Profile: Loyola University Goes Green HVAC

Loyola University HVAC

Contributor:  John Hewitt, Project Executive of F.E. Moran
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

Loyola University set out to build a green living environment for students. They succeeded with Wright Hall, San Francisco Hall, and the Winter Garden Tower. The Winter Garden features an atrium with a Tilapia pond and gardens where they grow their food. The resident halls are Gold LEED Certified, and feature a greenhouse, clean energy laboratory, and green café. Students will research appropriate heirloom seeds, establish gardening management principles, and determine companion plants for the greenhouse. In the energy laboratory, students use their refuse to create biofuel to partially fuel their HVAC system.

To make this site green, F.E. Moran furnished the entire HVAC system within San Francisco Hall and retrofitted the system in Wright Hall with energy efficient systems. They used a geothermal heat pump system that takes the heating from the ground to heat the building in the winter. The geothermal portion of the system consisted of over 200 geothermal wells with 150 feet depths, which Loyola University highlighted by encasing it in glass. Eventually, the ground becomes too cold and heat needs to be added. For this, they added a dual fuel boiler, using natural gas and biofuel. The biofuel was supplied by the students within the clean energy laboratory. Eventually, Loyola University envisions all of their heat to be self-sustained through biofuel.

To keep the Winter Garden at the appropriate temperature to grow food and raise Tilapia, F.E. Moran installed under-floor heating.

Heat and air conditioning is provided by a heat pump using chilled beams and an energy recovery system. Chilled beams work much like a radiator, passing hot or cool water through the beam. An energy recovery system adds a coil into the exhaust. It takes the heat out of the air and returns it to the building.

With the joint efforts of F.E. Moran and Loyola University, students at this Rogers Park campus now have the opportunity for hands-on learning of energy efficient practices while living a self-sustaining lifestyle.

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