Sinclair Hall, perhaps better known as Bldg. 1109, has been added to the list of Energy Star approved buildings on Fort Knox.

The prestigious list includes three other buildings"1110, 488, and 6597. The Department of Public Works has a goal of placing 116 buildings on the Energy Star list.

“We went from an old, outdated (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system to a new geothermal system,” explained Jason Volz with Harshaw Trane, the contracted company in charge of installing the geothermal systems.

Sinclair Hall, built in 1934, was considered to be in “sick” condition when Harshaw Trane came to update the heating and cooling system.

“Ever since geothermal (heating and cooling) was installed in building 1109 it’s been doing very well,” said RJ Dyrdek the Fort Knox Energy Program Manager.

“There’s heating, cooling, and fresh air all in the same system,” explained Gary Meredith with the Fort Knox Energy Team. “(The building) can get heating or cooling in any space (during) the summer or winter very efficiently. You can be in a conference room in the dead of winter and it can be hotter than blue blazes in there and you need air conditioning"this new system does that.”

He pointed out that it was possible due to underground heat-pumps that simply move energy around.

“We went from an old system that you could only have heat in the winter, cool in the summer, and there was a specific date that we would switch it over,” said Mr. Volz. “Now we have a better comfort system and a better efficiency system.”

Mr. Volz added that since the renovation there has been a 76 percent reduction in energy consumption for the building.

“This equates to approximately $150,000 in energy savings each year,” he said.
Mr. Volz stressed that even though the geothermal helped greatly reduce energy consumption, the occupants of Bldg. 1109 also contributed by being watchful for signs of energy waste.
Similar buildings in the geographical region were compared and scored. Bldg. 1109 scored an 89 percentile rating, which qualified Sinclair Hall to receive its Energy Star award.

Cutline: Jason Volz, with Harshaw Trane (left), and Ricardo Aguayo, one of building 1109's occupants, held up the Energy Star plaque which will be affixed to the exterior of Sinclair Hall.