KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Home to nearly 3,000 full-time employees and up to 5,000 seasonal workers, the newly developed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Kansas City Campus sits on 27.5 acres of land just south of the landmark Union Station and west of the Liberty Memorial. Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) members, U.S. Engineering Co. and The Fagan Co., both headquartered in Kansas City, played key roles in the $370 million project that involved substantial renovation and new construction.

Looking towards the future, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the IRS selected Pershing Road Development Co. LLC, to construct the build-to-suit complex so that all the key components have a new design theme that acknowledges the IRS culture, visual aesthetics, and the use of space.


A key component to the IRS’ long-term business strategy was to have a modern facility that accommodates changes in workflow programs and technology. To achieve this functionality, the processing wings were designed to be shut down individually for maximum flexibility and efficiency during nonpeak hours.

Kansas City’s historic Main Post Office, now called the Pershing Building, anchors the northeast corner of the campus and serves as the administrative facility. Stretched across the western portion of the complex are three massive processing wings, all connected through a “main street” circulation design. The processing side is referred to as the Pennway Complex and includes a parking garage with 3,800 spaces.

The challenge for the architectural design team was to integrate a new 660,000-square-foot addition on to the existing 475,000-square-foot Main Post Office, while establishing a sympathetic relationship to the renovated Union Station and Science City complex that lies to the north.

Pictured is the exterior of the West campus of the newly developed Internal Revenue Service Kansas City campus. Two MCAA members, U.S. Engineering Co. and The Fagan Co., both headquartered in Kansas City, played key roles in the $370 million project that involved substantial campus renovation and new construction.

Working with U.S. Engineering and Fagan, Johnson Controls Inc. supplied a 26,000-control-point Metasys® building management system and a York FlexSys™ underfloor air distribution system as part of the project. The FlexSys system serves more than half of the facility’s 1.14 million square feet of office space.

The Metasys integrates control and operation of the underfloor air distribution system, as well as a variety of other systems, including: a Systecon chilled water variable-frequency drive pump control system, a Liebert Sitelink computer room air conditioning automation system, power monitoring and switch gear systems, 32 air-handling units, 700 VAV boxes in the existing post office building, and a Vulcain addressable CO monitoring system in the parking garage.

The system includes an advanced graphics package for monitoring and control of all systems on the network. According to the company, its BACnet field controllers incorporate sophisticated algorithms that provide continuous adaptive control, allowing the HVAC equipment to “self-tune” in response to seasonal changes and system dynamics reducing commissioning time. Eliminating the need for manual intervention helps ensure that the equipment functions at optimum efficiency, helping to lower the cost of operation as well as maintenance and repair expenses.

The York FlexSys underfloor air distribution system, shown here, installed in one of the buildings on the Internal Revenue Service Kansas City campus.


According to York, the underfloor air distribution system was specified for the campus for a variety of reasons. One reason is that GSA favors raised access floor design wherever possible in new facilities. Another reason is that underfloor air distribution is flexible and can be changed, as needed, to suit facility and personnel needs. It provides precise comfort control with the ability to individually adjust airflow at each in-floor diffuser.

“We understand the York product very well,” said Mike Crabtree, project manager, The Fagan Co. “Experience with underfloor air distribution was a tremendous help in organizing manpower on the IRS project.”

A central chiller plant, constructed by U.S. Engineering, provides cooling to the entire facility. In each of the three processing wings, six air-handling units are positioned on a mezzanine level, pressuring the underfloor plenums on the floors above and below.

Approximately 500 zones are individually temperature-controlled. The underfloor air distribution system includes 3,800 in-floor VAV boxes and 300 fan-powered boxes. The terminal units employ an “air valve” that automatically modulates individual terminals to maintain thermostat set points closely. The integrated motor supplies cooling or heating to the space as required by the load in the space. This digital technology also allows the system to react quickly to changes in load or desired comfort levels.

“All parties including Johnson Controls and York were involved in the design process. The entire team worked together to finish ahead of schedule, and Johnson Controls helped us maintain that work flow,” said Justin Apprill, pre-construction manager for U.S. Engineering. “Through the whole range of owner-driven design changes and in-process design optimization, they were very flexible and responsive.”

The IRS plans to use the new facility for all tax processing for the upcoming tax season.

For more information, visit www.johnsoncontrols.com/metasys or www.york.com.

Publication date:09/10/2007