A custom-designed Hurst Boiler 600 BHP Biomass-Waste-Fuel Boiler/Gasifier installed as part of the University of Iowa Green Energy Initiative helped the university win an award from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

A custom-designed Hurst Boiler 600 BHP Biomass-Waste-Fuel Boiler/Gasifier was installed on the University of Iowa campus as part of the university's Green Energy Initiative. Photo credit: Hurst Boiler


A custom-designed Hurst Boiler 600 BHP Biomass-Waste-Fuel Boiler/Gasifier installed as part of the University of Iowa Green Energy Initiative helped the university win an award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa’s 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards competition. The goal of the UI’s Green Energy Initiative is to have 40% of the university’s energy needs met with renewable resources by the end of 2020. The Hurst biomass boiler replaced the campus’s natural-gas boiler. Because the project was a retrofit, Hurst had to custom design the biomass boiler solution to fit into an existing structure.

The Hurst Boiler biomass boiler solution is able to combust hundreds of different fuels, allowing the University of Iowa campus to burn local fuels, such as wood chips and oat hulls, while keeping fossil fuels in place for backup. The system is controlled with the Hurst BIOMASS-TER, an intuitive dashboard-driven control and monitoring system for boiler and peripheral equipment.

The project was completed in 2011 under the leadership of the architectural and engineering firm Shive-Hattery, working with Global Energy Solutions (representing Hurst Boiler) and Ferman Milster, associate director of utilities and energy management, University of Iowa.

Shive-Hattery was recognized for this project by the American Council of Engineering Companies as the 2013 winner of the Grand Place Award in the Energy Production category. The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards are designed to recognize outstanding projects that exhibit innovation, technical advancement to the engineering profession, complexity, social and economic considerations, and the ability to meet or exceed the needs of the client.