Engineering firm honored for energy-saving design

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TowerPinkster engineers received the award for their work on the airport’s gateway transformation checkpoint and marketplace expansion and renovation project. Courtesy TowerPinkster

TowerPinkster engineers were recognized for their work at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

The Technology Awards recognize achievements by ASHRAE members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation.

Grand Rapids-based TowerPinkster placed first in the ASHRAE regional awards for new build commercial buildings, which allowed the group to compete at the society level for a national award. 

At the national level, TowerPinkster was given an honorable mention in the same category. 

TowerPinkster engineers Ryan Idema, PE, and Jesse Hendershot, PE, received the award for their work on the airport’s gateway transformation checkpoint and marketplace expansion and renovation project.

The new marketplace and checkpoint were designed to prioritize energy efficiency, indoor air quality and temperature comfort, cost-effectiveness and environmental impact.

“We are proud to implement energy-efficient design into our buildings,” said Casey Ries, engineering and planning director at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. “As our airport continues to grow, environmental stewardship remains top of mind.”

Because the project is operating 67% more efficient than the baseline, the estimated reduction of carbon dioxide is 326 metric tons per year, according to TowerPinkster.

TowerPinkster engineers designed the space to duct fresh air from the airport’s green roof area, which helps bring a fresh oxygen to supply to the space. Active carbon filtration was integrated into the outdoor air energy recovery unit to supply fresh air to each air handler unit beneath the marketplace area to ensure air remains pollutant-free.

Engineers also designed a heating and cooling system that is adaptable and has no downtime. The marketplace and checkpoint areas were designed to utilize displacement ventilation, which allows for required conditioned air for proper thermal comfort to be reduced by 30% and fresh air for proper ventilation to be reduced by 20%.

A large energy recovery unit, much like those installed in new build homes today, is used to pretreat the fresh air for additional energy savings.

TowerPinkster previously was recognized by ASHRAE for innovative engineering designs, including winning the Award of Engineering Excellence for Western Michigan University’s Heritage Hall renovation.

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