Lakeview Health Center

West Salem, WI

Incentive: $69,820

Utility: Xcel Energy

Program: Design Assistance Program


Photo credit: T-BO Studio

Design Assistance began working with La Crosse County and its design team in 2014 for this 82,875 SF nursing home in West Salem. This team was committed to energy efficiency from the start, planning for a highly efficient HVAC system that uses well water to cool the chiller condensers and has total energy recovery wheels on the air handlers. Through a cooperative, responsive design approach, the Design Assistance team evaluated numerous energy conservation measures for the County.

Additional strategies analyzed through Design Assistance included improving the wall and roof insulation and glazing properties. As the analysis showed greater impact for increasing the roof insulation vs. wall insulation for this one-story facility, the team implemented R-60 insulation in the roof instead of the R-49 they had initially planned. Analysis also showed that improving the window characteristics had quick paybacks, especially for reducing the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Thus, the team ended up implementing glazing with a lower SHGC rather  than the clear glazing they had originally selected. Also, the initial design included a combination of fluorescent and LED fixtures for the building. The energy cost savings and incentive projected for reducing the installed wattage influenced the team to choose an alternate lighting design  that had a higher proportion of LED fixtures.

County stakeholders implemented the following strategies in the constructed facility:

  • Improved roof and wall R-value assemblies
  • Reduced solar heat gain coefficient and lower U factor of glazing
  • Daylighting controls in common areas
  • Occupancy sensors in common and service areas
  • Lighting controls
  • Overall reduction in lighting power density, including exterior lighting
  • Water-cooled chiller increased efficiency
  • Demand control ventilation
  • Total heat recovery in select areas
  • 95 % efficient service water heating
  • Condensing gas boiler at 95% efficiency

The entire team navigated the governmental approval process with dedication and enthusiasm, which ultimately resulted in a simple payback of just 3.6 years for the County. Overall, lighting power density of the facility was reduced by 22% compared to the baseline allowance, an especially significant achievement for a senior living facility since elderly occupants require higher illuminance levels than the general population.

“Working with the Focus on Energy Design Assistance Team on the front end of this project was great. It helped the County staff and designers make informed decisions on what to include in the design and as alternates. In the past, we would have had a lot more alternates for energy saving strategies. Their assistance was greatly appreciated. I would not hesitate using the same process on future projects.” — James Speropulos, Facilities Director