Yum Center
The KFC Yum! Center, home to the University of Louisville’s basketball program, had three water heater packaged systems installed to increase energy efficiency.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The KFC Yum! Center, a multipurpose arena located in the heart of downtown Louisville, is home to the University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball programs. The 721,762-square-foot facility seats 22,000 guests and is the fifth largest college basketball arena in the nation. Unique energy conservation approaches were incorporated into the HVAC systems, including enthalpy wheels for energy recovery and a high-tech building automation system for customizable control. What else did it take to make this modern facility comfortable and energy efficient? Hussung Mechanical Contractors Inc. (HMC) of Louisville knows; they installed the plumbing and mechanical systems.

The Facility

Before installation could begin, HMC had to find out about the facility. In addition to hosting basketball, the structure is designed to accommodate a variety of other sporting and entertainment events from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) wrestling, swimming, and volleyball to concerts, boxing matches, and ice shows. The state-of-the-art arena features an integrated scoring and video display system, which includes large LED video displays within the seating bowl, professional-grade LCD screens, and a control system.

Within the $239 million facility are multiple locker rooms, club lounges, suites, a team store, additional retail space, a restaurant, sports bar, meeting rooms, an immediate care center, administrative offices, as well as KFC Yum! brand and Papa John’s concessions.

The KFC Yum! Center was constructed with advanced equipment and modern amenities that extend beyond the public eye as well. Smith Seckman Reid (SSR) handled the engineering design for the arena, and HMC was contracted to install top-of-the-line plumbing and mechanical systems that ensured consistent comfort for guests through sustainable design.

The components of these systems included three water heater packaged systems with combined inputs of nearly 4.9 million Btuh; 90 fans; three chillers totaling 2,850 tons of cooling; 25 air handling units; three boilers totaling 20,400,000 Btuh; and more than 1,000 plumbing fixtures.

The Line-Up

Based on previous experience, SSR recommended two Power-Fin water heater packaged systems and one Armor water heater packaged system from Lochinvar to satisfy all of the arena’s hot water requirements. According to the company, these packaged systems are designed to offer the ultimate in flexibility since the heating units can be paired with the exact size and capacity storage tank needed for any given application. Each package system can also be custom-configured to the precise specification and available space of each job, arriving pre-piped and skid mounted from the factory for immediate installation.

With one Power-Fin unit offering inputs of 1,500,000 Btuh; two Power-Fins with 1,300,000 Btuh each; and two Armor units offering 399,000 Btuh each; the three package systems combined provide total inputs of nearly 4.9 million Btuh. Total storage capacity exceeds 3,500 gallons. Power-Fin features a fully modulating burner with 5:1 turndown and a gasketless copper-fin tube heat exchanger that delivers up to 87 percent thermal efficiency.

The Armor commercial water heater features a stainless steel heat exchanger that offers thermal efficiencies up to 98 percent and 5:1 modulating turndown.

Both feature Smart System control, which can help make installation, system sequencing, setup, and troubleshooting easy. The Smart System also includes a built-in cascading sequencer for installations using up to eight water heaters to maximize hot water delivery.

With the packaged systems, each high-efficiency water heater is paired with the appropriately sized Lock-Temp storage tank, which features a baffle chamber design that ensures a constant outlet temperature.

The Performance

Since the specified Lochinvar systems were prepackaged and pre-piped before arriving at the jobsite, the installation was a smooth process, said the company. SSR provided the HMC team with exact drawings to ensure proper placement of the equipment.

Mark Sironen of HMC, who was the project manager for the job, led the charge on the installation of the plumbing and mechanical systems.

“Installing the Lochinvar equipment was a simple, straightforward process,” he said. “The units fit perfectly in the mechanical room, setup was quick and easy with the Smart System controls, and they worked great from day one. At this point in our role, no news is good news since that means things must still be going well.”

Ted Milby, director of operations at the KFC Yum! Center, reported that the equipment has in fact been performing optimally.

“When opening a facility of this size, there is always a concern about how new equipment will function and what kind of energy efficiency we can expect. So far, we’ve been 100 percent satisfied with the performance of the Lochinvar units,” Milby said. “From the very first time I checked out the mechanical rooms, I was really impressed with the layout of the space and how compact and user-friendly the equipment is. We have conducted several tours with other facility managers, and I think they were very impressed with the Lochinvar equipment, plumbing, and mechanical systems we have here.”

Publication date: 01/09/2012