LEED-ing by example – why are there ducks in my HVAC?   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Energy Efficiency

Ducks in Avista's Mission Campus cooling pond
Some local winged residents spend quite a bit of time in Avista's Mission Campus HVAC cooling pond. We're
happy to have them.

Avista project receives LEED Gold Certification

The HVAC cooling pond

The pond in front of our HQ building isn't just decoration.
It's an important piece of our heating, ventilation and air
conditioning system.
Post by Debbie Simock
If you’re familiar with the Avista headquarters building, you’ve probably seen a few ducks and geese enjoying the landscaping pond in winter. But did you know that the pond isn’t just for looks?

It’s actually a cooling pond for our building’s HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). The water used to heat and cool the building is pumped from a well and pushed through the HVAC system before flowing into the decorative cooling pond. After the unaltered water is cool, it’s released into the Spokane River. The system is efficient, environmentally friendly and was very innovative when it was installed in 1958. In fact, the system is still innovative.

It’s that early innovation along with our continuing focus on energy efficiency and sustainability that have helped Avista receive a coveted LEED Gold Certification for the first phase of a five-year project to replace the 54-year-old HVAC in our headquarters building. We’re also removing asbestos as part of the project and adding other energy-saving measures. It’s important that we do what we encourage our customers to do - reduce energy use.


The building’s new high efficiency HVAC system includes new energy saving technology that, among other benefits, will provide a healthier environment for employees. The system still uses the existing well-water system to cool our building rather than a mechanical system, and that should keep the neighborhood wildlife happy.
Posted by  System Account  on  2/10/2011
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