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University of Dayton Emerson Helix Innovation Center

University of Dayton Emerson Innovation Center
Dayton, Ohio

Emerson’s Helix Innovation Center is a 40,000 SF, $35 million state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the research of new technologies addressing HVACR-industry challenges located on the campus of the University of Dayton.

Since the site had once been a very dense industrial site there was an abundance of existing infrastructure in place including storm sewer, water mains, and sanitary sewers. Several options were discussed with the City of Dayton including pipe bursting in combination with slip lining to true up the pipe; however on day three of the investigation a concrete plug was found in the main being installed as part of the abandonment. With all of the issues with the pipe it was determined that the most economic action would be to install a new main at a shallower depth. The water main on site was found to have been abandoned as well. In order to provide service to the site a new water main was run from River Park Drive and looping back into Main Street. Working with the City of Dayton, Kleingers designed a solution the included running the main inside of the tunnel system, coring through the tunnel walls using casing pipe, and blocking off part of the tunnels and filling the tunnel system with control density fill.

The Kleingers Group also created an integrated site design marrying the outside of the building with the architecture. The design incorporates a main entry plaza space with specialty paving and seating areas, a modern planting scheme, as well as an outdoor creative classroom. The main entry plaza space features concrete seatwalls combined with oversized paver bands to compliment and extend the architectural features into the landscape. A minimal plant pallet arranged in linear bands extend the plaza geometry throughout the site and further enhances the modern feel of the landscape design. The outdoor creative classroom features a sculptural landform that users can lay on to evoke creativity and reflection. A “thinking tree” is centrally located within the landform to provide shade as well as act as a natural art piece.