Napach Design Group


68,000 SF




Estimated $15M


MEP & Life Safety Systems Design

Columbia University Woodbridge Hall project is a gut renovation of the existing 7-story, original 1938 wood-framed residential dormitory building, located in a designated Landmark District at 431 Riverside Drive in Manhattan, NY. The building, serving primarily undergraduate students would be renovated, and converted from mostly shared bedrooms to apartment style suites with predominantly single-person bedrooms and separate shared living room spaces. The goal of the project was to modernize the building and to improve its overall functionality. It was made fully ADA accessible with a new entrance closer to campus and a 2nd elevator; enhanced amenity spaces a larger fitness area; large lounge & study areas and a lounge on each floor on each floor.

Another major goal of the project was to upgrade all building systems and introduce air conditioning into the building for the first time. Legacy Engineers designed all new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems for the project.

The first phase of the project was a pre-schematic design phase where a life cycle cost analysis was performed on alternative HVAC systems and presented to Columbia University for their consideration. The systems included:

• Scheme 1: High Efficiency Condensing Boilers & Air-cooled Chiller Plant

• Scheme 2: Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) System

• Scheme 3: Hybrid Geothermal/Air-cooled Heat Pump System

CU decided against Scheme 2’s requirement of running of refrigerant piping throughout the building and wanted a closer analysis of Schemes 1 and 3. The building’s electrical infrastructure will be replaced in its entirety and the life safety systems will be upgraded with a new fire alarm system and full sprinkler protection throughout.