Christman Earns NAIOP’s Project of the Year Award

Christman Earns NAIOP’s Project of the Year Award

Together, energizing Western Carolina University

The Christman Company has been awarded the NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s) project of the year. This recognition is for the Western Carolina University Energy Production Facility located in Cullowhee, NC.

The updated facility is a two-story, 17,000 square foot building housing modern boilers and related equipment, along with a single-story, 1,200 square foot annex that includes the control room, restrooms and offices. Situated on the upper section of the main campus, these buildings replace a portion of the pre-existing steam plant that had been in service for decades.

The project is one of the most architecturally focused steam plants in the country. Normally constructed from masonry, brick or block, this steam plant features insulated metal panels and several elevations of glass and aluminum curtainwall. The team overcame the difficulty of building on the side of a mountain, on an active university campus, by coordinating material deliveries and subcontractor access. Other project solutions included a specialized exhaust stack with its unique spiral design reducing the impact of wind-load.

“The facility has a rich history at Western Carolina,” said Chris Brummel, vice president and general manager of Christman’s Greensboro operations. “We were excited to provide increased efficiency and state-of-the-art technology for heat and hot water to a plant that began servicing campus in the 1920s.” Beginning with coal, the plant moved to oil, then to natural gas fuel. Before this project, the newest, still-running boiler was installed in 1973. “This new facility provides efficient heat and hot water to campus while being cost effective. These were primary goals for WCU,” said Brummel. “It’s an honor to be recognized by NAIOP for such an important project.” Beyond its efficiency, the upgraded facility provides redundant systems to maintain critical heat and hot water to the university.

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