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Case Studies: Luther College Center for the Arts


Luther College Center for the Arts – Decorah, Iowa

Two-level, 60,000-square-foot building for the college’s art and theater/dance departments.

Geothermal heat pump system:

248-ton system with 52 two-speed units ranging from one to 15 tons. Designed and installed by Casper Plumbing and Heating of Decorah, Iowa.

Geothermal loop system:

86 wells at 300 feet deep. Installed by Enviro-Tec of Cresco, Iowa.

Alliant Energy conservation incentives:


Project overview

In April 2003, Luther College dedicated its new Center for the Arts, a 60,000 building showcasing the colleges art and theater/dance departments.

Working with Alliant Energy account manager Steve Shupp, the college chose a high-efficiency geothermal energy system to heat and cool the Center.

The building also uses a state-of-the-art Energy Management Control System, special humidity controls and sound dampening technology.

Luther College’s Baker Village student housing complex also uses a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Project benefits

While the geothermal system was initially more expensive to install, college administrator expect the added investment to be paid back in energy savings in less than five years.


“While it was a challenge to accommodate the concerns of everyone on the design/build team, it was well worth the effort in the end,” said Diane Tacke, the college’s vice president for finance and administration.


Opus Architects & Engineers – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Geothermal design and installation:

Casper Plumbing and Heating – Decorah, Iowa

Loop installation:

Enviro-Tec - Cresco, Iowa

Photos (courtesy Luther College)

AtriumJewel Theater