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Saint Xavier University’s Rubloff Hall receives 2006 ASHRAE Award

Student residence hall earns Excellence in Engineering Award

Chicago (April 12, 2007) – The Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc. presented Saint Xavier University and Environmental Design Systems with a 2006 Excellence in Engineering Award for the design of Saint Xavier’s newest student residence facility, Arthur Rubloff Hall. The annual awards recognize achievements in the design of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and retrofits.  

Dedicated in October, Rubloff Hall is Chicago’s first residence hall using the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design “green building” approach. The University is currently seeking a LEED Gold designation for Rubloff Hall. To receive the prestigious “green building” designation, the University must demonstrate that a number of sustainable strategies that protect the Earth’s natural resources were incorporated in construction of the building.

“This ASHRAE Excellence in Engineering Award is welcome recognition of a new building construction philosophy based on real sustainability,” said Paul Matthews, assistant vice president of facilities management at Saint Xavier. “We are delighted to be the first Chicago university to build a residence hall with these cutting-edge standards.” 

The Illinois Chapter awards have recognized outstanding engineering performance for more than 30 years, beginning during the country’s first energy crisis in the early 1970s. Submittals are reviewed and judged by a panel of design experts based on criteria such as renewable resource utilization, energy and environmental conservation, economic analysis, and overall excellence. Rubloff will now be submitted for a regional ASHRAE award. 

The energy-efficient 88-bed residence hall increases students’ awareness of environmental issues and encourages a collective mindset to make the preservation of our planet a greater priority. Amenities include carpeting made of recycled plastics, a roof with 1,000 square feet of low-maintenance plants for heating and cooling retention, and toilets with two flush modes – one for liquids and one for solids. The building’s environmentally friendly design earned it a $90,400 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. 

“Green building” projects incorporate water and energy efficiency, using recycled and rapidly renewable materials, and maximizing the quality of the indoor environment. Rubloff Hall’s ventilation system improves indoor air quality and helps reduce the spread of germs; and a carbon dioxide detection system can tell if a room is occupied and adjusts airflow accordingly.


Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.