EST3 Fire Alarm System as each phase of construction commenced. The new EST3 System gives the facility the latest technology available in the industry to expand as node or point capacity, provide a Bacnet interface capability for HVAC connectivity and reporting as well as provide a remote Graphics Touch-screen PC interface for viewing/control of system events/functions remotely at the Reading Hospital. The new EST3 System also UL2572 listed for Mass Notification. This would eliminate the need for additional Mass Notification equipment panels as the base system would inherently already have this feature.

Multi-purpse Sound System

The Multi-purpose Room provides a new locally controlled sound reinforcement system. The system operates independently from the main Intercommunications System. The system accepts microphone and stereo line-level inputs, and faithfully and accurately amplify those signals uniformly to all seated occupants in the Multi-purpose Room. All amplification and signal processing equipment for the Multi-purpose Room is located in a wall mounted equipment cabinet with locking front door. A remote on/off keyed switch with an LED indicator lamp is included on a custom two-gang plate to show the status of the system operation. The system provides a high threshold of gain before feedback and shall accurately reproduce and amplify all voice and music signal without feedback, oscillation, distortion, or other unwanted effects or interference. The system includes a separate delayed speaker circuit(s) to compensate for any abnormalities due to architectural design of the room with reference to speaker placement.