An integrated system featuring a self-contained rooftop unit, VAV terminals, and BAS programs and manages the new Lenovo headquarters’ climate, light-ing, energy consumption, and scheduling needs.

When Lenovo purchased IBM’s personal computing division in 2005, it instantly became the third-largest personal computer company in the world. This major acquisition created an immediate need to upgrade and expand its North American headquarters.

Lenovo develops, manufactures, and markets personal computers, including one of the world’s most energy-efficient PCs and thinnest ThinkPad laptop. As a newly recognized global industry leader, Lenovo sought a sustainable residence that reflected its corporate personality, reputation for innovation, and cultural identity. The company decided to move its headquarters and build a new campus in Morrisville, N.C.

New Home, New Standards

To reflect contemporary standards and expectations, Lenovo wanted its new home to include spacious executive and employee offices, a full cafeteria and upscale café, a fitness center, an auditorium, a data center, development labs, a call center, and The Innovation Center product showcase. Special attention also was given to the design of public areas, such as lobbies, dining areas, showcase areas, and major conference rooms.

Because of the project’s complexity, Lenovo needed trusted partners who could meet the requirements of each area - including the mission-critical ones - as well as provide fast, accurate turnaround of design information, top-notch products, and reliable technical support. Lenovo turned to Duke Realty and Duke Construction, Lee Air Conditioners, Inc., and Trane.

“Time was critical,” said Jim Tully, preconstruction director with Duke Construction. “Lenovo needed to be settled in quickly and smoothly. That meant we needed to put together a strong team that promised quality and timeliness - and we did just that.”

Together, the team met the initial deadline, finishing the first two buildings in 14 months and solving HVAC challenges along the way.

For example, the team wanted to reuse some of IBM’s former data center cooling system, along with new HVAC equipment. Trane controls were used to integrate the new system with IBM’s former one, and are linked through a LON interface to the original cooling equipment being reused in the new building. The controls provide real-time diagnostic information that helps building managers stay abreast of temperature and humidity conditions in the data center.

“Trane’s factory-installed controls made our schedule and cost possible,” said Raynor Smith, vice president of commercial operations at Lee Air Conditioners. “They streamlined the operator training process and gave us peace of mind knowing we could call on them at any time to help solve any controls or equipment issues.”

Integrated Design

The team also relied on Trane to install and integrate new high-performance, energy-efficient HVAC equipment into the three new buildings. This equipment includes Trane IntelliPak™ self-contained rooftop unit, Trane VAV terminals, and the Tracer SummitBAS, which provides building control through a single, integrated system that programs and manages a building’s climate, lighting, energy consumption, scheduling, and other controllable features.

Each building also uses two energy recovery units to comply with ASHRAE standards for IAQ and comfort. The units remove moisture from outdoor air before the air enters the building to reduce humidity and prevent conditions that cause mold growth. The Tracer Summit system monitors and controls the energy recovery units’ VFDs.

The first two buildings, each with five stories and 358,000 sq ft, were completed in December 2007. The final 143,000-sq-ft, four-story building is under construction and will be completed this fall.

“Without an integrated D-B approach facilitated by Duke Construction and the partnership provided by Lee Air Conditioning and Trane, these success stories would have been much more difficult to achieve,” said Mike Landreth, senior operations manager for Duke Realty. “We and the tenant are pleased with the reliability of the Trane equipment, especially considering that summer was among the hottest on record.”

Duke Realty Corp. specializes in the ownership, construction, development, leasing, and management of office and industrial real estate. Their Perimeter Park partner, Lee Air Conditioners, was founded in 1951 and is a Trane Strategic Partner, serving residential and commercial customers.