Building 31, Aeroastro And MechE Renovation Project

A longstanding resource for AeroAstro and MechE innovators, Building 31 has been transformed into an inspiring, collaborative space for research in autonomy, turbomachinery, energy storage, and transportation. - MIT Capital Projects

The building was constructed in 1929 and is occupied by the Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Mechanical Engineering. The renovations to modernize the building structure and systems were designed to address the programmatic needs of these departments.

Stephen Turner Inc. developed, managed and documented the commissioning process to suit the project and to meet the requirements of MIT. The commissioning work was performed in collaboration with the owner’s team, the design team, the construction manager, and the contractors, all of whom collectively formed the commissioning team.

The project consisted of major renovations of all levels of the building, including the combustion labs, and created a high bay for aerial robotics. The project achieved LEED-NC v3 Gold certification, in part by incorporating multiple high-performance building strategies:

• New air handling systems with heat pipe energy recovery
• Variable frequency drives

• MERV 8 pre-filters and MERV 13 final filters

• Automatic and daylight harvesting controls

Stephen Turner Inc.’s customized commissioning process focused on controls for lab exhaust systems, including hoods, fans, the combustion exhaust trench, and associated toxic gas monitors, and the process chilled water system. Special attention was also paid to the make-up air unit and humidifier installed in Building 31 to serve the NASA production facility in the adjacent Building 37.