Charles City, VA

VCU Walter L. Rice Education Building

Scope of Services
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Engineering

The Walter L. Rice Education Building at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Rivers Center is a 4,900 SF building with offices, teaching labs, classrooms, catering services, and restrooms. This living laboratory provides a place for research, teaching, and public outreach programs focused on environmental sciences. It also serves to inform faculty, students, and the community about the benefits of sustainable building practices.

The building incorporates high standards for environmental sustainability and energy efficiency strategies, which helped the facility become the first LEED Platinum building in Virginia.

2RW Project Case Study Main Image

2RW provided MEP engineering for the following aspects of the facility:

  • High-efficiency geothermal heat pump system using zero ozone-depleting refrigerants
  • On-site renewable energy generation provided by a grid connected 30-panel PV array
  • Low-flow water fixtures and tankless domestic water heaters
  • Rainwater collection to minimize potable water use for sewage conveyance and wastewater generation
  • Radiant/cool floor slab
  • Direct digital control (DDC) building automation system (BAS)
  • Operable windows for natural ventilation and improved occupant control and tubular day lighting system to provide occupancy comfort and greatly reduce the need for grid source energy

Estimated energy savings of $3,799/year with a 58.8% Energy Cost Reduction.

Scope of Services
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Engineering

OWNER: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

TIMEFRAME: 2007 – 2009

SIZE: 4,900 SF

COST: $2.6 million



2010 – Green Building Leadership Award, James River Green Building Council (now
USGBC – Greater Virginia)
2009 – Best of Award, Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine
2010 – Honor Award, American Institute of Architects – Central, VA
2010 – Excellence in Architecture Award, American Institute of Architects – The Virginia Society

LEED Platinum