WMU's Heritage Hall continues award run for technology, efficiency

Contact: Mark Schwerin

WMU's Heritage Hall portico.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Heritage Hall has won first place for engineering excellence in the 2017-18 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Technology Awards.

The ASHRAE Awards

Heritage Hall took top honors in the Educational Facilities-Existing category. Heritage Hall, along with winning projects in other categories, will be featured in the ASHRAE Journal during 2018, beginning with the March issue. Owners of the first-place winning buildings will be presented plaques Saturday, Jan. 20, during the 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo in Chicago.

Also cited in the award were Jonathan Rumohr and Jesse Hendershot of Tower Pinkster, which handled the renovation project's architectural design and engineering.

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality. Performance is proven through one year's actual, verifiable operating data.

Prior awards

This is just the latest award Heritage Hall has racked up since its completion in 2015. In June 2017, Heritage Hall earned platinum status, the highest ranking possible, in the Leadership in Environmental Energy Design—LEED—system, making the University's renovated birthplace the first LEED Platinum building in the Kalamazoo region.

In August 2016, the renovated hall won the Governor's Energy Excellence Award for the success it triggered in reducing energy waste. The 1905 facility was selected as Best Public Project for work that included, among other things, the installation of new ground source heat pumps; updated plumbing fixtures, faucets and flush valves; and the addition of new HVAC and lighting systems.

The 110-year-old hall had been a serious energy drain before its 16-month renovation, which began in 2014. The hall was reopened in October 2015. The project took the original building from being the least energy efficient structure on campus to one of the most efficient and environmentally sophisticated buildings in the region.

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