UofL breaks ground on its greenest building yet, with engineering on display

New Engineering Building SignIn December of 2023, UofL broke ground on a New Engineering Building at the Speed School of Engineering that is scheduled to open in fall 2025 with new classrooms, labs, offices (including the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research), and club workshops and maker-space.

The 114,000 square foot building will occupy about an acre of land that used to be a parking lot for gas-guzzling private automobiles. It will cost about $90 million to construct and about $1.4 million per year to operate.

The building is being designed to achieve at least LEED Gold and will feature many energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, including the university's second geothermal system to provide base load heating and cooling using 160 wells drilled to 600’ deep.

Drilling Geothermal Wells at New Engineering BuildingA lower south flat roof is being constructed as "solar-ready" to potentially house an 80kW photovoltaic system (if sufficient funds can be raised). Fundraising is also under way to potentially add other renewable energy systems, such hydrogen fuel cells, which hold the potential to make this UofL's first net-zero energy and LEED Platinum building!

The building is also UofL's first to be intentionally designed to educate, providing users with real-time information about energy systems and revealing sustainability features to the public. Some building systems will be intentionally exposed to offer "engineering on display" and a large dashboard in the main atrium will include information about the sustainability features and energy production and consumption.

If funding is secured to install the solar PV array, it will be the first solar system installed at UofL that is visible (from both the ground and from inside the building).

Learn more and support the project here.

Geothermal Wells at New Engineering BuildingWorker installing geothermal well at New Engineering BuildingDrilling Geothermal Wells at New Engineering Building