Allied Health Building
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Kirkland, WA

Size: 82,000 SF Addition, 3,000 SF Remodel

Construction Cost: $19 Million

LEED Silver Certified

The VRF system will provide a savings of 32% annually in energy costs compared to the baseline.


We know that it takes a team effort to achieve success, and that this advancement is accomplished over time rather than in a single, static effort.  In today’s economy, and with rapid changes in many industries, success is gained through innovation and forward-thinking, particularly from educational organizations helping people prepare to tackle the evolving work environment.  Lake Washington Institute of Technology is working hard to put students to work in lucrative, growing fields, and Wood Harbinger is proud to be part of the team that’s helping them get this done.

With a surging growth in population and employment on King County’s eastside, Lake Washington Institute of Technology is taking action to ensure their facilities and programming can effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their current and future students.  This means upgrades and renovations to rework existing buildings to meet progressive needs, as well as expansions and new growth to accommodate an increasing student population.

In the spirit of its mission to “prepare students for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities,” Lake Washington Institute of Technology added to its main Kirkland campus the new Allied Health building to meet a large influx of students in the allied health field, a growing and vital segment of the healthcare industry. Wood Harbinger delivered the mechanical and electrical engineering for the new 82,000 SF, three-story facility, with an additional 3,000 SF remodel, improving operational-efficiency, enhancing the capacity for future growth, and employing an energy-efficient and cost-effective design solution. The Allied Health building provides additional classrooms and state-of-the-art lab spaces for programs including nursing, massage therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental hygiene, and funeral sciences. Provisions and rough-ins are also included for a potential future crematorium.

The Allied Health building environment simulates patient care areas, offices, support spaces, an embalming lab, and a walk-in health clinic, giving LWIT’s allied health students a unique learning opportunity. Wood Harbinger’s system designs focused on the distinctive needs of the Allied Health department and its students, while deftly maneuvering through the limitations of the current conditions to incorporate the most cost-effective and energy-efficient options for heating, cooling, and ventilation. Being an all-electric campus, the unique challenge for this project was utilizing a system that could effectively manage the demands and requirements of the diverse occupancies, and efficiently integrate with the building’s existing DDC system.

Wood Harbinger selected a variable refrigerated flow (VRF) HVAC system for its successful zoning strategy and system flexibility. Through careful zoning of the systems, we were able to take advantage of energy saving features while properly controlling and maintaining the required air quality in all spaces. By integrating the VRF and the DDC systems, we were able to increase the effectiveness of the VRF system by allowing the building operators to have full flexibility in monitoring and adjusting the VRF system.

Additional systems included specialty exhaust for funeral sciences labs, fire protection system, lab vacuum, and Direct Digital Control (DDC) system. The electrical scope of the project included communications, fire alarm, and security systems, as well as the extensive task of re-routing the main campus power and communications ductbanks, requiring underground ducts and manholes, switchboards, generators, dry type transformers, safety switches, lighting, and panel boards.

Sustainable considerations were also of high importance in this project, which targeted and achieved LEED Silver certification. Wood Harbinger performed Energy Life Cycle Cost Analysis (ELCCA), participated in the commissioning effort, and provided documentation for the LEED certification.