Winners of Thinking Buildings Award Head to Denmark


Winning team developed retrofit solution for University of Cincinnati’s Central Utility Plant

BJERRINGBRO, Denmark — These years, much attention is devoted to establishing rules and regulations for the required energy efficiency of new buildings. Grundfos is part of this effort and contributes actively by providing some of the most energy-efficient pump solutions on the market.

More than 80 percent of the buildings that will exist in 2035 were already standing in 2010, highlighting the need for solutions that can cut energy use in existing buildings. That’s why we must put retrofitting on the agenda. Grundfos created the Thinking Buildings Award to recognize the best in energy-efficient solutions. A three-judge panel of industry-leading Ph.D.s reviewed the projects, selecting the engineers and contractors who demonstrated the most impressive energy-efficient retrofit solutions to commercial buildings.

The winning entry

The team of professionals behind the winning case in the inaugural Grundfos Thinking Buildings Award will soon be crossing the Atlantic on their way to Denmark. The trip honors the winning entry from the University of Cincinnati, where a retrofitting project resulted in energy savings of 2.5 million kilowatt hours (KWh) a year.

The winning team comprises Joe Harrell of the University of Cincinnati, Ronald Kastner of Corporate Equipment Company, and consulting engineers Joel Grubbs and Eric Erpenbeck of Fosdick & Hilmer. They created a customized solution for the chilled water operation at the University of Cincinnati’s new Central Utility Plant. Working closely with Grundfos’ company Peerless Pumps, they developed a true retrofit solution that included modifying and reconfiguring the existing Grundfos pumps at the local Grundfos factory. The original motors were even reused, though they now run at 20 percent of their original power consumption. Total energy cost savings are expected to be $177,000 annually, and the project will have a payback time of less than five years.

Learning about Grundfos and Denmark

The honor of the award is combined with a trip to Grundfos’ home country, Denmark. The purpose of the trip is to learn more about energy-efficient pumping solutions. After a welcome and introduction to the company at the Grundfos headquarters, the team will try some hands on pump training at the factory and academy, as well as touring and learning about green buildings featuring state-of-the-art pump solutions.

The Thinking Buildings Award

The Thinking Buildings Award honors engineers and contractors who focus on the area of retrofit and demonstrate the most impressive energy-efficient retrofit solutions to commercial buildings.

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