The case for the commissioning of air barriers in buildings becomes more compelling every day. The building energy consumers: heating and cooling equipment, lighting and appliances have benefitted from huge technological improvements that squeeze mor... [Read More]
High Performance Building Performance Consulting 2015 Project Highlights
Park Seneca Building – Charlotte, NC
HPBS performed an ASHRAE Level II energy assessment audit as part of a pre-purchase needs assessment for this 110,000 square foot, 10 story building constructed in 1968. The assessment audit found identified that few south south-facing windows had a tinted window film installed to reduce solar heat gain. The window frames were in acceptablesatisfactory condition but the operable windows’ were missing weather-stripping required replacement. The HVAC system for the building was found to be obsolete; however, replacement would require a major cost prohibitive major renovation of the building. Recommended energy conservation measures that would not require major renovation included: lighting retrofits and occupancy sensors, air sealing and window film installation. Computer modeling demonstrated that implementation of these recommendations would realize achieve a 29% reduction in annual energy usage.
4601 Park Road – Charlotte, NC
HPBS performed an ASHRAE Level II energy audit for this 119,086 square foot, 6 story building originally constructed in 1971. This building received minimal improvements other than equipment replacement upon failure. Recommended energy conservation measures included: lighting retrofits and occupancy sensors, air sealing and window film installation. Computer modeling demonstrated that implementation of these recommendations would achieve a 30% reduction in annual energy usage.
City of Charlotte Commercial Retrofit Program – Charlotte, NC
The City of Charlotte contracted with High Performance Building Solutions to conduct post-retrofit Energy Assessment Services for 25 projects that received grant funding through the City of Charlotte’s Commercial Building Retrofit Program which was sponsored by the US DOE. The purpose of the energy assessments were to assess the energy saving measures and to document the energy saving outcome for each project. The 25 audits included 12 multi-family projects and 13 commercial building projects. The 13 commercial projects ranged in size from 3,300 square feet to 91,000 square feet and included warehouse space, retail space, commercial office space, manufacturing space, restaurants and medical offices. Each of the 25 projects received a preliminary review, an energy audit with computer energy modeling (DOE approved hourly simulation software) of the energy conservation measures to estimate the energy savings.
United Church of Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, NC
The United Church of Chapel Hill contracted with High Performance Building Solutions to conduct an energy assessment to assist with the church’s efforts to be good stewards of natural resources and to help reduce the risks from climate change. The church was originally completed in 2000 and includes a 6,600 square foot sanctuary and a 10,000 square foot addition for classroom space. The focus of the United Church of Chapel Hill energy assessment was to identify energy conservation measures (both low-cost and capital improvements) that the church could review and budget for in the following years. Prior to arriving onsite for the field assessment, HPBS reviewed historic utility data to gain a better understanding of the building’s seasonal operations and the building energy consumption profile. Historic utility data revealed that the energy cost due to demand usage and charges were minimal, and the focus of the energy audit should be for reducing the overall energy base load. Recommended energy conservation measures included: adjusting ERV/Outdoor air damper controls, controlling exhaust fan operation based on CO2 levels, adjusting the heating set point for occupied and unoccupied hours, replacing T-8 lamps with LED tubes and conducting blower door directed air sealing to reduce uncontrolled infiltration loads on the HVAC system.
North Carolina Nurses Association – Raleigh, NC
The North Carolina Nurses Association contracted with High Performance Building Solutions to conduct an energy assessment to identify energy efficiency improvements for their 6,900 square foot office building. The focus of the North Carolina Nurses Associated audit was low-cost and no-cost improvements because the client is not planning to remain in the building long term. Prior to arriving onsite for the field assessment HPBS reviewed historic utility data to gain a better understanding of the consumption profile. Historic utility data revealed excessive winter energy consumption which was further investigated onsite to reveal newer air conditioning units with only electric coils for heating. Energy conservation measures for low-cost and no-cost improvements included adjusting the programmable thermostat schedule, using energy conservation modes for computer equipment, conducting blower door directed air sealing to reduce the infiltration load on the HVAC system, replacing the degrading gaskets in the single pane storefront system and replacing weather-stripping on the exterior doors. Capital improvements were also identified.
