Millersville University’s Lombardo Welcome Center has been awarded the 2020 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Grand Award in Category B: Building/Technology Systems. As a Grand Award winner, the Lombardo Welcome Center joined 15 other engineering projects from across the country to compete for the top national honor, the Grand Conceptor Award. These top 16 projects display the most innovative and ground-breaking engineering solutions in the country and were selected from over 200 entries.
The Lombardo Welcome Center is helping Millersville University achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by 2040 in support of the Second Nature Climate Commitment. Since 70% of the campus’s greenhouse gas emissions were a result of energy use, it prompted Millersville to pursue a net zero energy building to serve as a model for future campus building designs and operations. In 2019, the International Living Future Institute and New Buildings Institute awarded the Lombardo Welcome Center its Zero Energy Certification, making it the first Zero Energy Certified building in Pennsylvania. Going beyond net zero, the building is currently generating 210% of its annual energy usage, making it one of the most net positive energy buildings in the country. The extra energy generated is used to power other campus buildings.
AKF provided MEP/FP Engineering and Renewable Energy Design, Energy Modeling, Net Zero Energy Consulting, and Commissioning for the Lombardo Center. The building boasts sustainable systems such as a 172.6 kW photovoltaic (PV) roof array composed of 528 PV panels, a 20 panel ground-mounted array with dual-axis tracking to follow the sun throughout the course of the day, a geothermal system of 20 underground wells with local heat pumps, PV glass that generates 8,000 kWh of electricity annually, a well-insulated building envelope, standard electrical distribution with full circuit metering, LED lighting with daylight dimming, low flow plumbing, rainwater collection for irrigation, a storm water system, and a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) unit for ventilation. A lobby dashboard system helps occupants understand the building’s energy usage and generation, as well as their individual impact on energy used.
As a showcase of sustainability for current and prospective students, staff and the greater community, the Lombardo Welcome Center was designed to engage the public and share engineering strategies for saving and generating energy. The building serves a campus population of 8,500 students and provides tours and programming for prospective students and community groups.