Ford Center at The Star Garners ASHRAE Regional Technology Award

The Ford Center at the Star – a 12,000 seat indoor football stadium and training facility that is part of the The Star in Frisco development – earned an ASHRAE Regional Technology Award for new construction public assembly in Region 8. Henderson Engineers designed the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire and life safety, and architectural lighting systems for the state-of-the-art facility in Frisco, Texas, that has received first place recognition at both the regional and local levels of ASHRAE.

The award was presented to Henderson for its design of HVAC systems that focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. All of the building systems at the Ford Center were evaluated to provide cost effective, efficient solutions based on the owner’s operational needs.

“We are proud to associate ourselves with the quality of work and responsibility that comes with working with premier sports and mixed-use facilities,” said Eric Taylor, associate and sports practice technical leader for Henderson. “Sports has pushed the envelope in sustainability for many years, and our team thrives in meeting the challenge of sustainable design while providing the highest level of entertainment to the public.”

Within the 510,000 square foot facility, there is a 3,700-ton water-cooled chiller plant, 36,000 MBH hot water plant, and 6,000 MBH domestic hot water plant. The chilled water and heating hot water plants also feed the adjacent Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, which includes two 12-story high-rise office buildings and a three-story mixed-use facility.

The chiller plant consists of two sets of series-parallel chillers with parallel condenser flow from four total chillers. Downstream chillers were designed to minimize energy consumption during low use periods. Henderson’s design team worked closely with equipment manufacturers during design and construction to evaluate equipment options in order to maximize system efficiency.

Through energy modeling analysis, the design team found that a parallel arrangement with a water-side economizer would help reduce first cost while maintaining desired system efficiencies.

The heating water and domestic hot water boiler plants utilize high-efficiency condensing boilers that can operate at efficiencies upwards of 97 percent compared to traditional boilers which average around 80 percent efficiency. The plant also utilizes controls that monitor and maximize overall boiler plant.

The facility also utilizes LED lighting including LED sports lights for the stadium field shared by the Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco Independent School District high schools. LED lighting was chosen due to lower operational costs, longer life, and lower heat output. Occupancy sensor demand control HVAC, plant optimization controls, variable speed pumping, and other strategies were implemented to reduce building system energy usage.

Life cycle evaluations were performed for the boiler plant and sports lighting to further understand the impact and life costs of the different system options. The facility also provides public integration technology using interactive touch screens and kinetic motion technology to educate and entertain patrons.

In addition to the Ford Center, The Star is a 91-acre mixed-use campus that is home to the Omni Frisco Hotel and an entertainment district with more than 20 restaurants, shopping, and specialty establishments.

Henderson collaborated with Gensler on the iconic development.

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