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Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - DTE Energy rewards OU for efficient design of Human Health Building

In recognition of energy efficient building design incorporated into the Human Health Building (HHB) completed this fall on the campus of Oakland University, DTE Energy recently provided the university with a rebate check totaling nearly $131,000.

The reimbursement comes as part of DTE Energy's New Construction Energy Efficiency Program for Business, which lauded the HHB's integrated system approach to incorporating energy efficiency. Plans included a full geothermal heat pump system coupled with a variable refrigerant flow heat pump system, installation of dedicated outdoor air units utilizing heat recovery, and a desiccant humidification system activated by a solar array.

It is anticipated that the HHB will realize annual energy savings of more than 50 percent over a conventional building of its size and design.

"This rebate certainly is testimony that Oakland University is doing its part to reduce energy consumption in Michigan and to help Michigan's environment," said Terry Stollsteimer, Oakland's associate vice president for facilities management.

He complimented the mechanical and energy teams of the Detroit-based architecture firm SmithGroup JJR and of Oakland University for outstanding work that helped achieve the university's energy efficiency goals for the HHB.

"These systems came about by people thinking outside the box, having the drive to ensure that cutting-edge technology will work, and being dedicated to completion," Stollsteimer added.

Hope Allen, DTE Energy's principal program advisor for the Energy Efficiency Program for Business, also praised the project. "The HHB is a great example of a customer installing energy efficiency equipment and being paid to save on their utility bills," she said.

The HHB, now in use as a state-of-the-art academic building and home of OU's School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences, is a 172,000-square foot, $64.4 million facility that features classrooms, seminar rooms, an interactive media center, physical therapy clinics and clinical, computer, simulation and distance learning labs.