University of Minnesota Crookston
The UMC Wellness Center was a new, 38,000 square foot facility with a two-court gymnasium, suspended running track, weight/cardio area, a classroom and multi-purpose exercise room.
This project won the 2016 Best of B3 Design Award. The B3 Guidelines provided a framework for the project team to set and meet sustainability goals, resulting in a more efficient and higher value project. Prominent features related to the Guidelines include façade design, on-site renewable energy generation, and deliberate landscape planning.
The design team continually evaluated the façade and glazing design to balance the, sometimes conflicting, goals of natural daylighting, outdoor views, envelope thermal performance, and bird-safe design. While on-site renewable energy generation didn’t seem initially feasible due to long payback periods, the project team worked with Otter Tail Power Company to secure a 50 percent matching grant to build a 20-kW solar-voltaic power system located on top of the building. According to Brian Poykko, Obernel’s Electrical Engineer on the project, “if the building should happen to demand less than 20kw, then the additional energy goes back out onto the grid for the campus.”
Another of the energy-saving features related to mechanical engineering was that the UMC campus does not have campus steam in the summer. This is their main source of heat. So, to have re-heat availability for the mechanical systems, which normally if the heating system is hot water, and you have a gas boiler, you can provide heating to the various rooms. Even in the summer, you need to have heat when you have a VAV system. “To get our heat source, our options were to either put a boiler in and use gas since the campus steam wasn’t available,” said Dave Vig, Principal and Mechanical Engineer at Obernel. “However, together with the college, we came up with a creative option that uses the wasted heat from the cooling process in the summer, turns it around and uses it for heating.”