The OSU Energy Center set a new standard of excellence as the first LEED Certified Power Plant in the nation. OHPD designed the building as a replacement facility for OSU’s 100+ year old steam plant. The new building meets the campus energy needs through a cogeneration process allowing Oregon State University to redirect unused marketable power back to the regional energy grid. The Energy Center also te sts alternative bio-energy sources and works closely with the University’s College of Engineering, providing cross-departmental opportunities for students to engage in the university’s processes.
The Energy Center’s design was to LEED Platinum standards, featuring rainwater harvesting for make up water, and radiant floor heating water generated from waste heat, recovered from the steam systems. Natural ventilation, and natural lighting, also help to increase the building’s electrical efficiency. The building is approximately 52% more efficient than the Oregon Building Code. The Energy Center has reduced campus carbon footprint; (CO2) emissions have been lowered by approximately 38% compared to OSU's previous heat plant.