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University Happenings - January 2023

USU Moab Campus Bestowed Pair of Awards
by Marcus Jensen, News Coordinator USU

The newly opened Utah State University Moab academic building is now an award-winning structure. USU Moab’s campus has been awarded the 2022 Green Building Award of Excellence from the Associated General Contractors of Utah, as well as the Utah Construction & Design Magazine Green/Sustainable Award as part of the magazine’s 2022 Most Outstanding Projects.

The UC&D Magazine award was given at the magazine’s 8th annual Most Outstanding Projects Awards Breakfast, held Dec. 13, 2022. The Green Building Award of Excellence will be given to USU Moab at the AGC’s annual awards breakfast, on Jan. 19, 2023.

“This newly opened academic building was built with sustainability and learning in mind, and we could not be prouder to receive these awards,” said Lianna Etchberger, associate vice president for USU Moab. “We look forward to the many students who will utilize and enjoy this incredible campus ambiance for years to come.”

UC&D Magazine is a leading voice for the Architectural Engineering and Construction in Utah. The magazine is a leading publication for architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, public and private owners, and real estate developers in the state.

The AGC of Utah is the state’s leading professional association for the commercial construction industry, representing over 550-member firms. The organization is dedicated to improving the construction industry by: educating the industry to employ the finest skills, promoting use of the latest technology, and advocating building the best quality projects for owners.

“As a construction project manager, working on a facility that will foster the next generation of skilled tradespeople throughout Moab and the surrounding region was exciting,” said JD Forbush, vice president, project director, and project manager for Hogan & Associates Construction on the USU Moab Academic Building. “We were eager to provide USU Moab with a building that includes construction fabrication, welding and other technical spaces.”

The Moab academic building is a sustainably designed structure, built to harness solar energy as well as using ground sources for both heating and cooling. Because of this design, the building is estimated to provide 105% of the power that will be consumed annually. This makes the campus USU’s first net-zero building and one of the greenest buildings on any USU campus.

“USU Moab will set a new standard not just for Utah State but also for construction,” said Ross Cox, estimating manager with Hogan & Associates Construction. “If you can achieve net-zero in Moab, in a remote area, you can do it anywhere. Construction, in general, can achieve it with the right approach and the right amount of funds.”

The building’s design will prevent an estimated 196 metric tons of CO2 emissions from being released each year. That is the equivalent of more than 22,000 gallons of consumed gasoline or 216,000 pounds of burned coal. Other features of the campus include solar array parking canopies, PCV-free interior finishes and natural material construction. The building also has water conservation measures including rain harvesting for native plant gardens and low-flow, water-sense fixtures throughout. These features, which are all designed to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint, are targeted for the campus design receiving a silver-level LEED certification.

MHTN Architects, the architecture firm who helped design the building was also pleased to see the building receive recognition.

“MHTN is grateful for the opportunity to work with Utah State University Moab and Hogan Construction on such an aspirational project; to set a new standard for sustainable design and construction in a remote corner of Utah,” the firm said in a statement. “A big driving factor for the design was to make it feel integrated and embedded in the landscape and its community. The project receiving this award is a reflection of the tireless commitment required by all involved to successfully achieve these goals.”

Located in the outdoor recreation paradise of Moab and boasting one of the greenest buildings on any USU campus, Utah State University Moab offers students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university. With programs such as Nursing, Elementary Education, Recreation Resource Management and Social Work, technical education in Health Professions, Automotive and Business, and degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, USU Moab offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at

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