The first shovels full of dirt were ceremoniously moved in May at the site of the new St. Louis County Government Service Center in Virginia, MN. Once complete, the 63,000-square-foot, $19 million facility will provide an ideal facility for County staff and taxpayers. Gausman & Moore, working with DSGW Architects, provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the project.


The building will incorporate many high performance systems and equipment. This will help achieve near net-zero energy use. One example is the offices at the center of the building will be arranged with a light-filled hallway around the two-story facility. Interior work spaces will have transparent partitions that draw daylight.


Other high performance equipment will include LED lighting with daylighting and occupancy controls, ground coupled heat pump system, variable refrigerant flow system, and dedicated outdoor air system.

Solar renewable energy systems will include daylighting, pre-heated ventilation air, and a 250kw photovoltaic array.


An innovative aspect of the project will be the addition of a transpired solar collector. This system will help heat ventilation air for the building. Based on G&M’s Life Cycle Cost Analysis using manufacturer cost data and energy modeling, it was determined that the solar collector will have great payback.


The groundbreaking ceremony was covered by several news agencies, including the Duluth News Tribune: