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Three Zeros Partners

  • Environment, Health and Safety
  • Energy Management

Project Highlights

MBRB (completed FY 2016)

  • Total Project Cost: $1,041,100
  • Energy Reduction, actual: 37,439,858 kBtu (annual average over 2-year period)
  • Energy Reduction: 25.9% (average over 2 years)
  • Energy Savings, actual: $405,940 (annual average over 2-year period)
  • Energy Savings: 27.6% (average over 2-year period)
  • Economic Analysis Method: Simple Payback under 3 years

Genetic Medicine (completed FY 2015)

  • Total Project Cost: $490,000
  • Energy Reduction, actual: 17,180,239 kBtu (annual average over 3-year period)
  • Energy Reduction: 10% (average over 3 years)
  • Energy Savings, actual: $243, 550 (annual average over 3-year period)
  • Energy Savings: 12.3% (average over 3-year period)
  • Economic Analysis Method: Simple Payback under 3 years

The research labs on campus are large energy consumers with the largest component of this use being the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system. These buildings use single pass air from the outdoors with no recirculating return air; requiring a significant amount of energy to cool, heat, and remove humidity from the outside air as it enters the building. This single pass air is standard practice for laboratory space, providing a required safety measure for the building occupants. Industry and safety standards are also responsible for setting minimum air flow requirements in lab buildings. In years past, the standard minimum air flow rates ranged from 12 to 20 air changes per hour. Current standards have established lower minimum air flow rates that still provide for occupant safety.

For these two projects, Energy Management and an outside design team worked together with Environment, Health and Safety to determine lower minimum air flow rates in the range of 6 to 8 air changes per hour. This change has lowered the outside air requirement for each building while still maintaining adequate lab ventilation and building comfort levels. Less outside air entering the building; less energy required to condition the air. This results in lower utility costs and avoided GHG emissions. Based on the demonstrated savings from these two projects, Energy Management is moving forward with four additional air flow reduction projects. Using simple payback economic analysis, these projects have estimated payback periods of less than four years.