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Energy savings pay off
Author: Kathryn Kirkland; Photos by Kelly James
Posted: June 10, 2010

Systems pipes and controls in Shattuck HallMORE FRESH AIR and less water and energy use in campus buildings not only provide a teaching tool for students, it's earned the University more than $1 million.

In December, the University was awarded a $1 million grant to drill geothermal wells and purchase a 1,000-ton heat pump for the heating and cooling of 13 campus buildings. It was one of 18 renewable energy projects that received funding by the state in December through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Stimulus Act.

In January, President Wim Wiewel accepted a $313,114 incentive check from Energy Trust of Oregon for energy-efficiency improvements to the Fourth Avenue Building on Southwest Fourth and Harrison. Improvements to the building's heating and cooling system are saving an estimated 1.4 million kilowatt hours or $126,000 in annual energy costs. Purchased by the University in 1997, the Fourth Avenue Building houses engineering departments and classrooms as well as PSU Information Technologies offices.

Also in January, Portland State and PAE Consulting Engineers won Project of the Year, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon's top award, for last year's remodel of Shattuck Hall. Judges were most impressed with the energy-saving electrical and mechanical upgrades to the former grade school, built in 1914, and the exposure of those systems (pictured above) as a "teaching tool for the architects of the future."