Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Receives U.S. Department of Energy Award

The Audubon National Wildlife Refuge has received a 2012 Federal Energy and Water Management Award recognizing the central North Dakota building’s outstanding performance in energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. The building was certified LEED(r) Gold in 2011.

Widseth Smith Nolting, Grand Forks, led the design team as the architect for the project and provided electrical, structural and civil engineering, and land surveying services. Architect Deb Parrott, AIA, LEED(r) AP, of Widseth Smith Nolting managed the LEED(r) administration process, and Fargo-based Martin Mechanical Design, Inc., designed the heating and cooling systems. The project was constructed using a design-build approach with Keplin/Gracon JV leading the team.

Completed in 2010, the $6.1 million visitor center and office facility uses 40% less energy than an average building of similar size and use. Building systems feature a 37-ton hybrid ground-source heat pump system that includes passive solar elements. Domestic hot water is provided by the system with electric back-up. Mechanical ventilation is treated separately by an energy recovery unit that contributes to the energy savings. All electrical and mechanical systems are controlled by a Niagara Tritium energy management system.

“The most successful buildings, in terms of performance and efficiency, strike a balance between building systems and the building itself,” said Parrott. “This latest award is recognition that our entire design team worked together to find that balance for the Audubon Headquarters and Visitor Center.”

The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize outstanding achievements in energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and fleet management within the Federal government. It is a program of the Federal Energy Management Program in conjunction with the Federal Interagency Energy Management Task Force.

Widseth Smith Nolting is a multi-disciplined firm of more than 180 employees providing architectural, engineering, land surveying and environmental services. Its offices are located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Alexandria, Baxter, Bemidji, Crookston, East Grand Forks, Red Wing, and Rochester, Minnesota. For more information, please visit

Speak Your Mind