Buildings/Technology Systems
National finalist
Gold Award

Wood Harbinger

Project: Laura Angst Hall
Client: Skagit Valley College

Photo by Doug J. Scott /
Laura Angst Hall at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon is the first higher-education building in Washington to receive a LEED platinum rating. The mechanical design is expected to provide 87 percent of its energy savings.

Skagit Valley College’s new science and allied health building is Washington’s first higher-education facility to achieve LEED platinum certification.

Wood Harbinger performed a cost-benefit analysis on each sustainable design option, pursuing only items that were proven to provide long-term value. Evaluation criteria included capital cost, potential energy savings, reliability and maintainability, and operating experience relative to the region.

Analyzing each system this way allowed Wood Harbinger to select equipment and design options that would continue to pay back for Skagit Valley College in the form of energy savings. The mechanical design alone is projected to provide 87 percent of Laura Angst Hall’s total energy savings.

To limit the exhaust from the laboratory systems, the firm designed a controlled system that is synchronized with the number of fume hoods in use. Additional outdoor air is conveyed to the laboratory only when necessary, conserving energy.

The fume exhaust fans direct the expelled air high above the building so surrounding areas are not exposed to laboratory discharge.

The firm also designed a heat-recovery system that collects energy expelled from the laboratory exhaust, minimizing the amount of energy needed to heat the air. Exhaust air flows through a heat exchanger with a protective coating. The heat is then transferred into a water loop that feeds a pre-heat coil in the outside air stream of the air handler.

This project was a success for Skagit Valley College in three important ways: Wood Harbinger and the project team attained LEED platinum certification, exceeding the original goal of LEED silver; the final cost was less than the original budget estimate, allowing the college to use a portion of the state’s money to fund other projects; and the building was completed in a timely manner, opening in time for the 2009-10 school year.

Copyright ©2011 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
Comments? Questions? Contact us.