Heartland Community College, Workforce Development Center

Normal, IL

Workforce Development Center, exterior


Engineering design for a new 93,000-square-foot educational facility, created to serve as a comprehensive economic development resource for area businesses and industry. The building houses vocational education programs including computer science, electronics, office technology, machine tools, and manufacturing technology.


ASHRAE Illinois, Excellence in Engineering Award, 2007

Workforce Development Center, Design

The Workforce Development Center was a pilot project for the Illinois Capital Development Board and was the first LEED-certified building funded by the State of Illinois.

  • Energy modeling utilizing eQuest indicates a 50% more efficient building than required under current energy codes. The energy savings equates to a reduction of 2.64 million pounds of annual carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The high efficiency building envelope reduces energy loss, decreases HVAC capacity requirements, and enhances occupant comfort.
  • A geothermal heat pump system with 180 closed-loop, 300-foot-deep wells and water source heat pumps provides space heating and cooling. A buried piping vault allows easy access to the well field header and shut-off valves to isolate sections of the miles of buried piping. Installing the geothermal heat pump system avoided a costly addition to the central plant boiler and chiller system. The capital cost increase was offset by projected energy cost savings, with a 22% return on investment.
  • Tempered ventilation air is distributed directly to the heat pumps. Energy consumption is reduced by using 80% efficient thermal energy recovery systems.
  • Energy efficient lighting and controls employ occupancy sensors, photocells and time-of-day operating schedules.
  • Low-flow water fixtures throughout the building reduce water consumption and impact on treatment plants.
  • A direct digital control system and electrical sub-metering of lighting and HVAC systems allows for measurement and verification of the energy savings and fine-tuning of control loops and operating schedules.
  • Water source heat pumps installed in the HVAC instruction area are used for hands-on training of students being prepared for HVAC technician trades, as well as providing heating and cooling for the classrooms.

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