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Hahn Administration Building Project Incorporates Energy Saving Geothermal System

Published: 1-5-2012 3:25 pm

The unsightly chain link fence surrounding Wayne State's historic Hahn Administration Building marks an important step forward for the college and the services it provides to its students. The fence, which has been the subject of speculation since it was put up by the construction company in early December, will keep pedestrians from wandering into an area that soon will be torn up to allow the drilling of 56 wells that will tap into the ground's latent heating and cooling properties.

The new heating and cooling system, which will utilize the earth's energy and storage capacity to efficiently condition the building, will be paired with a new building automation system that will further help energy savings by automatically adjusting to usage and occupancy of the building.

"We're excited to incorporate geothermal and the latest in building control technologies for this project,” said Chad Altwine, director of facility services at Wayne State. “The change will result in lower operational costs and improved building comfort."

Other energy saving measures include low water consumption plumbing fixtures, new windows, and energy efficient LED and fluorescent lighting. Fire and life safety upgrades include a new electrical system for the aged facility along with a new addressable fire alarm and sprinkler system with voice over alarm capabilities.

"This is an excellent project for the college,” said Jean Dale, WSC Vice President for Administration and Finance.  “It renews a solid historic building to usefulness for many years to come.  The new energy efficient windows will do much to restore the 'front door to the campus' appearance of the building, as they provide added daylight within the building for staff and students."

Use of the geothermal system and accompanying automatic controls will provide annual operational savings of about $0.40 per square foot. The geothermal system will capture approximately 60 tons of cooling capacity and 640 Mbh of heating capacity, sending nearly 70 tons of heating and cooling capacity back to the campus' central physical plant. The increased capacity could then be used to completely heat and cool an additional building on campus or allow the college to add air conditioning to additional dorms in the future.

The project is being funded primarily by the LB 309 Task Force, which assists with renewal of state buildings, with oversight provided by the Legislature's Committee on Building Maintenance. Task Force responsibilities involve deferred repair, which encompasses all elements of the building envelope, including roofs, walls, doors, and windows. It also includes building infrastructure, such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, electrical systems, and plumbing.

The 309 Task Force also funds projects that correct facility code deficiencies and protect the life or health of individuals within the facility, may fund corrective actions in accordance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines to make state facilities accessible, and facilitates energy conservation by funding improvements for state facilities.

Work on the Hahn Administration Building began in the fall of 2011 and is expected to be complete by October 2012.



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