RWB Consulting Engineers provided MEP design services for Midlothian Heritage High School

Project Overview

Midlothian Heritage High School is a 250,000 square foot main education building. In addition, some smaller structures were included in the project. Those additional buildings included a field house, an agricultural shop, concession buildings for athletic fields, and more. RWB provided the design engineering services for this high school project.

  • K-12 Education Building
  • New construction
  • 250,000 square feet
  • Designed in Revit MPE
  • Architect: VLK Architects

Project Details

As the Dallas/Fort Worth experts in K-12 engineering design projects, RWB set out to offer multiple design options for Midlothian Heritage High School. MEP designs are not created equally. School districts must prioritize the features that are most important to them. Some of the variables include:

  • Efficiency
  • Initial cost
  • Ongoing operational costs
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Sound levels

For this project, RWB sought out system cost and efficiency data for multiple MEP design in different school districts. Three system designs were put under closer consideration: rooftop units (RTUs); four-pipe chilled and hot water systems; and a geothermal system. Ultimately, the team narrowed down the options to the 4-pipe system and the geothermal system.

The two design approaches were compared on system efficiency, installation cost, and maintenance cost. This detailed analysis included items that are commonly overlooked. Some examples include: an annual maintenance contract, water usage, and chemical usage costs. These costs vary depending on the system type so it is important to include them in an analysis.

The findings that RWB compiled were presented to the design team, including the architect, facilities team, and school board. In the end, the team decided on a geothermal system.

Energy Efficient Design Engineering for Midlothian Heritage

Because this project is a public building, keeping ongoing operational costs low was a priority. Most K-12 schools have a limited budget for ongoing utility costs, so engineering the building to use less energy is top-of-mind when we work on these projects. RWB sought out opportunities to incorporate efficient design elements to Midlothian Heritage High School. In particular, our plumbing and engineering consulting teams were able to optimize many portions of the design. Some examples include:

  • High efficiency lighting design with occupancy sensors and multi-level switching throughout.
  • In coordination with the design team, architectural and accent lighting was adjusted to minimize the energy usage.
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures were used to minimize water consumption.
  • Water-to-water heat pumps to pre-heat the main water heaters. The water heaters primarily serve the locker rooms and kitchen in the main building.

In addition, RWB provided options to the School District for building site lighting. Two versions of site lighting were designed: a baseline design using metal halides, and an alternate design using LEDs.

Geothermal Design

RWB has experienced professionals in geothermal design. Not all design firms are able to confidently deliver a geothermal design that works. RWB has many successful geothermal engineering projects in our portfolio, including Midlothian Heritage High School.

Revit MEP

The Midlothian Heritage High School project was designed entirely in Revit MEP. Modeling in 3D requires extra coordination across disciplines and with our partners. RWB is proud to have a team of highly-trained engineers in all disciplines to support design projects in Revit.

MEP Design Services

With over 50 engineers and designs on-staff, RWB Consulting Engineers has the expertise and capacity to take on any K-12 school project. Our team understands the unique needs of education projects. We can provide expertise in K-12 mechanical, electrical, or plumbing engineering.