Indiana Convention Center Expansion
In 2006, the City of Indianapolis set out to add 745,000 sf to their existing convention center in order to compete with the growing national convention center market. Built over the area previously occupied by the Citys RCA Dome stadium, the new Indianapolis Convention Center will stand at 1.4 million sf when it opens its doors in late 2010.
Recognized as national mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) convention center experts, Syska Hennessy Group was selected to provide concept design services while teaming up with Indianapolis engineering talent to develop and implement the overall MEP systems strategy for the project. Satisfying the electrical needs of the center was one of Syskas biggest challenges. In order to court some of the most sought-after exhibits, including those of the automotive industry, the convention center would need to be wired for 480V of power at the floor. Drawing on the firms extensive floor box experience and through innovative design, Syska was able to include provisions for 480V of power, compressed air, industrial cold water, special drains and telecom distribution - all within the utilidor below the exhibit space.
Another challenge included the significant amount of existing underground utilities that served both the convention center and the previous RCA Dome. Installing new MEP services required detailed routing around existing utilities. Creative air distribution solutions were required to coordinate the link between the expansion and the Citys new stadium, Lucus Oil Field, as well.
Since the new exhibit hall was designed to operate as one continuous space with the existing building, Syskas lighting team worked to blend light levels with varied performance abilities so that visitors will find similar conditions when moving throughout the convention center. Another notable MEP feature is the HVAC systems ability to maintain acceptable ventilation rates with operating vehicles inside the exhibit space. Customizing the exhibit hall air handling units to exhaust the space with additional, strategically-placed ventilation fans, Syska was able to satisfy both occupant comfort and code requirements while simultaneously meeting the clients needs.