Applied provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services for the new Rinard Orchid Greenhouse at Ball State University. This new 3,100-square-foot greenhouse houses the largest collegiate orchid collection in the United States. It is located near an existing greenhouse within the Christy Woods outdoor teaching laboratory on the southwest corner of the campus. We coordinated the MEP requirements with a greenhouse manufacturer.
The cooling system supplied by the greenhouse manufacturer consisted of evaporative cooling pads, exhaust fans, a high pressure fog system, and circulation fans. Specialty plumbing systems included RO water for plant watering and water heaters for tempering the water used for plant watering. The heating system consisted of campus steam, fin tube radiation, and steam unit heaters. The office area was cooled with a split system heat pump. Electrical systems consisted of power, general lighting, and power rough-in for grow lights and other equipment provided by the greenhouse manufacturer.
Construction of the original greenhouse was completed in the spring of 2014. In 2022, Applied engineered the greenhouse expansion, including a new Environmental Education Center. This project doubled the size of the greenhouse’s conservatory and added a 1,500-square-foot education center to serve as a dedicated hands-on community multi-purpose space. It also included an above-ground cistern for rain water reclamation, which will be used to water all of the various plant life within the greenhouse.