The renovation of Pfeiffer Hall was completed in January of 2009 with students moving in on January 28th. This renovation has completely replaced all interior finishes, renovated all restroom and shower facilities, added a classroom space to the main floor, added fire sprinklers protection to the entire building and significantly improved heating and ventilation in the building.
The previous heating system at Pfeiffer Hall utilized steam from the central heating plant near Cole Library. The underground pipes feeding that building were direct buried resulting in significant efficiency losses. The new system is a arrangement of interconnected high efficiency hot water boilers located within the building walls. These boilers provided hot water heat by means of new ceiling mounted radiant panels in each room. The heat in each room is controlled individually by means of a wall mount thermostat. These thermostats provide individual variation for each space within two degrees of a building set point. Winter heating ranges vary from 68 to 72 degrees dependent on individual needs with a building default set point of 70 degrees.
Ventilation & heat recovery
Ventilation for the bathrooms at Pfeiffer Hall has been improved via heat recovery ventilation units. These units preheat incoming air by utilizing the outgoing stream of air. In this way 80-90 percent of the heat energy in the air being removed from the restroom space can be reclaimed and returned to the space. These units remove humidity and provide the code required air exchanges for these high use areas in as energy efficient manner as possible.
Material salvaging & reuse
As part of the demolition of Pfeiffer Hall, the Cornell facilities department and project contractors made the decision to reclaim as much of the scrap building materials as possible. Nearly 250,000 pounds of metal and concrete were removed from the building and recycled rather than taking those materials to land fill.