University of Cincinnati, Morgens Residence Hall Renovation

Existing building retrofit: University of Cincinnati, Morgens Residence Hall Renovation; KLH Engineers


Final exterior sky copy: University of Cincinnati Morgens Hall, designed using Revit and BIM. Courtesy: Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects Inc. (Click to enlarge)Project name: University of Cincinnati, Morgens Residence Hall Renovation

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Firm name: KLH Engineers

Project type, building type: Existing building retrofit, high-rise residential

Project duration: 2 years

Project completion date: Aug. 30, 2009

Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $7.7 million

Engineering challenges

The University of Cincinnati Morgens Hall was built in 1965 on the Uptown campus. The location of this existing dormitory defines the northeast corner of campus, and upon its completion will be a showpiece of student housing renovation projects across the country. The revitalization of this 40-year-old structure is being designed using Revit and BIM. Our team is currently collaborating with UC on its innovative vision for a new exterior envelope of an aluminum curtainwall along with plans for new roofing and a roofing trellis, elevator upgrades, and a replacement of the interior plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems.


The HVAC plant systems, consisting of chilled water and steam, will remain intact for serving new terminal equipment throughout. New fan coil units will be installed in each room. Exposed ductwork and architecturally oriented diffusers will be used for air distribution that will give the dorm units a contemporary feel. The outside air will be preconditioned and ducted to each fan coil unit through new chases coordinated closely to the existing structural conditions of the building. The existing lighting in the corridors will remain the same. New lighting will be designed into the dorm rooms that will again give the dorm unit a contemporary feel, but with a durability that is needed for this type of application. The electric distribution panel boards on each floor will be replaced along with new load centers in each unit. All new feeder and branch circuit wiring will be replaced through the existing raceways. This project is a wonderful example of sustainable design. The university’s focus on adaptive reuse demonstrates its commitment to the environment. The building will contain 100% LED lighting, which will account for a 50% reduction in the operating cost of the building.

3-D View-INT Kit+liv: UC Morgens Hall, residential unit kitchen and living room areas. Courtesy: Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects Inc. (Click to enlarge)INT Lobby 1: UC Morgens Hall, newly renovated lobby area of the residential building at the northeast corner of the campus. Courtesy: Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects Inc. (Click to enlarge)

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