The University of Findlay recently was recognized for its efforts to save energy by the building technology society ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) for the energy-saving heating and air conditioning technologies incorporated into the Davis Street Building addition, which opened for classes in August of 2012.
UF worked with Greensleeves to design and install energy-saving geothermal HVAC systems in the addition. Greensleeves Chief Technology Officer Stephen Hamstra was given the 2014 ASHRAE Technology Award in Educational Facilities – New Construction for his work on the project.
Greensleeves is focused on providing clean energy solutions. Greensleeves designs and markets proprietary, clean technology products. The company’s product line, the GeoModule™, is an intelligent thermal management system creating a superior HVAC system for commercial buildings. These solutions incorporate a unique blend of engineering, controls, and hardware for geothermal. Greensleeves has locations in Findlay, Ohio; Zeeland, Mich.; and Winter Springs, Fla.
Myreon Cobb, director of physical plant at UF, accepted UF’s honor at the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 18. The project also will be featured in the March 2014 issue of the ASHRAE Journal.
Choosing energy-efficient options saved the University $83,000 (57 percent) of energy costs and $7,500 in maintenance costs during the first year the David Street Building addition was open.
“I am honored to work with The University of Findlay. The innovation and advancement of technology on this project has produced such outstanding results due to UF’s cooperation and desire to be green,” said Hamstra.
According to Cobb, director of the physical plant, the building has a number of energy-saving features. The addition has a geothermal heating and cooling system, which required drilling 40 wells in the flood plain behind the building that drains into Howard Run creek. The system will take only 5.6 years to pay for itself in energy savings.
The building is highly insulated. The masonry block outside walls were filled with sand and sprayed with foam insulation. The walls were finished with a brick veneer four feet from the bottom and then insulated metal siding was applied on the outside of the rest of the structure.
The building also uses computerized sensors to adjust the amount of light provided, and every room also has a motion sensor that turns on the lights when the room is occupied and shuts them off shortly after no motion is detected in the room.
The laboratories are equipped with sophisticated fume hoods that sense both human movement and the presence of chemicals, so that the hoods run when necessary, but drop to low power or shut off to save energy when not needed. The building also has an air handling system that maintains a level of 10 percent fresh air at all times.
The building also was designed regarding environmental impact. A system of piping is in place to control rainwater runoff from the building. Buried underground to the west of the addition is 300 feet of piping that is four feet in diameter, which will hold water runoff. A drainpipe six inches in diameter controls the amount and rate of water allowed to flow into Howard Run.