Facility Maintenance Decisions

HVAC Retrofits Generate Significant Energy Savings

The one project that best personifies the shift in Stanford’s focus on energy efficiency is Stauffer 1, which wrapped up in June 2007 and was the first project completed in the Capital Retrofits Program. The 28,000-square-foot facility was the first addressed under the program — due to its smaller size — and the savings have been better than expected. Some of the major retrofits at Stauffer 1 include:

• using calibrated valves to achieve variable-air-volume (VAV) fume exhaust

• upgrading direct digital controls (DDC), which allowed for tighter temperature management

• using occupancy sensors at fume hoods

• reducing stack diameters

• resetting static pressure by demand

• resetting supply-air temperature by demand

• specifying variable-speed drives.

“In the case of Stauffer 1, because it is a chemistry lab, it’s once-through ventilation,” says Wheeler, who manages the facility. “We’re just trying to do it smarter. Instead of having a constant-volume system that just runs and tempers the air and then discharges that tempered air out of the building as part of the once-through process, (we asked) ‘Can we minimize the air flows?’ (We were) looking at making sure we have our required number of air changes and that the fume hoods are satisfied with their exhaust, but really not going over that.”

The savings generated by the Stauffer 1 retrofits have surpassed expectations. The project, which cost about $1 million, has resulted in a 35 percent drop in electricity use, a 43 percent cut in steam use, and a 62 percent reduction in chilled-water use.

“You try to build on leveraging that success, and then you apply lessons learned,” Gould says. “We’re still learning. Hopefully, with each one we do, we get better.”

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  posted on 12/1/2008   Article Use Policy