Oct. 29

Live Green: Slamming the door on heat loss

by Diana Pounds

Homeowners sometimes close off unused rooms in the winter to save a few dollars in heating costs. They're doing the same thing at the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility this year. However, in this case, the room is the size of a football field, and the energy savings are expected to be equally as grand.

Live Green!

Find out more about Iowa State's Live Green Loan Fund.

Athletics events assistant Allison Schmitt says the addition over the summer of a set of double doors and a glass wall to the indoor practice field will save at least $6,000 in heating costs annually. That's a quick return on the original investment of $6,000.

The indoor facility, completed in spring 2004, consists of a 92,000-square-foot practice area for Iowa State's football, softball and soccer teams, and a small lobby with entryway and restrooms. Because the lobby opened onto the practice field, the entire building had to be heated, even when no athletes were working out, just to keep the water pipes in the lobby from freezing, Schmitt said.

Last spring, officials concluded that considerable energy savings could be realized by walling off the lobby from the training field. With funding from the ISU Live Green Loan fund, energy-efficient doors and the glass wall were installed.

Now, officials are keeping the pipes in the lobby at pipe-friendly temperatures while cranking down the heat (and the expense) on the empty training field.