By: Roger Chang, PE, Assoc AIA, ASHRAE BEMP, LEED AP
The renovation of the Aspinall Federal Building in Grand Junction, Colo., demonstrates how to make an existing historic building perform with very low energy use. | Credit: Kevin G. Reeves; Courtesy of Westlake Reed Leskosky
A major goal of historic preservation is to retain qualities intrinsic to the building from its period of identified significance. Sometimes, however, it can be challenging to fit modern technology into older buildings and still retain their historic character. The renovation of GSA’s Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colo., illustrates how energy-efficient systems can be integrated into a historic building in a low impact way.
Constructed in 1918, this Renaissance Revival-style building is one of the city’s most important and architecturally refined civic structures. This National Register-listed building is also historically significant because of its association with Wayne N. Aspinall, an important U.S. congressional leader. Rededicated in February 2013, the renovated Aspinall houses the U.S. District Courts and serves several federal tenants, including the IRS, GSA, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Justice, and the U.S. senator’s office.
For this project, GSA Rocky Mountain Region, Design-Build Partners of The Beck Group, and Westlake Reed Leskosky were able to transform the building into an innovative, sustainable model through the use of solar roof panels and a GeoExchange system and by reducing energy consumption by building occupants. Every energy use was scrutinized and optimized, starting with the building enclosure and lighting systems. By reducing demand for energy, HVAC systems could be downsized to allow for better fit within existing spatial constraints. The following approaches formed the heart of the project:... Read More →