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Breakout Sessions

Infrastructure Upgrades at University of Minnesota Aquatic Center: Anticipated Energy Costs

Leaders at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center expect recently completed infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs by at least 50 percent and cut maintenance costs while increasing safety, reliability and indoor air quality. Previously, refrigeration piping on outdatedpackaged dehumidificationheating, ventilation and air conditioning units suffered from unreliable operation, including large releases of refrigerantinto the center from failing components, which endangered swimmers, staff and spectators and caused reputation-damaging building evaluations. Leaders undertook a building pre-design assessment to identify energy conservation methods that would best meet their needs and based on the results of this evaluation, they selected a highly efficient, self-contained chilled water system that features an indirect heat recovery system which uses recovered heat to warm water in the Olympic-size lane pool and diving well. The energy-saving improvements represent a major step in transforming the aquatic center into a high performance building that ties to its business mission. High performance buildings take a whole building approach to performance while creating spaces that are reliable, safe, healthy, comfortable and efficient. Leaders report that the system provides increased reliability and eliminated the previous safety issues from leaking refrigerant, while reflecting the university’s commitment to increased energy efficiency. The new low-maintenance system means that a full-time maintenance person is no longer required onsite at the pool.

1. Participants will learn how administrators evaluated options and selected the energy conservation measures that best met their objectives for the aquatic center.
2. Participants will learnabout energy efficiency projects that are part of the University of Minnesota’s sustainability effort and how lessons learned across the university might be applied to new and existing buildings at other campuses.
3. Participants will gain the steps they can take to evaluate similar solutions on their campuses.

Scott McCord, University of Minnesota; Randy Schock, Trane