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UND Wilkerson Commons

University of North Dakota
Wilkerson Commons
Grand Forks, North Dakota 

Project Description:

UND’s Wilkerson Commons, previously called Wilkerson Hall, was built in the early seventies and was due for a complete remodel. Obernel partnered with JLG Architects to give UND’s main dining hall updated mechanical systems as well as a fresh look.

Obernel worked with a number of different systems on this project. “We had steam, compressed air, hot water, chilled water, and natural gas systems in this building,” said Obernel principal and Mechanical Engineer, Dave Vig. The systems cover the whole gamut and not only that, but this building has 25 kitchen exhaust hoods, “which is probably a record,” said Vig, making for a maze of ductwork above the ceilings.

Another unique piece to this project is how Obernel’s team designed a way to maintain the correct building pressure. “We came up with a strategy for the building for the variable exhaust and for the building pressurization so that the building is always in a slight positive, which is where you want it.”

Good Planning by the whole team made this phased-construction project a success.

Photo Credit: JLG Architects

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