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PROJECT: Crossroads Community Church


AWARDS: National Design/Build Runner-Up (2006) - Contracting Business

It was 10 years ago that Crossroads Community Church opened its doors here in Cincinnati Ohio. Even after their building expansion project in 2000 which created a total of 89,000 sf this dynamic Church embarked on a even larger expansion project and after two years of design, construction, and renovation now occupy over 260,000 sf of space.

Due to their continued expansion, Crossroads Community Church called upon the expertise of architectural design team from Champlin-Haupt Architects. Led by their own member, Ben Richards started the design process and developed programming for the new church expansion. Besides expanding their already welcoming atrium to over 32,000 sf with large glass and skylight areas and adding over 22 new classrooms they created a 3,500 seat auditorium complete with state of the art lighting and sound systems.

xroads2The Architects enlisted the services of an engineering consultant and together issued architectural drawings and design narratives for the MEP systems requesting design-build proposals. The unique nature of the large auditorium required the acoustic design to meet the stringent noise criteria level of NC-25.

Early in the bidding process Commercial HVAC teamed up with Turner Construction along with Beacon Electric and Dalmatian Fire Protection. In addition to bidding the HVAC systems as outlined by the consultant, Commercial HVAC offered several value-added options that distinguished our pro-active design approach.

Because the project costs exceeded the budget attention was turned to the substantial savings offered by Commercial HVAC. Instead of using large mechanical rooms to house air handling units, boilers, chillers, and pumps, Commercial HVAC proposed a radically different approach to use packaged rooftop units.

While using packaged rooftop units might not be “innovative” in the normal commercial market for heating and air-conditioning, this innovative approach on this facility was truly a win-win for Crossroads. Without using a single sound attenuator Commercial HVAC was able to not only meet the NC-25 sound criteria but in the process we gave back over 3,500 sf of much needed space.

Two nominal 110-ton Trane Intellipak rooftop units were located on lower roofs to serve the 3,500 seat auditorium. The ductwork was routed up the side of the building and enclosed with metal panels to complement the exterior metal building appearance. The space that would have been occupied by the air-handling units, boilers, pumps, and chiller became offices, AV production, a green room, and a large 1,800 sf scene shop. This necessary space could not have been accomplished due to the budget and site constraints limiting the available footprint of the expanded building. Even after finishing out the spaces Commercial HVAC was able to save the owner over $200,000 using our innovative design approach.

The other areas of the 171,000 sf building expansion/renovation include classrooms, kids club areas, nurseries, gathering areas, meeting rooms, and administrative support offices. Since the existing areas were originally conditioned with variable air volume packaged rooftop units this approach was used for the new expanded areas. A total of 16 packaged rooftop units were added as part of this expansion/renovation for a total of 450 additional tons of air-conditioning. Carbon dioxide sensors were installed on all units serving classrooms and other high-occupancy spaces to improve the ventilation effectiveness and reduce energy costs.

Because of the variable occupancy nature of this large facility, the spaces are zoned accordingly with occupant override thermostats. The existing Trane DDC control system was expanded and upgraded to optimize the energy efficiency of the facility. All of the new rooftop units have economizers to further minimize energy usage. Using two rooftops each with multi-stage compressors and DDC controls allows for consistent comfort in the large auditorium. On a recent weekend temperatures were documented and during the weekend services the HVAC was able to maintain a tight 1.7ºF temperature variance.

Once the new expansion areas were completed the existing area renovations began. The existing 1,200 seat auditorium was converted into large student ministry areas and additional meeting/gathering spaces. During this two year design and construction process the facility was always occupied and always in use.

The design team worked very closely on this unique project. Early on in the design process critical design elements affecting the performance, installation, and aesthetics of the project were identified and incorporated into the design documents. When the idea of routing exposed ductwork over 30’ up the side of a building was presented to Ben Richards at Champlin-Haupt Architects he simply proposed covering it with a metal mesh to blend in with the exterior facade of the new auditorium. The large rooftop units were concealed in the same manner and it looks great.

Crossroads Community Church is very pleased with their new auditorium and expanded facility. With a seating capacity of 3,500 this auditorium is one of the largest facilities of it’s type in the Southwest Ohio region. Upon entering the auditorium the entire HVAC system is literally out of sight and out of mind. The large ductwork is painted black and is obscured by the catwalks and lighting equipment and the large return grilles are blended into the walls under the balconies.

The entire design-build team from Commercial HVAC is very proud of this project. Utilizing packaged rooftop units where others said it couldn’t be done and to have it test out at NC-25 without a single sound attenuator was a rewarding challenge. Giving back over $200,000 along with 3,500 sf of much needed space was greatly appreciated by Crossroads but all in a days work for the innovative design-build team at Commercial HVAC.

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