Keller Center - 2019 Excellence in Engineering Award Winner

On behalf of The University of Chicago, Felix Leen, chief mechanical engineer, accepted the 2019 Excellence in Engineering Award for the Keller Center. The award was presented by the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter on December 10 at the Willis Tower in Chicago. Annually, an ASHRAE panel of judges consisting of working HVAC professionals selects outstanding submissions that are recognized for their excellence at the chapter's annual holiday party.

The Keller Center was chosen as a recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Engineering Award in recognition of the innovative HVAC system design, energy efficiency strategies, and water conservation systems. Renovation of the Keller Center, originally designed by Edward Durrell Stone in 1963, was completed in 2018. The Keller Center’s HVAC system design features low-mass, ceiling-mounted heating/cooling radiant panels and a dedicated outside air system for ventilation. Energy efficiency strategies including daylighting, LED lights, and radiant heating and cooling use 35.9% less energy than required by code. The capture and reuse of rainwater from the roof save approximately 525,208 gallons of freshwater per year and reduces the burden on the City’s combined sewer system.  To read more about design and sustainability in the Keller Center, click here.

The University of Chicago is a proud ENERGY STAR Partner, working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and our peer institutions to find ways to reduce higher education campus energy usage.  The University limits energy consumption resulting from new construction and major renovations by requiring that projects over $5 million in value must be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council with at least LEED Silver. The Keller building earned LEED Platinum certification through innovative HVAC system design, energy efficiency strategies, and water conservation systems. 

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