"Everybody who donates the components wants them to be their showcase products," says Alex Bertolini, project manager with the Phoenix office of Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the first schoolhouse's general contractor. "We get to play with the newest and most interesting systems out there." But it also means altering the typical project flow. "A company wanted to showcase a chilled-beam system—a totally different type of air-conditioning system than what you would find in a typical structure," he says. "All of a sudden the design needed to change to match what product [was] being offered."
MEP engineer Heideman Associates, St. Louis, jumped at the chance to participate. "We had not designed a chilled-beam system before, so we were excited about this challenge," says Marlene Clark, the firm's division leader. “Displacement ventilation allows for less of the radical air flow so you don’t feel air conditioning kicking off and on the way you would with a traditional system.”