Universities and Schools



Campus Enhancement Project

In response to the significant increase in enrollment, Goldey Beacom College has embarked on a phased Campus Enhancement Project which includes new construction and renovations:

- William A. Franta Hall, a new five-story, 43,000 square foot building featuring a 150-bed residence hall with single and double rooms equipped with a host of amenities, slated for Fall 2020 completion.

- Jackson Hall & Miller Hall, renovations for these identical apartment-style student housing buildings include three floors and approximately 15,000 square feet per building.

- Joseph West Jones Center, a major expansion including a new 20,000 square foot addition and 36,000 square foot renovation to this campus hub, which houses the NCAA Division II Athletics Department. When complete in the fall of 2020, the building will feature updated meeting and community spaces, new dining facilities, new campus store, and expanded athletics department with additional locker rooms, training space and offices.

Blackney Hayes Architects is leading the design of all new construction and renovations and AEC is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering. Engineering features will include:

- High-efficiency central domestic water plant

- Domestic water booster pump and fire pump

- Dedicated outdoor air system to control building pressure and air quality

- Central laundry facilities

- Modern HVAC controls for dorm rooms, allowing interlocks with windows 

and remote temperature set-backs



The Refectory Restaurant

The Refectory, A new and first of its kind on-campus restaurant, is a partnership between Villanova University and Zavino Hospitality Group. AEC designed the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems for this new restaurant, expected to open in fall 2019.


Students, faculty, visitors and neighbors are welcome to dine in The Refectory’s tastefully appointed and relaxed setting with unique features including: 

- 18-seat horseshoe bar with marble counter tops and comfortable captain’s chairs 

- Dining room seating for approximately 200 

- Vault room for private parties and chef tastings 

- Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar, adjacent to the restaurant 

- High-efficiency HVAC and plumbing systems connected to the central plant 

- High-efficiency variable speed kitchen ventilation systems 

- LED lighting throughout with lighting controls 

- High end DDC controls 

Conveniently situated at the corner of Lancaster Avenue & Ithan Avenue, The Refectory is nestled within The Commons, the newest cluster of residence halls on the campus. The prime location provides easy access to Villanova’s sports facilities, public transportation and many university functions within walking distance.



6 New Multi-Use Buildings

AEC provided engineering for six multi-use buildings with Nexus Development and Blackney Hayes Architects. The buildings are part of The Rowan Boulevard Redevelopment project, one of the largest ongoing redevelopment initiatives in the State of New Jersey, linking Rowan’s campus with the Glassboro Downtown Retail District to create a “quintessential college town”. The new area promotes smart growth living with mixed-use buildings in a walkable community setting. 

AEC’s work included two six-story, one five-story, and three four-story buildings containing retail, fitness center, classrooms, offices, luxury apartments and student housing. AEC also provided engineering for site universities including electric, site lighting, gas, IT and a fire protection loop charged by one central fire pump.

230 and 114 Victoria Street

Two six-story multi-use buildings with apartment-style student housing situated above first floor retail space. Together, these buildings feature 171 apartments for approximately 860 students.

Park Place South, Park Place North and 223 West High

All three of these four-story, multi-use buildings feature either luxury apartments or student apartments, situated above core and shell retail space on the first floor. Combined, these buildings offer 57 luxury one and two-bedroom apartments as will as 33 student apartments. Unique amenities found in the luxury apartments include details such as French doors, patios with fire pits, outdoor balconies and outstanding views of new outdoor public spaces.

57 North Main

This five-story building offers 30 apartments for 138 students. The apartments start at street level and are designed with a high-efficiency domestic hot water plant and domestic booster pump system. The ideal location is just steps away from shops, restaurants and the Glassboro Town Square.



Andrew J. Talley Athletic Center

This new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning athletic center features upgraded training and medical facilities and serves the university’s student athlete population.  In addition to the Howie Long Sports Performance Center (shown to left), the complex also houses football team locker rooms, meeting rooms, offices, academic support, and a large reception hall. Conveniently located near the track and Jake Nevin Fieldhouse, this area defines the west end stadium. 

AEC, Inc. provided engineering for this new complex, including: new central heating and cooling plant with high-efficiency condensing boilers, water cooled chillers, variable speed pumping and complete DDC controls.  Additional engineering features include new central station VAV air handling units with VAV distribution throughout, new central domestic water plant with high-efficiency condensing water heaters, electrical distribution with backup generator, cold/hot therapy pool room with related MEP infrastructure and LED light and controls throughout. 



College of Education / James Hall

This three-story 130,000 square foot building houses the Education Department and includes classrooms, faculty offices, conference rooms, lecture halls, study areas, and student lounge areas.  

The steel frame structure has its own central mechanical system utilizing campus steam and chilled water, and a complete VAV air distribution system with DDC controls.  Electrical systems include power distribution, a complete fire alarm system with new wet sprinklers, and state-of-the-art information technology systems.  

This building is a participant in the Connectiv “Smart Start” program, which promotes energy efficiency during building design.  Variable speed drives, high efficiency motors, lighting and lighting control systems have been used to meet some of the “Smart Start” requirements. 



