On Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, the City of Iowa City received a letter announcing they had received an Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design award for the new Iowa City Public Works Facility. The City moved into the new building on December 30, 2019. Located at 3810 Napoleon Lane, the 85,257 sq. foot building houses the Streets and Traffic Engineering Division and Water Division Distribution Team of the Public Works Department.

The award program and key features of the new building

The Excellence in Energy Efficient Design award program recognized outstanding efforts in reducing energy use. Candidates are selected from projects whose organizers participated in the Commercial New Construction (CNC) program offered by Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy Company.  Participating building projects received a CNC program final verification report between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The top projects selected for an award had the highest kBTU savings percentage in Alliant Energy and MidAmerican’s Energy’s service territory.

The Iowa City Public Works complex achieved 52% kBTU energy savings when compared to the CNC’s program baseline. This means that the City’s Public Works Facility uses less than half the energy as compared to other buildings of the same type and size. Competing projects from across the state included a mix of new facilities representing private, commercial, and public entities such as schools, office buildings, and industrial structures. The Public Works Facility was 4th in the overall ranking.

The energy and environmental conservation strategies in the design of the building included LED lighting, daylight dimming and skylight systems, as well as efficient precast insulated concrete walls, an effective roof system, and insulated translucent panels in the exterior vehicle storage walls. Additionally, the structure features a Dedicated Outdoor Air System which will help to realize a projected energy cost savings of $21,000 per year. The payback analysis for the incremental costs associated with more efficient systems, anticipates a payback within 9.3 years.  

The City would like to recognize the project team, including design consultants, Neumann Monson Architects, HDR|MDG, C-Wise Design, Raker Rhodes Engineering, Modus Engineering and the General Contractor team, Merit Construction and accompanying subcontractors.

The City's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

Iowa City has set goals to reduce carbon emissions significantly by target years 2030 and 2050. The City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan was approved in September 2018 and a report adding specific initiatives was approved in April 2020. The Plan and related report call for improvements or construction of City facilities to effectively reduce energy consumption and support structures that withstand adaptation to increasingly volatile temperatures and extreme weather patterns. The City Manager’s Office states, “Although the City’s carbon emissions and energy usage is a little less than 5%, only a small fraction of the total citywide, we looked at this project as an opportunity to set an example. Through the incorporation of efficient design in our City facilities, we’re showing our commitment to this effort and encourage others to explore similar options.”

Award winners received a plaque and were honored at a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

Date of publication

Friday, October 02, 2020