OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Construction activities have begun to build the geothermal system that will heat and cool the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Business addition. This system will benefit UNO and its College of Business by lowering operating costs through the use of this sustainable energy practice.
Drilling and geopier foundations both started on October 31 for a 42,000-square-foot addition of Mammel Hall. Omaha Public Power District and The Weitz Company are coordinating work to deliver the geothermal system. OPPD is responsible for the exterior well field installation and Weitz will oversee the interior building installations.
“Omaha Public Power District is excited to partner with UNO and Weitz to bring an energy service option that will help the university achieve carbon intensity and financial reduction goals for many years to come,” said John Quade, senior account executive at OPPD.
Mid America Drilling, a subcontractor of OPPD, is performing the geothermal drilling, and Peterson Construction is installing the geopier foundations. The geopiers will take approximately two weeks to complete. Weather permitting, drilling is expected to conclude in December to finish the geothermal well field installation.
Once the well field installation is complete, Weitz and Morrissey Engineering will coordinate and schedule activities to tie the geothermal systems into the building’s interior mechanical systems. Project occupancy is scheduled for January 2021, and the entire project is scheduled for completion in April 2021.
“When complete, UNO will have another first-class facility that students, faculty and the community can utilize and appreciate for its sustainable qualities,” said Brian Mahlendorf, vice president and general manager of The Weitz Company.
Certified LEED Gold when originally built in 2010, Mammel Hall will become the third University of Nebraska at Omaha facility (and eighth University of Nebraska system building) to have geothermal. UNO’s on-campus Parking Services and off-campus Glacier Creek Preserve buildings also use the earth as a heat source and heat sink.
Mammel Hall’s new wing will add six classrooms, four seminar rooms, a newly designed and expanded Koraleski Commerce and Applied Behavioral Lab and a 180-person general purpose room. Equipped with cutting-edge technology to be a cloud-reliant building, the expanded space will also be home to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s new School of Accounting, CBA Scholars Academy and Entrepreneurship Lab.
“We have a wonderful opportunity to do the right thing. Adding a geothermal system makes perfect sense, especially for a building with a 75-year life expectancy,” said Louis Pol, dean emeritus of the College of Business Administration.
About The Weitz Company
Founded in 1855, The Weitz Company is a national general contractor, design-builder and construction manager that serves all 50 U.S. states. Weitz is the sixth oldest Architecture/Engineering/Construction firm in the United States and an industry leader in lean construction; senior living; sustainable building; and virtual design and construction. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, The Weitz Company annually ranks in the top tier of Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors and Building Design+Construction’s Giants 300 Contractors lists.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.