New Student Center Builds Green Mission from the Ground Up
Loyola Neighborhood News: Lake Shore Campus - V3, I6
Construction crews have recently broken ground on the 6000 block of Kenmore Avenue, beginning work on the Center of Sustainable Urban Living (CSUL), a new learning-living center focused on environmental friendliness. Sustainable technology is currently helping make the CSUL’s green aspirations a reality through the installation of geothermal wells.
Geothermal wells act as a passive source of energy and serve as a central heating and cooling system for a building. These wells are drilled directly into the ground, utilizing the earth’s natural phenomena in order to regulate temperature of building interiors.
In the winter, the wells are used as a heat source, transferring heat from underground up toward the building spaces. In the summer, the wells allow heat from the building to be extracted and rejected into the earth, reducing the temperature and cooling the interior space.
Kana Wibbenmeyer, director of Facilities department, noted the success of recent green developments on campus and explained the decision to utilize geothermal technology for the new student center.
“As we have seen with the success of the Information Commons, which utilizes radiant for both heating and cooling, these passive forms of temperature control are more pleasant to the occupant than traditional forced air systems” said Wibbenmeyer. “We are able to maintain more stable temperatures at a more comfortable level and it makes a noticeable difference."
In a conventional system, heating/cooling and hot water account for 73% of energy consumption. By using a geothermal loop system, the CSUL can supplant 49% of this consumption with free, sustainable energy.
Wibbenmeyer went on to explain the significance of this green technology for Loyola’s dedication to sustainability.
“For CSUL, this concept of utilizing an essentially free source of energy, rather than generating and consuming energy to provide thermal comfort, aligns with the philosophy behind the building” said Wibbenmeyer.
“We want to demonstrate forward-thinking and innovative technologies that help create a more sustainable campus and community.”
For more information on geothermal wells, click the following link to watch a video from Indie Energy, one of the proposed contractors for the CSUL’s construction. Though they were not chosen for the bid, the video effectively illustrates this green technology. http://indieenergy.com/