The Times, They Are A-Greening: Three Case Studies in Sustainability
We reported recently on the massive retrofitting project that has been launched to green the Empire State Building (“Retro-Greening on a Grand Scale: Big News for the Empire State Building,” Just Venting, April 7).
The symbolic power of making that particular building into an example of greenness in action can’t be overstated. But of course it’s just one example of the effects of the green wave that’s sweeping across the landscape.
Here are three more examples of greening in action, with the HVAC parts called out for your special consideration.
Greening the College of William and Mary
At the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, retrofits are springing up all over campus. The college reports in “New campus sustainability projects announced” (April 15) that
The William & Mary Committee on Sustainability (COS) has approved funding for 14 new projects, including efforts to improve energy efficiency and performance of existing facilities and a series of pilot studies and educational outreach programs.
These projects will be funded via a student “green fee.”
A couple that might interest our readers are as follows:
- Tyler Hall HVAC ($27,000): HVAC replacement will improve energy efficiency, yielding a projected payback of 5.3 years and continued savings thereafter with a lowered carbon footprint.
- Washington Hall HVAC Phase I ($23,000): Installation of variable speed drives on supply fans will improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and produce annual savings of $7,600.
The largest geothermal HVAC system in Alberta
In Alberta, Canada, the 65,000 square foot Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers building opened last fall and features the province’s largest geothermal HVAC system (“Council of Carpenters’ building offers case study in geothermal technology,” Journal of Commerce, April 1).
The system combines a geothermal field with a gas fired boiler. The geothermal field provides the building with 70 per cent of its peak and 90 per cent of its seasonal heating, as well as 100 per cent of the peak and seasonal cooling requirements. Ventilation is performed through heat recovery ventilators.
If you click to read the full article about it, you’ll find lots of specific info about the system, including a discussion of the 110 vertical boreholes that bring geothermal heat into the building, the uses of the boiler, and the fact that although in the beginning the project managers thought the system would “cost about 20 per cent more than conventional heating and cooling,” in fact it is currently generating a winter heating bill of “about $4,500 per month, about half the cost of conventional heating systems.”
Saving $35,000 in five months at the Mineta San Jose International Airport
At the Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose, California, a $1 billion-plus expansion project isn’t even finished yet, but efforts to green the airport are already racking up big energy and money savings.
GreenBiz reports (“Green Flies High at California Airport,” April 10) that
Deployment of high-performance energy efficiency software to manage the airport’s HVAC system, coupled with an addition and an upgrade to the facility’s array of chillers, have yielded more than $35,000 in savings from utility costs in the first five months of operation.
The measures have also saved 235,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and reduced the carbon footprint for the facility by almost 300,000 pounds of CO2 during the same period, according to Optimum Energy, the provider of the software solution, and the airport.
GreenBiz also provides excellent and very specific info on the chiller upgrades:
The work on the chiller system, overseen by the WSP Flack + Kurtz engineering services firm, included adding a new 1,100-ton chiller unit at the facility’s central plant and upgrading two 450-ton chillers by installing variable frequency drives and readjusting air handling units.
The OptimumLOOP efficiency management software was put in place after the upgrades were complete. Since system has been online, the chiller plant has reduced its average kW/ton from 1.23 kW/ton to 0.65 kW/ton, a 47 percent reduction.
Your Next HVAC Purchase?
Click to activate a 10% coupon or insert the coupon code 10PERCENT upon checkout.