Nestled in the bustling University of Washington campus in Seattle, the Husky Union Building or “the HUB,” as it’s affectionately known, has served as the center of student life since 1948. The 262,000 square foot building gives Husky students a central location to meet and the building has truly become the “hub” of campus life. With the last major expansion of the HUB in 1975, the space was long overdue for a renovation to better meet the evolving needs of current and future Huskies.
Funded by student-organized initiatives, the renovation committee enlisted the expertise of renowned design firm, Perkins and Will, for the renovation. The entire interior of the HUB was to be updated with comfort, sustainability and purpose in mind. Upon completion in the summer of 2012, the HUB’s renovation achieved LEED Gold certification through its use of sustainable, efficient building elements.
To maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the HUB, designers wanted a heating solution that fit seamlessly into the building design. The climate system needed to conserve space and require minimal installation, while also providing powerful heat for chilly Seattle winters. Additionally, since the HUB hosts more than 4,000 events per year, the heating solutions needed to be able to adapt to temperature fluctuations and rapid changes in occupancy levels.
To find the best solution for a diverse climate-control environment, developers needed a customized system that was powerful, yet flexible enough to quickly adapt to any temperature requirements. They implemented a low-temperature heating system using a high-efficiency condensing boiler and custom Jaga heating solutions to reduce overall energy usage without compromising comfort and aesthetics of the HUB.
For the HUB’s several ballrooms, architects placed Mini-Canal radiators around the perimeter of each room for discrete heating efficiency. Since the Mini Canal fits seamlessly into ballroom floors, no additional space or ductwork was required for the installation. This enables architects to extend room heights and keep views clear through the floor to ceiling windows, a recurring feature of the HUB.
Designers chose a custom powder-coated grey grille for the Mini Canals which allowed the units to blend perfectly into ballroom flooring. Additionally, the selected grilles were an ideal fit for the ballrooms because they prevent high heels from getting stuck during dances and formal events.
For the HUB’s multiple common spaces and study areas, the designers chose Jaga’s Build-In radiators for a way to provide powerful, yet discrete heating. The Build-In’s unique design allowed the developers to place units in the HUB’s walls below windows, further maximizing space efficiencies and allowing student areas to remain open and comfortable. Designers wanted to focus the renovation on student needs and the Build-In allowed them to dedicate more space for student activities.
Since both the Mini-Canal and Build-Ins at the HUB are used in conjunction with a high-efficiency condensing boiler, the entire solution increases energy-efficiency of the building without compromising comfort. Additionally, Jaga’s unique Low-H2O heat exchangers allow the building to maintain a comfortable climate even during temperature fluctuations from weather conditions or large events. Following the renovation, the HUB’s innovative upgrades including the Jaga heating solutions will provide approximately 30 percent in energy savings compared to the original system.
Through Jaga’s climate solutions, the University of Washington helped provide students with a comfortable and environmentally-conscious space to call their HUB.