Ames, IA

Case Study: Iowa State University

To condition the entire facility we projected a $3.2 million cost; with Big Ass Fans we achieved substantial savings by offsetting these mechanical costs with a large volume of air circulation. Chuck Heldenbrand, Henneman Engineering Consultants

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Built in 1990, the 236,000-sq-ft (21,925-sq-m) Lied Recreation Athletic Center at Iowa State University (ISU) needed an upgrade. During the ambitious renovation project, engineers and designers sought a solution to improve comfort. The center was notoriously hot and stuffy – extreme temperatures often forced the cancelation of exercise classes. Air conditioning was available in select areas, but additional cooling units and ductwork for the whole facility would cost millions. Henneman Engineering Consultants, recommended an energy-efficient alternative to mechanical cooling.


Lied Recreation Athletic Center installed a dozen 6-ft (1.8-m) directional Pivot fans, as well as 10 overhead Big Ass Fans® ranging in size from 20 to 24 feet (6 to 7.3 meters) in diameter. Air movement from the fans offsets high summer temperatures and enhances the comfort of those using the facility. According to Henneman Engineering, Iowa State countered the need for 500 tons of added cooling capacity with the installation of Big Ass Fans. The fans will provide long term savings as well – they cost just pennies per hour to operate, providing much lower energy costs than traditional air conditioning.

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