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In his 17 years managing operations at Butler University, Mike Gardner never has shied away from a difficult project, and he understands the value of proper planning to ensure a successful outcome.
This approach explains why Gardner made sure a 1995 audit of the university’s facilities didn’t stop at assessing space utilization in the 20 buildings on Butler’s 290-acre campus in Indianapolis. At the time of the audit, many pieces of the university’s infrastructure, such as boilers, steam traps and converters, had not been upgraded since the 1960s. In some cases, the equipment was close to the end of its useful life.
“We were conducting master planning across the university, and were very interested in getting a comprehensive assessment of the university’s infrastructure and how it could support growth over the years,” Gardner says.
To assist in conducting the facilities audit and developing an energy-savings proposal for the university’s board of trustees, Gardner sought the help of energy management personnel at Honeywell.
Gardner and Honeywell developed a proposal for an energy-conservation and facilities-renewal program. The energy savings from the $11 million, 10-year program would enable Butler to fund infrastructure upgrades and implement a new energy-management system. The savings were guaranteed through a performance contract with Honeywell, so the work would not impact operating budgets.
Workers replaced the university’s pneumatic building controls with a Honeywell energy-management system that electronically relayed information to a main command center. This technology gave Gardner’s team pinpoint control of campus facilities for increased cost savings. It also enhanced efficiency because the previous systems were not linked, making it difficult and time-consuming to get a comprehensive picture of energy use.
Honeywell also centralized the university’s chilled-water plant, which eliminated the need for individual units dispersed throughout the campus and improved chilled-water service to multiple buildings. The program included a campuswide lighting retrofit as well, along with several heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements in the school library.
The final piece of work was installing capacitors to correct the power factor of the university’s electrical substation. The capacitors improved electrical efficiency, lowering the university’s utility bill.
“Since completion of the upgrades and in 1997, the university has saved more than $200,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs,” Gardner says.
The energy-management system and chilled water-plant upgrades were a success, both financially and environmentally. But in 2003, the university’s heating plant began having issues.
Butler relied on three steam boilers – small, medium and large – to heat the campus at different times throughout the year. When the smallest boiler stopped working and the mid-sized boiler developed cracks, the university had to rely on the large boiler year-round. Without a backup, buildings would have no heat if the large boiler failed.
Butler had two years left on its original performance contract with Honeywell, so the university decided to roll its last two years of payments into a new $4.3 million, eight-year agreement.
Honeywell decentralized much of the university’s heating plant and installed 18 energy-efficient, modular, hot-water boilers across campus, providing heat to individual buildings during the fall and spring months, when running the large boiler was not cost-effective.
“Since installing the high-efficiency boilers, we’ve cut our fall and spring natural gas consumption by 35 percent,” Gardner says. “Over the course of the eight-year contract, that’s more than 3.1 million therms saved or $2.5 million in utility costs. The project is a fantastic success for the university.”
The Ottawa Hospital is one of the largest and most respected healthcare organizations in Canada. Formed in 1998 by a merger between two academic hospitals and two community hospitals, the hospital accounts for about 4 million square feet of real estate across three campuses.
After working its way through a difficult financial period in the late 1990s, the hospital looked to sustain its fiscal strength. The hospital identified two areas – energy costs and facilities infrastructure – where it could be more efficient and drive additional funds into patient care.
The hospital understood it needed to take action to reduce costs and improve building performance. The hospital conducted several internal audits in 2002 to identify energy-saving opportunities and other areas where it could improve productivity.
“Many of the conservation suggestions, such as turning off lights at night in unoccupied areas of the facility, came from the hospital staff,” says Brock Marshall, the hospital’s director of engineering. “All of the ideas were taken into consideration and ranked by order of magnitude of savings they would deliver.”
Honeywell had a 25-year service-and-maintenance relationship with the organization and recommended an energy-savings performance contract, offering a solution that would deliver energy-efficiency upgrades and more operating dollars though a self-funded program. The $17-million, 15-year performance contract with Honeywell guaranteed the hospital would save more than $2.6 million annually in utility costs.
The hospital chose the Honeywell program, and the company began installing energy-conservation measures in the summer of 2004. The implementation plan included:
*installing an enterprise buildings integrator (EBI) automation platform, which covers about 5,500 points of control for all three campuses
*replacing several chillers with more energy-efficient and environmentally responsible models that do not use chlorofluorocarbons (CFC).
*retrofitting more than 45,000 light fixtures across all three campuses
*upgrading lighting at two parking garages
*installing high-efficiency hot water and heating boilers
*replacing existing motors and adding variable-frequency drives
*implementing power-factor correction systems
*improving building envelopes to reduce drafts and prevent energy leaks
*installing water-conserving fixtures and reducing process-water usage
*implementing an ongoing awareness program to educate staff and the community.
The EBI allowed managers to see an integrated view of a campus’ HVAC system and optimize operations depending on variables such as temperature or time of day. In many cases, it helped managers identify a problem before building occupants realized an issue existed.
Replacing chillers on one of the campuses also created significant benefits, as the hospital upgraded to environmentally responsible, CFC-free units and operated them more efficiently as a result of the EBI.
“We’re able to see the operation of every fan, every pump, and every major building operating system and immediately determine how they are performing,” Marshall says.
Since the hospital implemented the efficiency and conservation program, it has reduced natural-gas consumption by 40 percent, electricity by 18 percent, steam by 23 percent and water by 5 percent. These reductions have curbed carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 12,000 tons annually, which has the same environmental impact as planting more than 39,000 trees or removing 2,300 cars from the road.
The lighting retrofits resulted in the recycling of fluorescent tubes and magnetic ballasts, totaling 9.8 tons of glass, 123 kilograms (kg) of aluminum, 154 kg of phosphor, and 1.02 kg of mercury.
“This project has allowed us to become far more environmentally friendly and create a building platform to identify further initiatives in the future that will achieve further building and environmental efficiencies,” says Cameron Love, the hospital’s vice president of facilities, planning and support services. “Because of our success in this area, we’ve been fortunate enough to receive awards and grants from various organizations in Canada.”