The Davis Center 

The Davis Center was designed as a phased project to include a new parking lot and a new building.  AEC designed the new 227-car parking lot behind the Pavilion along with a 67,500 cubic foot underground stormwater detention basin. The new underground basin not only manages stormwater from the new parking lot, but also replaces the existing above-ground basin, which required managing the stormwater run-off from the nearby football field. 

AEC’s Civil engineering services included Zoning and Land Development approvals, design services, and construction administration. 

The new building houses practice courts for men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball teams, state-of-the-art locker rooms, workout and classrooms.  The structure to the third floor workout center is hung from the clear span roof trusses allowing for the basketball courts below to be clear span and the building height to stay below Radnor Township zoning requirements. 



School of Nursing

Situated on the main campus on the site of VU’s former softball field, this 4-story 92,000 square foot building features a large atrium with an open staircase to all floors. Entrance and exit from the building are on different levels, with three stories in the front and four stories in the rear. The foundations and the steel package for the structural frame were fast tracked to jump start the construction and ensure that the building would be ready for August occupancy.

AEC had to relocate the main electrical and fiber optic services to the entire campus, which ran under the former softball field, to accommodate this new building. A new steam line was also added to accommodate the building’s central plant. Since groundwater was a significant site condition, AEC designed the foundations with underground slab drains to allow the continuous flow of the high level of underground water. The design includes underground detention, rain gardens, and rainwater irrigation.

AEC’s LEED certified engineers aided in the certification approval process by specifying the correct materials and submitting the necessary forms. The LEED award designation was Silver, upon completion of construction.



Harold C. Howard Center

The Harold C. Howard Center project includes a new three story, 60,000 square foot library addition to Eastern University’s existing library and study center. Renovations to the existing library school store, site improvements and central mechanical and electrical plant upgrades were also part of this project.

Constructed of a steel frame with poured concrete decks, the new addition includes a completely new air handing system, which obtains chilled water and hot water from the original building’s upgraded central plant and a new cooling tower. The library addition includes a new computer study center along with renovations to the existing library space and redesign of the campus bookstore. The new bookstore features a new entrance with a canopy projecting off the existing building façade.



Teaching Labs

Universal Technical Institute is a publicly traded company with corporate offices in Phoenix, Arizona. Their charter is to teach students the art of automobile, truck and boat repair. AEC provided structural, mechanical, electrical, and fire protection engineering for this multi-phase project.  

The project required the conversion of 200,000 square feet of existing warehouse and manufacturing space in Norwood, Massachusetts, to new automobile and truck teaching labs. An additional 60,000 square feet of existing office space was converted into classrooms and 40,000 square feet of new mezzanine space was created for classrooms. UTI corporate standards were used to create each technical lab space and 1,000 square feet of individual classroom space. Additional spaces were created for connecting corridors, bathrooms, vestibules, lobbies and administration offices.

AEC designed the sophisticated HVAC system with 40 large VFD roof top air handlers and VAV supply and return duct distribution systems to balance all the automobile and truck exhaust systems in each lab space. This included emergency evacuation systems set up on CO2 sensors. Likewise, all classrooms had individual VAV controls and room stats. All areas had sensors that controlled lighting requirements based on occupancy. The entire building was on a central building automation system that controlled each system allowing both the facility management department and corporate headquarters to adjust the building requirements for efficiency.



Charter School Rennovation

AEC, Inc. designed the MEP and FP engineering for the renovation of the Widener Partnership Charter School. The Charter School, which serves kindergarten through third grade students, was experiencing a significant increase in enrollment which required expansion of the curriculum to include fourth and fifth grades. The existing building housed the Charter School, University administrative staff and a bank tenant. Renovations to this facility were complete and phased over a two-year period to coincide with lease expiration and staff relocation. The renovation included new classrooms, administrative offices, multi-purpose and cafeteria space with a warming kitchen and prep space, as well as space dedicated to art, language and special education. The two story facility includes approximately 33,500 square feet. 

The mechanical systems were designed to reuse the existing air distribution infrastructure, but new rooftop equipment was incorporated with energy recovery technology. The control system was designed to incorporate temperature reset strategy to optimize performance and reduce operating cost. AEC also designed building system modifications to support a multi-year phased renovation, including temporary systems, to satisfy University requirements.



Classroom and Library Building Addition 

 As engineer of record, AEC developed a complete Master Plan for storm water management on the campus.  At the outset of the project, the upstream stormwater was channeling across the campus and into a residential development downstream.  A new 155,000 cubic foot retention basin was designed to resolve the stormwater runoff problems.  

AEC worked closely with Tredyffrin Township officials and neighborhood groups, along with the Chester County Soil Conservation District, to gain approvals for the stormwater management, campus loop road, new site lighting and landscaping.

The new addition has a stand-alone central mechanical and electrical system for the 18,000 square feet of laboratory classrooms, standard classrooms, and the  library.  The 3-story structure was designed as a steel frame with composite concrete decks, supported on spread footing foundations.  The existing school building adjacent to the new structure had to be underpinned before construction on the addition could begin.