Innovative Campus Design Snags Green-Building Award

Innovative Campus Design Snags Green-Building Award

While Des Moines Area Community College West Campus is renowned for being one of the first educational institutions in the country to integrate handheld computers in the classroom, one of its most innovative designs lies beneath the classroom floor.

The design features a raised floor system to allow power and telecommunication cords to be easily accessible from any area of the room. This allows flexibility in room layout and creates a clean appearance and a safer environment. To make use of the raised floor and to eliminate ductwork in the classrooms, an underfloor air distribution system was used for heating and cooling.

The system has been recognized for technological innovation by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

The system was awarded a first-place ASHRAE Technology Award during the Society's 2004 Winter Meeting held here Jan. 24-28.

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy conservation. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and IAQ. Performance is proven through one year's actual, verifiable operating data.

The system was designed by David Inghram, P.E., who earned first place in the new institutional buildings category. Inghram is a senior project engineer, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Des Moines, Iowa.

Opened in 2001, the campus is almost completely paperless and wireless. Students use handheld computers for classroom learning and instructional delivery, email and Web surfing. Faculty members make notes on smartboards as they instruct and then print those notes for students at the end of class.