Elmhurst U. Energy Project Wins Engineering Excellence Award | Jobs Vox

Aerial photo of the Elmhurst University campus.

An Elmhurst University project that significantly improved energy efficiency in campus buildings recently earned an Excellence in Engineering Technology Award from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE.

The project involved replacing and modernizing the campus’ aging heat plant and chilled water systems, and awarded the award to Elmhurst University, AMS Industries, Cyclone Energy Group, Momentum, Inc., and Trane Heating and Air Conditioning. nora o’malleyExecutive Director of Facilities Management, accepted the award on behalf of the university at an awards dinner held earlier this month in Chicago.

A group recipient of the Excellence in Engineering Technology Award from the Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE.

In 2019, the university moved into the project with a 55-year-old centralized boiler and steam distribution system, as well as obsolete chillers and cooling towers. O’Malley said that steam traveled from the heating plant through a maze of tunnels to the individual campus buildings, a system that was old, inefficient and difficult to maintain. In the wintertime, the heat rising from the tunnels leads people to mistakenly believe that the campus has installed heated sidewalks to melt the snow.

After two years of planning and preparation, the old boiler systems were replaced with standalone boiler plants in 17 buildings. The new, decentralized system is more reliable and less expensive to operate and maintain. It earned more than $750,000 in rebates from local utility providers, and has already led to energy efficiency improvements for the campus, which used 32% fewer thermos in 2021-22 than in 2020-21.

“Receiving this award from a prestigious organization like Aashrey means a lot to our team, who has been working together on this project from its earliest stages,” said Elmhurst University President. Troy D. vanayken, “It also reaffirms the university’s commitment to the responsible handling of our financial and physical resources, and will benefit the campus for years to come.”

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