Folliard Alumni Center Recognized with Melbourne Clean Energy Award

Florida Tech’s Folliard Alumni Center was recognized by the City of Melbourne Beautification and Energy Efficiency Board (BEEB) with its Clean Energy Award at the March 22 City Council meeting.

The BEEB created the award to encourage and publicly celebrate those in the Melbourne community who adopt efficient, sustainable and resilient technologies. Its inaugural recipient was Mark Pieloch and his American Muscle Car Museum.

The Alumni Center was originally built in 1961. In 2020, it was remodeled as a zero-energy building. It incorporates key provisions of a LEED-certified project, including an energy efficient envelope, efficient HVAC system and LED lighting, advanced building controls, solar power, EV charging stations and native plant landscaping.

“The BEEB awarded Florida Tech the Clean Energy Award because we are pushing the envelope and setting the example of sustainability so that buildings can support themselves and reduce their burden on natural resources,” said Brian Leslie, the university’s vice president of facilities operations. “I was honored to accept this award on behalf of Florida Tech.”

Florida Tech’s Folliard Alumni Center was recently recognized with the Clean Energy Award from the City of Melbourne and its Beautification and Energy Efficiency Board (BEEB). From left: Kimberly Newton, U.S. Green Building Council/Brevard chair; Bruce Lindsay, BEEB member; Dr. Randall Parkinson, BEEB chair; Brian Leslie, Florida Tech vice president of facilities operations; Mayor Paul Alfrey; and Dr. Hamidreza Najafi, Florida Tech professor of mechanical and civil engineering.

The faculty research team that led the Alumni Center project features Troy Nguyen, Ph.D., the principal investigator, and Hamid Najafi, Ph.D., a co-principal investigator, both in mechanical and civil engineering; and co-principal investigator Aldo Fabregas, Ph.D., in systems engineering. James Aulicino served a key role as project manager for facilities operations.

The Alumni Center is intended to welcome returning alumni and others and to reinforce the university’s commitment to sustainability. It is also used by engineering and sustainability student programs as a living laboratory.

Randall Parkinson, Ph.D., chair of the BEEB, called the Alumni Center “an amazing zero-energy building.”

He added, “The nomination as the second recipient of the City of Melbourne’s Clean Energy Award was evaluated for technical merit by four independent reviewers. All submitted strong letters of recommendation. We applaud the Florida Institute of Technology’s commitment to sustainability.”

The independent reviewers were four local professional organizations: the Association of Energy Engineers; the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers; the U.S. Green Building Council; and Drive Electric Florida. After the review, the BEEB voted unanimously to present the award to the Folliard Alumni Center. 

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