Walking into the tiered entryway of this building, you feel like you have more room to breathe. The architecture interacts with the sky and mimics it—very appropriate for a spiritual center framed by our majestic Rocky Mountains.
In our project design, we incorporated electrical and lighting systems to accommodate a 60,000 square foot open mall. We created this space for members to build community, have deep discussions and share information. Features included: a fireplace, kitchen, café seating area, check-in kiosks, column televisions and projectors, an education wing mixing classrooms and teaching areas with projection walls and stage lighting, a youth wing with a multi-purpose room, kitchen, and flexible break-out room, an administrative office area and an auditorium with a mezzanine that would seat 4,000 people.
We designed high bay fluorescents in open-to-structure spaces to provide the ambient lighting in the mall with jelly jars integrated throughout highlighting different uses of the space. In the auditorium and multi-purpose room, we included both high bay fluorescents for work lighting, incandescent cylinders for house lighting, provided power for future LED lighting and roughed-in stage lighting.
We are pleased to tell our clients that the Church of the Rock was our first project. In fact, one of our owners has a picture of the Church of the Rock on his credit card. Why? It’s a symbol of our roots.
MEP Engineering began when we started a great relationship with one of Denver’s most trusted Electrical Contractors: Duro Electric. We began working in our first office with just three guys: Tom, Roger and Joe, in a sectioned off portion of Duro Electric’s basement.
Designing this 53,000 square foot set our future course for success in providing large-scale, holistic designs that benefit the surrounding community. The space houses an 850-seat sanctuary, a state-of-the-art children’s wing featuring a modern youth facility called The Ark, as well as adult education and administrative offices.
Renovating an old theater means you start the project with quite a bit of demolition. We planned the removal of several interior walls, resulting in a final floor plan that included approximately 50,000 square feet. The design incorporated an auditorium with a stage and an open floor for individual chair seating for worship services. Additional spaces included everything the church would need to welcome members of all ages: a children’s ministry area with a nursery and a multipurpose room and an atrium and lobby with a coffee area, booths and tables and administrative offices. The booths and tables will become an information hub for the church’s ministries and events.
We designed the electrical systems to replace electrical service and distribution, as the existing electrical service and much of the distribution had been damaged and was missing its copper pieces.
We planned new HVAC equipment as well. The existing equipment had copper parts removed and much of the system was damaged beyond repair or re-use.
Removal of copper water piping affected the plumbing system. We designed domestic water entry and downstream piping distribution to accommodate this loss.
With engineers from Lee Architects, we planned the power distribution and lighting systems for this modern building. We sized the electrical service for the current design, keeping in mind future classroom and chapel additions.
Worship services at Mission Hills connect members with one another and welcome them with open arms. Gatherings at the church routinely include highly-engaging media presentations. We designed distribution to serve these “road shows” via road show disconnects for theatrical lighting and audio visual systems. The design incorporated distribution for the worship center theatrical lighting, audio and video systems in addition to general power of the facility. We also planned AVL systems for the youth and children’s worship areas.
Wherever possible, we incorporated energy efficiency into the lighting design. We used fluorescent lighting, occupancy sensors and integrated lighting control systems. We built the main lobby area to include high, two-story ceilings lit with a combination of fluorescent multi-lamped, multi-switched can lights, fluorescent decorative wall sconces, fluorescent direct and indirect pendants, and decorative accent lighting at the centralized fireplace and café areas.
We structured the “Main Street” corridor connecting the west and east wings as a two to three story mall-like atrium that incorporated a combination of decorative fluorescent wall sconces and matching large scale pendants. The pendants used fluorescent and metal halide lamp sources and included emergency lighting. We designed the worship center using incandescent quartz halogen can lights and decorative wall sconces—all fully dimmable and controlled via the theatrical lighting systems. We designed lighting for the facility to meet the 2006 IECC and it passed 23% better than code.
Creative mechanical solutions
We designed the mechanical system using constant volume and variable volume HVAC systems to serve classroom occupancies, sanctuary, church offices, youth rooms and assembly spaces. We drew on our teams’ expertise to overcome design challenges including: designing the HVAC systems to achieve NC25 and RC N 27 sound criteria in the worship center. We innovatively deigned a sound reduction solution using contractor-fabricated sound attenuators.
Plumbing solutions for the present and future
We designed new restrooms with standard efficiency plumbing fixtures throughout the project. We planned a coffee shop to include plumbing fixtures and systems to allow for full kitchen service, including a 1500 gallon grease interceptor, as required by the local wastewater department. We planned a hot water system for the coffee shop and classrooms to meet health department criteria for both food preparation areas and commercial childcare facilities. As the church planned to grow, we included plumbing infrastructure within the church to allow for several planned future expansions without having to modify the existing systems.
During this $15 million project, MEP engineers collaborated with the entire design team to provide a space that met energy efficiency goals, minimized utility costs and saved energy. Our team researched and coordinated the use of alternative ventilation approaches that are not covered under the 2003 International Mechanical Code.
These approaches included using ASHRAE 62.1-2004 ventilation calculations for minimum outdoor air flow rates as well as CO2 sensing and outside air control strategies for the high occupancy spaces throughout the floor plan. Using the ASHRAE ventilation calculations and CO2 sensing allowed the HVAC equipment to reduce energy consumption by not heating or cooling as much outside ventilation air. The equipment tonnage was reduced by approximately 70 tons of cooling capacity and approximately 1,512,000 BTU/h of natural gas usage and capacity.
According to the Building Owners and Managers Association International, “Class A” buildings are the “most prestigious buildings competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area. Buildings have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence.
The LEED System is designed to rate new and existing commercial, environmental, institutional and high-rise residential buildings for environmental performance from a “whole building” perspective over a building’s lifecycle.