Gophers Go Underground

by John Meyer, (M.ASCE), Pres.; Meyer, Borgman & Johnson, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 10, Pg. 76-79

Document Type: Feature article


A major facility, Williamson Hall, was constructed to be almost entirely below grade on the East Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota. Heating and cooling energy requirements will be reduced to one-fourth of those for a similar above-grade building. Solar collectors will supply 50% of heating and cooling energy for the building. Experiments on building heat loss into surrounding soil are being conducted. Building features complex internal framing with reinforced concrete. Varying concrete surface treatments replace conventional finishing materials.

Subject Headings: HVAC | Solar power | Reinforced concrete | Colleges and universities | Soil loss | Concrete frames

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