Smith Street Station – Charleston, WV
HPBS was contacted by the RCCR to perform an energy assessment of the Smith Street Station apartments. The apartment building consists of 30 apartments; including 27 studio apartments, 2 double occupancy apartments, a manager’s apartment and common areas. The building was originally constructed in 1990 and has minimal upgrades other than equipment replacement upon failure since then. Recommended energy conservation measures included: lighting retrofits, replacing packaged terminal air conditioning units with electric strip heat with packaged terminal heat pump units, air sealing, window replacement and upgrading to more efficient water heaters. If all the recommended energy conservation measures are implemented Smith Street Station is estimated to see a 27% reduction in electricity usage.
Surplus Sid's – Carboro, NC
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment for Surplus Sid's as part of the Town of Carrboro's Commercial Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund (EERLF); the program requires the applicants to reduce the building’s energy consumption by a minimum of 15%. The scope of work provided by HPBS includes a pre-screen, on-site assessment and a detailed report.
The on-site assessment inventoried the current equipment, occupancy practices and developed a list of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). The original ECMs included window replacement, blower door directed air sealing, HVAC replacement, roof replacement and lighting retrofit. The client was approved for a loan amount that did not allow for the implementation of all the ECMs so the scope was reduced to roof replacement, HVAC replacement and blower door directed air sealing. The predicted energy savings from the implemented ECMs is 27% annual reduction.
MTNT, Ltd. – McGrath, AK
Renewable energy feasibility study
HPBS performed a feasibility study for the town of McGrath, Alaska to evaluate options for replacing an aging and inefficient diesel generator plant. A number of alternative power options were evaluated using HOMER, a renewable energy optimization computer model. HOMER performs hourly calculations of electricity demand. The software is designed to find the least cost combination of components to meet electrical loads. The results determined the most cost effective solution is to add a 100kWatt photovoltaic array, 100 batteries and a smaller generator to the planned energy plant improvements.
Henderson County Schools – Henderson County, NC
ENERGY STAR Verification
HPBS provided the verification required for the EPA's ENERGY STAR program for 20 buildings in the Henderson County School District's portfolio. An ENERGY STAR certified facility meets strict energy performance standards set by the EPA, uses less energy and is less expensive to operate. All buildings certified score a 75 or greater according to Portfolio Manager, which means the buildings are in the top 25% of energy efficient buildings. The 20 buildings verified included High Schools, Middle Schools, Elementary Schools and the school district's IT and computer training center.
Oak Hill Apartments – Davidson, NC
HPBS performed an energy assessment of the 72-unit Oak Hill Apartment complex in Davidson County, North Carolina. HPBS followed the Multi-Family Audit and Substantial Rehab, Energy and Water Audit protocol scope provided by the client. On-site energy assessment was followed by a computer analysis of energy conservation measures to arrive at a series of upgrade packages of savings.
Adopting energy conservation measures recommended by HPBS were projected to reduce energy consumption over functional existing conditions by 52%, and reduced energy use by an additional 12% beyond the levels attained by adopting only specified rehabilitation plans recommended by HUD. HPBS provided an analysis report that identified the savings, costs, carbon reduction, and simple payback for each upgrade package.
Carolinas IT – Raleigh, NC
HPBS was contracted by Carolinas IT to perform an Energy Grade Assessment of the facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carolinas IT was interested in applying for the Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP) through the North Carolina State Energy Office.
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment which inventoried all current equipment, schedules and operating practices. Energy modeling was performed using eQUEST to calculate the energy saving potential of each recommended energy conservation measure. ECMs recommended to the client included window replacement, roof replacement, blower door directed air sealing and HVAC change out. Recommendations included moisture management and indoor air quality as well because of other building concerns.
Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, CA
HPBS Staff conducted an energy assessment for the facilities at Alcatraz Island as contract staff to the Louis Berger Group. The goal of the assessment was to evaluate opportunities to save energy by evaluating energy consuming equipment, operation and maintenance practices in advance of planning for a significant renewable energy investment.
The island is currently powered by generators; the only energy billing is the fuel oil delivery history supplied to the island by boat. Currently the generator is oversized and cannot be operated at part load conditions without damaging the engine; a key recommendation is to replace the oversized generator with several modular generators that can be staged on as demand requires and that will operate more efficiently.
Randolph Arts Guild – Asheboro, NC
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment for the Randolph Arts Guild to reduce the building’s overall energy consumption and to serve as a good steward for the environment. Recommended measures included lighting retrofits, HVAC replacement, roof replacement, window sealing and gutter replacement.
Roof and gutter replacement was recommended to direct water away from the building and prolong the life of the structure. The pilot light for the gas furnaces were left on year round; simply turning off the pilot light during the summer months is predicted to reduce the yearly natural gas bill by $223. If all of the recommended measures are implemented the building is predict to have a 23% reduction in annual energy costs. Energy modeling was performed using eQUEST to predict the energy savings for each measure. Initial cost estimates were provided and the final report ranked the recommended measures by most cost effective and necessary to support the goals of the Randolph Arts Guild.
Affordable Housing Group of NC – Asheboro, NC
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment for the Affordable Housing Group of North Carolina on a property they were looking to purchase and renovate for affordable housing. The proposed space had been previously used as a nursing home facility and because the usage of the building was going to change the previous utility data did not give the Affordable Housing Group a good estimate of the utility costs they could expect to see. A baseline energy model of the Hawthorne project was created using the existing conditions with the expected occupancy usage for a residential building to predict the utility costs that the Affordable Housing Group could expect to see.
Once the predicted energy usage for the change in occupancy was determined Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) where analyzed for the most cost effective was to reduce the energy costs. ECMs analyzed include switching from incandescent lights to CFLs, switching from T12 to T8 fixtures, roof replacements, window replacement, boiler replacement, chiller replacement and water heater replacement. With all the ECMs implemented the Hawthorne project is expected to see a 14.8% reduction in energy costs from the predicted energy costs. The project is expected to see a 32.6% reduction in water usage by switching to low-flow fixtures throughout the building.
White Rock Gardens – Asheboro, NC
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment for the White Rock Garden Apartments prior to renovation on the facility being conducted. The Energy Assessment provided the ground work and recommendations for the most cost effective ECMs to be implemented during the renovation. Recommendations included changing incandescent lights to CFLs, duct sealing, adding attic insulation, window replacement, water heater replacement, blower door directed air sealing, ENERGY STAR appliances, higher efficiency furnaces and improved ventilation strategies.
The recommended ECMs are predicted to reduce the annual energy costs per apartment unit by 45% per year. The electric consumption will be reduced by approximately 60% per unit and the natural gas consumption will be reduced by approximately 59% per unit annually. The energy optimization software BEopt was used to conduct the energy modeling.
Thompson Place Apartments – Charlotte, NC
HPBS conducted an Energy Assessment for the Thompson Place Apartments in the revitalization corridor of Charlotte to assist with applying for grant funding. The apartment complex consists of 65 units with four different floor plans. The complex was originally constructed in the early 1970’s and has had minimal upgrades since then. The recommended ECMs were divided into two phases. Phase 1 was the recommendations that financial constraints would allow to be implemented now. Phase 2 was recommendations that could be made at a later date when more funding was available.
Phase 1 recommendations include switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs, adding additional attic insulation, blower door directed air sealing and window replacement. The predicted energy savings from Phase 1 recommendations will provide 25.8% savings for the complex. Phase 2 recommendations include changing from electric base boards heat with window air conditioning units to at heat pump system, upgrading to high efficiency water heaters and installing ENERGY STAR refrigerators. The predicted energy savings from Phase 2 recommendations will provide 25.5% savings for the complex. The overall energy savings for implementing both Phase 1 and 2 recommendations will result in 39% savings for the complex.