Arizona Building Built in 1986 Undergoes Retrofit, Saving 160,000 KWH Per Year

by | Apr 17, 2018


A 24-story building built in 1986 recently underwent an energy efficiency retrofit, resulting in energy savings of 160,000 KWH per year.

The energy savings gained were attributed to implementing a combination of low cost best practices and equipment replacement projects:

  • Using SMARTPneumatics to complete a major VAV retrocommissioning that included repairs to air leaks in the pneumatic system, re-calibration, and actuators for improved air flow correction. Energy use was reduced by 160,000 KWH per year.
  • Two 50 HP, high efficiency motors were installed for the condensing loop and one VFD was added to a motor.
  • During the main lobby remodel, new 12-watt LED flood lights were installed which replaced 50-100 watt incandescent fixtures.
  • The exterior landscape remodel added 30 10-watt LED fixtures and lamps outside, replacing 50 watt halogens.
  • Timers were installed for all drinking fountains.

Cypress Envirosystems provided SMARTPneumatics reports, which use IoT data from their Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat system to automatically identify how each HVAC zone is performing. All 400 zones in the building were prioritized from the worst to best performing zones, so technicians could focus where it was most important, thus saving maintenance costs.

These on–going, IoT generated reports give the technicians the root cause of any underperformance, so they know exactly what to fix. They can identify several mechanical issues, including: stuck dampers, undersized capacity, oscillation between heating/cooling, pneumatic line leaks, and other issues. The reports are run again after the mechanical work to make sure the problem was fixed. DPC engaged a local mechanical contractor to use the SMARTPneumatics reports to fix the zones and achieve the achieve a high Energy Star rating.

The BOMA Green Building Committee “Kilowatt Krackdown” was awarded to the building since it achieved the highest Energy Star score of 98 in the committee’s competition.

Retrofits in the News

Building retrofits have helped reduce energy usage not only in high-rise commercial buildings, but also in schools. Colorado’s Broomfield Heights Middle School, the first of five schools in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to undergo a deep energy retrofit, is operating more efficiently than projected with annual cost avoidance of $19,000.

Last year, BVSD and McKinstry, a construction engineering company, embarked on a sustainable energy program, aiming to reduce energy usage by half in five district facilities to reach net-zero capability. Net-zero capability is achieved when the amount of energy generated through on-site renewables is equal to or more than the energy consumed by building users. For Broomfield Heights Middle School, it is reached at a rate of 35.0 EUI (Energy Use Intensity).

And in November 2017, JPMorgan Chaseannounced plans to retrofit more than 70% of Detroit branches with LED lights and new building management systems, the Michigan Chronicle reported on Wednesday. These retrofits are paired with a $900,000 investment aimed at supporting sustainable infrastructure projects in the city.

The new retrofits are being done in collaboration with General Electric’s energy-focused startup Current. In 2016, JPMorgan Chase announced a deal with Current on the world’s largest LED lighting installation. It calls for a massive LED installation across 4,500 branches covering millions of square feet. The bank’s goal is to reduce slash greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2005 levels by 2020.



The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.


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