Melink’s Campus: Innovating Green Building Construction

Melink’s corporate campus in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an innovation center. We test clean energy solutions within our own green building construction to achieve the ultimate goal of Net Zero energy usage. As soon as you arrive, you’ll see a 60-foot wind turbine, solar array canopies, and electric vehicle charging stations — not to mention all the features of the buildings themselves…

We invite you to schedule a tour to see the future of green buildings.

About HQ2

HQ2, completed in late 2019, is the second building constructed on Melink’s campus. It features the latest technology in terms of window and door systems, a hybrid geothermal system, and highly insulated walls, as well as a large, bifacial solar PV parking lot canopy.

It serves as a model for Zero-Energy Building (ZEB) for architects, engineers, and contractors to learn best practices and to prove ZEB construction can be mainstreamed. Our goal is to show the world that new (and existing) buildings can be made Zero-Energy at a small cost premium of less than 10%, a value proposition that will be too good to refuse on future projects.

HQ2 CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE

2018
November 9

Groundbreaking

Groundbreaking
Twelve years after building HQ1, Steve Melink breaks ground on HQ2, a prototype Zero-Energy Building (ZEB). The goal? To show the world that new (and existing) buildings can be made Zero-Energy at a small cost premium of less than 10%.
December 3

Planning HQ2

Planning HQ2
The footprint of HQ2 is set, as excavating and prep work begins. The building plan is a similar size and layout to HQ1 with HQ2’s courtyard facing the original building. 
2019
March 12

Wall Construction

Wall Construction
HQ2 begins to take shape. The pre–cast concrete walls are erected. This concrete forms the base of the walls, which are constructed with built-in air gaps and foam to insulate the building. 
April 17

Second Floor Construction

Second Floor Construction
The pre–cast concrete walls are completed, and the support beams for the second floor are installed.
May 15

Halfway!

Halfway!
Steel for the second floor and roof is erected. HQ2 is halfway complete.
June 12

Pouring Concrete

Pouring Concrete
Concrete for the first floor is poured. The outside of the building is painted with primer and prepped for the next coats of paint. 
July 10

Mechanical & Plumbing Installation

Mechanical & Plumbing Installation
The mechanical and plumbing systems are installed. These systems make HQ2 a Zero-Energy Building (ZEB) second to none. For instance, zone water–source heat pumps are installed in HQ2. These heat pumps transfer energy from the air to water, which heats and cools the building depending on the season.  
August 1

Framework & Electric Installation

Framework & Electric Installation
Next, HQ2’s interior is foam-insulated. Framework and electric installation begins. Window frames and glass are installed. The rain water cistern is added to the outside of the building. And a key part of HQ2’s Super Hybrid Geothermal HVAC System installation happens: the geothermal boreholes are drilled. The building’s geothermal set-up includes four wells and a Manifest pump system.
September 9

90% Complete

90% Complete
HQ2 approaches its 90% completion mark. Inside, the framing and drywall is nearly complete. Floors are epoxied, and the Super Hybrid Geothermal System is installed. The zone heating/cooling, plumbing, and electric is nearly completed. Double-barrier doors and auto-shade window controls are installed. The concrete sidewalks, asphalt parking lot, and courtyard are completed.
October 2

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches
The greenest building in the world finally starts to look “green.” Fresh sod is laid, while the rest of the property is seeded and strawed. Inside, painting is wrapping up and flooring is installed. The geothermal loop is flushed, and the heat pumps are ready to function. Auto-dimming lighting and ceiling “clouds” (large tiles to absorb noise in the open-concept office space) are installed.

About HQ1

HQ1 is the original building on Melink’s campus. Since the largest energy loads in most commercial buildings are lighting, HVAC, and hot water, HQ1’s construction focused on how to minimize these energy drains. Many of the technologies used in HQ1 were not widely adopted (i.e. geothermal) or available (i.e. LED lighting) when the building was constructed in 2005. Now, these practices are more common in commercial building construction — thanks in part to revolutionary building designs like HQ1.

The building is classified as Net-Zero Energy, ENERGY STAR 99 Rated (only achieved by 1% of the population), and LEED Platinum-certified. Its progressive integration of conservation, efficiency, and renewable technologies make it one of the greenest buildings in the world.

Building Features

HQ1 was the original testing grounds for our green building construction. Thus, HQ2 incorporates the best design practices learned through testing at HQ1.

HQ1

  • Highly insulated, pre-fabricated “building envelope” consisting of concrete walls and R19 insulation
  • Solar PV modules
  • Geothermal HVAC system including heat pumps and geothermal wells
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Reduced water consumption through automated faucets, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals
  • Retrofitted building automation system
  • Awnings and shades for windows
  • LED lighting
  • 24 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • Skylights and large windows for natural light
  • Pellet stoves for heating
  • Battery storage for generated solar energy

HQ2

  • Highly insulated, pre-fabricated “building envelope” consisting of concrete walls and R30 insulation
  • 85 kW solar bifacial PV parking lot canopy to produce electricity for entire building
  • Super-hybrid geothermal HVAC system including heat pumps and geothermal wells
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Reduced water consumption through automated faucets, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals
  • Building automation system
  • Auto window shades and window awnings to minimize heat gain in building
  • LED lighting
  • 39 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • Skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an open stairwell to maximize natural light
  • Pellet stove for heating
  • Large fans in plant for air circulation
  • Double-glazed thermally broken windows and doors
  • Water feature to help control building humidity in cooler months
  • Cistern for rainwater collection
Contact Us