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Labahn Arena (Kohl Center)

This $28M, 120,000 SF, 2,500 seat facility is an expansion of the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as the game rink for the Badger’s Division I Women’s hockey program and the as a practice facility for the Men’s hockey program. The design goal for the facility was LEED Silver certification.

The ice rink floor is slightly wider than the standard NHL rink floor at 90 feet wide x 200 feet long.
B32 Engineering Group, Inc (formerly Stevens) was hired by the project architect after the start of the project to review the design-build approach that was being taken for the ice system (refrigeration system, ice rink floor, dasher board system and waste heat recovery system) and complete the design. The refrigeration system was designed around the state mandated R-507 refrigerant and designed to recovery much of the waste heat generated from the refrigeration process to reuse in the facility. The refrigeration system was designed with three equally sized screw type compressors allowing flexibility for operation, minimum maintenance and maximum efficiency.

The design team was challenged to provide many creative solutions given the substantial site constraints. Those challenges were passed on to the ice system design including a mechanical room with limited access, a cooling tower location that was several stories above the mechanical room, resurfacer access, etc. Providing a “stick built” refrigeration system increased the access and maintenance of the equipment and overall safety of the system.