Norm Asbjornson Hall Exteriors

Norm Asbjornson Hall at Montana State University is shown in this file photo.

Montana State University’s newest building has been honored by the Montana chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Norm Asbjornson Hall won the Innovative Design award in the new construction category, one of seven awards given at the organization’s 2019 Montana Leadership Awards Dinner in Missoula this week. Dan Stevenson, MSU’s associate vice president for university services, received the award for MSU.

Stevenson said the building uses about half the energy per square foot as many other buildings on MSU’s campus, despite containing machine shops, laboratory vent hoods and other equipment with significant energy requirements. The building features innovative heat pumps that provide heating and cooling; solar walls that reduce the energy needed to heat ventilation air; and a closed-loop geothermal system that circulates water through pipes to a depth of 500 feet below the ground’s surface to either help cool or warm the building.

In November, Norm Asbjornson Hall, which houses MSU’s engineering and honors colleges, became one of 10 buildings in Montana certified as LEED Platinum, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification. The building opened in December.

Lights that automatically adjust according to daylight levels and special windows that change tint to reduce glare and unwanted heat from the sun are among the other features that helped tally 82 points on LEED’s 109-point scale. Other achievements that contributed to the LEED Platinum certification included:

n Low-flow indoor fixtures resulting in water use reduction of 41%

n Diversion of 96% of construction waste from landfill

n Ease in public transportation access

n Stormwater management system that includes vegetated retention ponds and an underground storage facility, reducing use of the city’s stormwater system and resulting in increased water quality

n Selection of materials containing recycled content and sourced regionally

n Selection of paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants and floor coverings with low or no emission of volatile chemicals

Also attending Thursday’s awards dinner were building consultant Kath Williams, whose Bozeman firm guided MSU through the LEED certification process, and people from A&E Architects and Martel Construction.

Norm Asbjornson Hall is the eighth building on the MSU campus certified by the LEED program, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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