The 2010 Warrior Weekend Homecoming did not disappoint! Watching alumni and their spouses decked out in orange Warrior gear, interacting with current students and thumbing through old yearbooks is certainly a highlight of the job!
TECHnology 101 featured presenters from the Wilfred Uytengsu, Sr. Center renovation project. They shared insight into the stabilization of the 150-year-old building, its pursuit of LEED® Gold Certification and the Zollner Center geothermal transformation.
The presenters at TECHnology 101 were:
- Dave Aschliman, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences
- Terry Thornsbury, architect and LEED AP, Viridian Architectural Design, Inc.
- Michael Lubbehusen, principal, Primary Engineering, Inc.
- Bill Kinder, owner, Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc.
The experts explained some of the challenges they had faced in selective deconstruction of the building. The interior was gutted, but the brick exterior remained. The project team members half-heartedly joked that on particularly windy days, they kept a concerned eye toward the walls, where temporary supports had been secured. There was fire damage in more than one location, not to mention the water damage and soft brick crumbling off the walls in some areas. As the experts clicked through pictures of the challenges they faced, the alumni chuckled and nodded in recognition of these difficulties.
After the presentation, our alumni questioned the panel about the details of different green technologies and the cost associated with them. They wanted to understand all facets of this growing field and know if the renovation had been a smart investment. The panel embraced the questions, admitting that they asked the same questions through the process. Lubbehusen explained that the building had far out-performed the model for energy cost savings. In addition, Thornsbury said they were able to divert more than 80% of the renovation waste from the landfill by repurposing much of the elements of the building, such as using bricks for the new Welcome Center fireplace and porch columns, and wood from the flooring for cabinets and trim throughout the building. Aschliman shared that the now incredibly energy-efficient building will have returned its investment within only eight years, and will be useful for Tech students as a living laboratory.
The alumni’s concerns and interests were satisfied by the end of the question and answer session. Applause erupted and many attendees addressed the crowd, exclaiming how proud they were of this project. Saving the building, they said, was worth the cost and challenges, and in the end will serve as an example to others.