Climate Innovation Center: Construction Photo Gallery

March 2024: Exterior Insulation and Brick

If we haven’t made it clear yet, the Climate Innovation Center is going to be air tight! That means insulation from the bottom up, including special attention to the exterior elements of the building. We’ve completed insulation on all of the exterior walls of the building, with brick going up to finish the job. In tandem with this progress, the interior continued to take shape with conference rooms and workstations going in.

February 2024: Windows are tested to be airtight 

One goal of our building was to connect the indoors and outdoors through operable windows and a large folding glass door that connects our large conference room to our outdoor terrace. All of the windows at the Climate Innovation Center are high performance and airtight. To make sure our windows were installed to prevent air and water leaks and meet zero energy standards, our building envelope commissioning agent tested a selection of the windows and identify any corrections needed.

January 2024: Solar panels going in

At the core of a zero energy building is meeting all of a building’s power needs with on-site renewable energy. Because the Climate Innovation Center is so energy efficient and all-electric, we are able to utilize rooftop solar and battery storage to power 100% of our building’s energy needs. 

December 2023: Heating and cooling – when done right – is the MVP of a zero energy building

Two important elements of our HVAC system have at last been placed! The Climate Innovation Center will be heated and cooled via a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump system coupled with a highly efficient dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), which will reduce summertime electricity demand by allowing us to turn off compressor–based cooling and provide cooling in an evaporative cooling mode. This is expected to dramatically reduce the electricity needed to provide space cooling.

August 2023: Don’t overlook the importance of choosing the right insulation

Behind the ugly exterior, the spray foam used at the Climate Innovation Center is packed with emissions reducing beauty. 

With spray foam, it’s important to specify products that reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions during the construction process. When deciding on insulation, particularly spray foam insulation, it is imperative to find a product that has both a lower embodied carbon footprint and a low global warming potential (GWP). Most closed cell spray foams on the market today utilize climate damaging HFCs, which can be hundreds or thousands of times more damaging to the climate than CO2 (see pg. 16 of this report). Instead of using a standard spray foam material, Utah Clean Energy chose a spray foam product that uses hydrofluoroolefins (or “HFO”) called HEATLOK HFO Pro, which has a GWP of 1, a dramatic reduction compared to HFCs.

July 2023: The many carbon reducing benefits of mass timber and wood framing

Compared to other materials, the manufacturing, transportation, and resource extraction of wood materials emits less carbon pollution than their steel and concrete counterparts.  At the Climate Innovation Center, we are maximizing mass timber and wood framing. We installed FSC-certified structural wood components including glulam beams and cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels for the roof, which keep carbon sequestered over the building’s lifetime.

April 2023: The adventure begins: Demo

It was important to renovate an existing building versus starting from scratch because renovating avoids new embodied carbon emissions from across the lifecycle of materials and products used in new construction. During the demolition phase, we made a point to preserve as much of the structure as possible.

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