Price Solution: Hybrid System Helps Deliver Energy Savings
The Liberal Arts building achieved the targeted USGBC LEED Silver designation, and the high performance design achieved further recognition when Alliant Energy of Iowa offered the university
a six figure rebate based on the energy efficiency of the facility. Using their own analysis, Alliant Energy found the UIU Liberal Arts building to be 67% more efficient than a conventionally
designed "baseline" building. It is projected that the initial investment in energy saving systems will be recouped in approximately three and a half years through reduced operating expenses.
The underfloor component of the hybrid system ventilates the building with fresh air, while the chilled sail component delivers radiant heating and cooling to classrooms, offices and the
auditorium. This elegant solution allowed the design team to achieve the core goals of flexibility and energy efficiency, while also benefiting from the pleasing architectural appearance and
improved air quality of the hybrid system.
Underfloor air distribution is renowned for the flexibility it brings to evolving spaces, as it uses an easily relocatable raised floor tile system and underfloor air plenum. The Price
Underfloor Displacement Diffusers (UFDD) selected for the facility also provide superior indoor air quality – air in the space is thermally stratified and contaminants move up and out of the
breathing zone, rather than being recirculated.
Chilled Sails use water to efficiently condition the space. Sails are a unique alternative to conventional radiant panels as they provide both a radiant and convective component. Convection
currents are created when warm air is cooled as it passes over the surface of the sail. This cooled air then naturally falls into the occupied zone, forcing warm air to rise.
Chilled Sails rely on the UFAD system to provide fresh air for ventilation, which greatly reduces the supply air volume requirement and makes the system extremely energy efficient. Due to their
aesthetically pleasing appearance, chilled sails also fit extremely well into the architect’s design vision for the building, making them both an architectural element and an HVAC system component.
The raised-floor plenum used in UFAD is substantially smaller than the suspended ceiling necessary for an overhead system. This reduced construction costs and ensured a floor-to-floor height
that was in line with other facilities on campus.
Price coordinated closely with the design team and the trades to make sure the installation was executed successfully. In addition to providing the design team with product selection, layout,
and load calculation support, the Price team also travelled to Fayette during construction to provide support to the contractors during product installation. This on-site support helped
the project flow smoothly, and was a welcome benefit for both the design and construction teams.
Executive Director of Facilities, Bryan Jolley, states that the building has already played an important role in illustrating design concepts and demonstrating to prospective students the ways
in which sustainable design goals on the campus are being met.