CWU News

Science Phase II Makes CWU’s Facilities More Efficient

All state funded buildings are required by law to achieve a minimum of a Silver Rating through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System. To that end, Central Washington University is going above and beyond current expectations to make the new science building as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

LEED ratings are based on a set of more than 80 criteria. These criteria include the location of the project, what materials are recycled or reused after demolition and during construction, light pollution, what materials can be reused after the building is decommissioned and much more.

“There are many factors to take into account during the planning phase of any project,” said Joanne Hillemann, CWU project manager. One of these factors wasn’t even considered until two years ago when the project was being planned.

A boiler plant built in 1974 heats CWU’s campus by heating water and converting it to steam that is delivered to campus through a network of pipes to each building on campus. Natural gas burners heat the water and because of the Science Phase II project, new facilities needed to be installed at the boiler plant to heat the facility.

Facilities Management designed and created a system that will use the existing boiler plant and make it approximately eight percent more efficient. Heat recyclers will heat water using excess heat from the combustion vents (smoke stacks) at the boiler plant. This water will be pumped into the new science building for climate control.

“Due to these changes,” said Pat Nahan manager of Engineering Services and Energy Conservation, “we can heat the additional 108,000 square feet of space at no additional cost.”

In fact, because the university isn’t spending more money to heat a new building, the difference in cost will pay for the heating project in less than 15 years.

The Science Phase II Project is expected to open by Fall 2016 and it will be the new home for the Geology Department, Physics Department and the Center for Excellence in Science and Math Education.

For more information about the Science Phase II project, go to or

Photo 1: Science Phase II North Exterior

Photo 2: Science Phase II South Exterior

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

Story prepared by Scott Kazmi, intern, Public Affairs