Vern Riffe Center for
Government and Arts

Improving pressure, comfort & performance

Simple payback in 3 years

Connected comfort issues
  • When a high-rise exceeds 15 stories, controlling the building pressure is much more challenging and complex
  • The main tower is a 33-story high-rise and is directly connected to a 5-story performing arts complex; because of the dissimilar building heights, large amounts of air flowed between the two buildings and caused major comfort issues
  • Building pressure algorithms had to coexist with CO2 demand ventilation control strategies
  • Night-time/weekend set-back strategies needed to be integrated
  • The stack effect pressures on elevator and smoke control shafts were uncontrolled

Top to bottom improvements
  • Pathian® provided project management, engineering, and commissioning services
  • Installed building pressure sensors in the lobby, and two additional sensors at intermediate elevations
  • Replaced system controllers on 12 large custom AHU’s
  • Reprogrammed AHU’s for Syrx control
  • Installed automated control dampers on air handler discharge air plenum
  • Added minimum OSA flow stations to air handlers
  • Integrated zone humidity control with air handler operation
  • Implemented Pathian Analytics software to track, evaluate and sustain optimal equipment performance

Savings that feel good
  • Increased comfort level across both buildings and all 33 stories
  • Total project cost: $326,000
  • Project actual savings:
    • $77,939 in electric (12 months of normalize electrical invoices)
    • $27,416 in natural gas (12 months of normalize gas invoices)
  • Simple Payback: 3.09 years
  • Certified Energy Star Rating: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Other industries



Columbus, Ohio

Building Facts

Office building and
theater complex
Opened in 1989
980,097 sf
33 stories
2100+ employees