Skating on “Green Ice”

August 7th, 2009 by William
Plymouth State University’s newest building will not only serve as a gateway to the campus and community, it will also be a showcase for energy efficiency and green building technology.

Located on Route 175-A in Holderness across from the Foley Gymnasium, the first phase of Plymouth State University’s ALLWell (Active Living, Learning, and Wellness) Center is the construction of an ice arena. The Ice Arena will serve as a teaching facility for instruction and research in ice activities, a home for Panther varsity men’s and women’s ice hockey teams with seating for 850 spectators, and a Welcome Center that will provide an attractive meeting place for visitors to the campus and towns of Plymouth and Holderness and the region.

The Ice Arena will be built to meet LEED Silver standards by installing sophisticated geothermal heating/cooling design to maximize energy conservation opportunities.

“In order to maximize the sustainability of this facility, PSU is installing the large geothermal field and using other energy-saving devices that will reduce energy consumption by at least 28 percent over a traditional arena,” said PSU’s Director of Environmental Sustainability Bill Crangle.

The combination of geothermal and the capture of waste heat generated by ice making equipment will provide the heat for the facility thereby removing reliance on traditional fuel-based heating system.

PSU Ice Arena workers
Construction workers are hard at work on the PSU Ice Arena, which is scheduled to open in 2010

Because of the energy-efficient design, this facility will require less energy consumption than PSU’s traditional academic and residential buildings of the same size. Because of the design and operating systems, the structure will be one of the most energy efficient ice arenas in the nation.

Here are the highlights of the energy efficient design and construction of PSU’s Ice Arena:

  • Building will meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standards
  • An integrated ice-making/heating/cooling system is the most energy efficient system on the market today
  • Geothermal system Saves energy, provides heating, cooling and hot water for building, eliminates the need for use of fossil fuels
  • Ice refrigeration system is integrated with the Geothermal and uses non toxic glycol instead of toxic ammonia, radiant heat is provided through waste heat
  • Low energy lighting – interior and exterior – saves energy and preserves the night sky
  • Energy costs are 30 less than traditional ice arenas
  • Bioswales in the parking area control and filter storm water, improving the overall quality of water returning to the aquifer
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures reduce water use
  • Shuttle service, bike storage, and changing rooms encourage alternative transportation
  • Construction of the ice arena uses sustainable methods such as recycling construction waste, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified wood products, and use of local materials and contractors

By signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, PSU has made a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality. The PSU Office of Sustainability works in partnership with the PSU President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability and the University Environment Committee to advance the University’s goals on sustainability.

In addition, the University will make the Ice Arena available to area science classes to provide the opportunity to learn about the various “green” technologies being implemented.

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