Stearns County West Side Service Center

Waite Park, MN (1738)

The Stearns County Service Center is a multi-use facility that includes a conference/training center, a license center, human services, assessor, auditor/treasurer and other county services. GLTArchitects completed the original 50,000 sf service center in 2009. This new addition to the facility nearly doubles the building to 96,000 sf.

This facility is located on property adjoining an existing County park along the Sauk River. The site was planned in such a way as to minimize the impact on the park and adjacent river as well as to enhance the accessibility and visibility of the park land. All run-off generated on the site is directed either to infiltration basins or rain gardens. In addition, surface water draining through the site from adjacent property is filtered prior to entering the river system.

An all-electric, geo-thermal heat pump system is the primary heating and cooling system for the building. Due to the high water table at the site and the high conductivity characteristics of the soil, a horizontal “slinky” field was used in lieu of a vertical well field. This reduced the projected payback for the system to less than three years. A heat recovery system recovers heat from exhausted air to condition incoming make-up air.

Phase II included a 164 KW rooftop solar array. Daylighting was another primary strategy for energy savings. The building is stretched along the east-west axis to maximize solar exposure for daylighting and passive solar gain. Open office workstations were planned along the exterior walls, and light shelves permit natural light to extend into the building interior. Lighting systems are tied to sensors to dim or turn off the artificial lighting when not needed. High efficiency indirect and direct lighting is used throughout the building.