InsideIQ™ Building Automation Alliance Firm Completes Library Re-commissioning Project Yielding Energy Savings, Utility Rebates
Uhl Company Puts Minnesota Library Back on Track to Save Energy
ROSEVILLE, Minn. — June 17, 2015 — The Ramsey County Library in Roseville, Minn, is saving more than $10,000 annually in utility charges as a result of completing a recommissioning of its facility. The library partnered with Uhl Company Inc., a provider of building automation, security systems and energy services, and Xcel Energy, the local utility, on the $13,300 project. Uhl implemented several energy conservation measures in the library that saved energy and qualified the library to earn utility rebates to help cover some of the project’s costs. Based in Maple Grove, Minn., Uhl is a member firm of the InsideIQ™ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors.
Ramsey County Library in Roseville is a 70,000 square foot facility constructed in 1993 with a major addition in 2010 that qualified the building for LEED Gold. In addition to library uses, other building functions include offices, conference rooms and a coffee shop. The building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is controlled by an advanced building automation system (BAS). Ramsey County asked Uhl to conduct a recommissioning study at the Library in 2013. The goal of this study was to review the building’s existing equipment and identify ways to make it run more efficiently and generate cost savings. The study included functional testing of major equipment and the use of analytics to identify seasonal energy conservation opportunities.
Uhl’s Roseville Library recommissioning study identified many energy conservation opportunities (ECOs) in the facility and the County chose to implement most of them. Utility rebates of $7,673 from Xcel Energy helped cover the upfront costs of the project. Once implemented, the ECOs lowered natural gas use 5,038 therms and saved 54,420 kWh in electricity, for a utility cost reduction of $10,518. Overall, savings were five percent more than projected, and the payback period for the library was just over six months.
“Ramsey County implemented the recommissioning along with analytics to help determine best practices in development of a sustainability model for our facilities. This project has proven to us that even in a LEED Certified building less than five years old we still have opportunities to save energy,” said Gary Mrachek, director of building operations for Ramsey County Property Management. “The building manager Julie Neville and her team at the Library played a key role and were engaged throughout the process, learning how to use analytics to manage the facility more efficiently. The analytics continuously evaluate system performance and notifies the team if the system is not performing as optimized during the recommissioning. This actionable information allows the team to move quickly in resolving issues that could affect building operations and increase energy consumption. We see this as a model the Property Management Department will use in all of our facilities going forward.”
“InsideIQ member firms are dedicated to creating the best inside working environments for customers, whether installing a BAS or completing a comprehensive energy saving project,” said Paul Strohm, president of InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “InsideIQ Members, like Uhl Company, offer advanced energy solutions that help customers achieve their conservation goals, such as lowering energy expenses and reducing environmental impacts. Our experts will benchmark a facility’s energy consumption and identify ways to improve its efficiency while keeping building occupants comfortable and productive. InsideIQ firms can implement energy saving upgrades on time and within budget, with minimal disruption to facility operations.”
Energy efficiency enhancements Uhl implemented at the Library in Roseville included air handling unit (AHU) and roof top unit (RTU) run time improvements, demand ventilation adjustments, chiller compressor sequencing, RTU outside air CO2 control and economizer improvements, AHU discharge air and duct pressure resets, AHU economizer improvements, and adjusting library space temperature setpoints. The facility staff uses analytics to continually monitor building performance and is constantly commissioning the building’s operations to keep all systems optimized.
“Commissioning ensures that specific building systems perform interactively according to the design intent and the owner’s operational needs,” said Joseph Ciernia, director of energy services for Uhl Company. “But even if a building was properly commissioned when it was built, changes in use and operations over time typically lead to diminished building performance. Recommissioning is the process of making adjustments so that a building is once again properly calibrated to achieve optimal performance. In our experience, recommissioning consistently saves between five and 25 percent of building energy costs, while improving occupant comfort and operations.”
InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance is an organization comprised of independent commercial building and facility automation companies representing common automation and security system platforms. Our member firms across North America, Europe and Australia share best practices among more than 5,200 employees at over 110 locations. Members specialize in the design and implementation of facilities and process control systems, systems integration, enterprise security systems, facilities maintenance services, energy services, and the representation of other value-added products and services. The largest independent organization of its kind, InsideIQ member companies provide consistent applications, coordination, and support for commercial facility owners. More information is available online at www.insideiq.org.