Procter and Gamble Fabric and Home Care Innovation Center Renaissance Project

Existing building retrofit; Procter and Gamble Fabric and Home Care Innovation Center Renaissance Project; PEDCO E+A Services Inc.


Building exterior. Courtesy: PEDCO E&A ServicesEngineering firm: PEDCO E&A Services Inc.
2013 MEP Giants rank:
Procter & Gamble Fabric & Home Care Innovation Center Renaissance Project
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Building type:
Project type:
Existing building retrofit
Engineering services:
Automation & Controls, Code Compliance, Cx/Retro-Cx, Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
June 2009 to December 2012
Engineering services budget:
$14 million
MEP budget:
$14 million


The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), the nation's largest consumer goods company, needed to renovate its Historical Wing of the Fabric and Home Care Innovation Center located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The facility houses research and development laboratories along with office space. The facility needed to be updated to better accommodate Fabric & Home Care's business population for the next 10 to 15 years. The 235,000-sq-ft, five-story facility was originally constructed in 1930, with a first addition in 1944, a second addition in 1960, and multiple renovations over the years. The Fabric & Home Care Innovation Center's Millennium Wing, located across the street from the Historical Wing, was constructed in 2005. Employees would find themselves one day working in the Millennium Wing, a modern research and development facility, and another day working in the Historical Wing, which was extremely outdated and inefficient.

The 75-year-old Historical Wing had outdated and extremely inefficient electrical distribution systems, air distribution system, exhaust distribution system, and plumbing systems. Workspaces were inefficient and disjointed with modularized laboratories where only one or two scientists could work versus a collaborative research environment for multiple scientists working together. To provide employees with the same efficient work environment and amenities as the Millennium Wing, P&G set out to renovate the Historical Wing of the Fabric & Home Care Innovation Center and achieve considerable energy efficiencies. The owner's vision for the renovated facility was a collaborative and inspirational workplace with open offices and laboratories to promote interactive research.

To achieve the owner's vision of an open and collaborative work environment for the office areas, the architect needed to raise the ceiling height. This caused the interstitial space above the ceiling to be reduced to less than 12 degrees in some locations, making more traditional mechanical cooling systems an engineering design challenge. In addition, the building needed to remain occupied and functional during building construction. A swing space needed to be created in an adjacent building to house temporary offices during the phased construction. The age and historic nature of the building presented a couple of unique challenges: how to address an older building skin with an inefficient thermal barrier with a mixture of replaced windows, and how to document 75 years of system rework to minimize unexpected outages during construction. Existing condition documentation exceeded normal scope so that a comprehensive document could be utilized by the construction manager and trade contractors to efficiently plan and schedule their work. It was important for the contractors to have a clear understanding of the existing piping systems to reduce any outages caused by inadvertent shutdowns, minimize outages to the occupants, and maintain a tight schedule and budget. This also meant decisions about the type of equipment and the location of this equipment had to made much earlier in the design process.


PEDCO provided engineering design services to renovate the Historic Wing of the Fabric & Home Care building, which included a phased construction approach to allow for the demolition and remodel of the entire five-story building interior including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. With the new design and remodel, the 235,000-sq-ft building now consists of a 24,000-sq-ft laboratory and 211,000 sq ft of office common areas. The new engineering systems and interior building modifications helped turn this historic building into a high-performance building, resulting in a 17% annual energy reduction and winning a 2012 Cincinnati Design Awards Honorable Mention.

The first step in the renovation process was to address the building envelope to understand potential issues with excessive air leakage/infiltration, leaks, and condensation; and weather related damage. With these results, PEDCO was able to implement engineering solutions, such as the type of HVAC system necessary to achieve client comfort. With the lack of ceiling height in the office areas, PEDCO was challenged to design a HVAC system to meet the cooling demand and open office vision. PEDCO reviewed two options: variable volume air distribution and chilled beams. The variable volume approach was unable to achieve the desired openness. The chosen active chilled beam system met the project’s objectives, reduced the owner's operating cost, and incorporated findings from thermal imaging to create a high-performance building.

PEDCO designed the HVAC system with 4,400 lineal ft of active chilled beams to manage the large sensible cooling loads in the office yet achieve excellent energy performance and low acoustic signatures. The original 25 air handling units located in the basement and fifth floor were now replaced with eight highly efficient air handling units. The office air handlers were equipped with sensible and enthalpy wheels to transfer heating, cooling, and humidity between the supply and exhaust air, therefore reducing operating costs. The engineering design incorporated new vertical chases within the architectural layout to provide a phased approach to distribute air, and hot and chilled water where needed and maintain an operational building during the construction phase.

The laboratory design included once through air, manifolded exhaust systems for dryers and fume hoods along with a variable temperature, variable hardness water system to simulate water conditions anywhere in the world. Because temporary laboratory space had to be maintained while also building the new laboratory space, both spaces had to be designed to incorporate exhaust air, specialty water systems and compressed gases. The existing chilled water system was modified with a new loop for the roof air handling units and a new, dedicated loop was created for chilled beam efficiency. Inefficient steam and electric heat was replaced with a new heating hot water system. Plumbing scope included waste and compressed gas systems to bench tops and laboratories, a new fire alarm, fire protection, security systems, and low flow restroom water fixtures to reduce water usage. The new electrical distribution systems included two electrical rooms per floor fed from a bus duct system, for power and lighting.

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