The Exhibit Place Inc., located in McKee’s Rocks, Pennsylvania, several miles from downtown Pittsburgh, provides exhibits and graphics products for “business-to-business” marketing. The facility totals 32,000 square feet and includes offices, storage and a showroom. The owners of the Exhibit Place Inc., requested an energy audit from the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center . Following the energy audit’s recommendations, the facility’s existing T12 fluorescent lamps with magnetic ballasts lighting systems were upgraded to a T8 fluorescent systems with electronic ballasts. Light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs were installed throughout the facility, improving energy efficiency and safety.
To improve the facility’s heating and cooling performance, the owners installed three new high-efficiency heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) units. All of the new units were equipped with commercial-grade programmable thermostats. To provide warmth for employees in the exhibit set-up area and loading docks, three radiant heating units were installed. The owners purchased maintenance agreements for all of the HVAC units to ensure efficient, trouble-free operation. Ceiling fans were installed in the warehouse, showroom, and exhibit build areas to recover rising warm air and help cool the areas in the summer. A large exhaust fan was also installed in one warehouse wall to improve air circulation in the summer.
The estimated savings equal more than 10,900 kWh of electricity, 1,500 Therms of natural gas, and $2,000 a year, while preventing 36,300 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Energy savings from the upgrades were estimated based on comparison to a building of similar use in the same region. Facility utility data was compared to average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy , Energy Information Administration’s , Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey .
A member of the RE/MAX network of independent realtors, RE/MAX Alliance is a 7,000 square-foot facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When RE/MAX Alliance decided to move into a new building in 2003, they wanted an energy-efficient facility.
The build-out began when the facility’s manager, Rich Potter, requested that their utility, Florida Power and Light (FPL), provide a Business Energy Evaluation. FPL’s auditor provided an extensive list of recommendations before the project began. Mr. Potter also consulted the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network Guide Putting Energy Into Profits (6MB).
All exterior walls were insulated with rigid insulation behind the drywall. Insulation was also applied to the top of the drop ceiling since the offices are on the top floor. All exterior windows were sealed and caulked. To improve the efficiency of the existing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, all of the ductwork was replaced and programmable thermostats were installed.
A T8 fluorescent lamp with electronic ballast lighting system was installed, and light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs were used throughout the offices. A metallic window tint was used to block heat gain from the sun while at the same time allowing visible light to enter. This prevents rising interior daytime temperatures and additional air-conditioning cost. Finally, the facility’s exterior sign was placed on a timer to eliminate day burning. The office’s kitchen refrigerator and dishwasher are ENERGY STAR qualified.
In addition to having an efficient, comfortable workplace for both the RE/MAX Alliance’s staff and clients, Mr. Potter is certainly happy with the annual savings of 82,200 kWh of electricity, and $7,900, while preventing 131,100 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Energy savings from the upgrades were estimated based on comparison to a building of similar use in the same region. Facility utility data was compared to average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey .
Inn Serendipity is a bed and breakfast and also houses JDI Enterprises, a home-based, creative services and marketing company. It is located in Browntown, Wisconsin, situated on twelve acres of land, and is approximately 1,969 square feet in size.
Starting with increasing the energy efficiency of the bed and breakfast, the owners incorporated an array of improvements and innovative strategies. The bed and breakfast installed double-paned, low-emissivity (low-E) windows, the attic space was insulated to a R-Value of R-19, caulking and weather-stripping was applied, and the water heater and hot water pipes were insulated. The only cooling used is an ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioner for the office. Much of the Inn’s water heating is provided by a solar thermal collector. ENERGY STAR qualified screw-in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were used throughout the facility. Laundering of clothing and linens is accomplished by an ENERGY STAR qualified washing machine.
In addition to the bed and breakfast, the Inn has taken steps to improve the performance of other buildings on the property. For example, a solar thermal system provides heating for one of the greenhouses. Another greenhouse is constructed with strawbale construction. Combined, the Inn’s energy-efficiency measures are saving it 600 kWh of electricity, 143 gallons of number two heating oil, and $320 annually.
The Inn is also generating clean, renewable electricity on-site harnessed from the wind and sun. The Inn’s renewable energy systems are generating approximately 9,000 kWh of clean energy annually and saving approximately $750.
Collectively, the Inn’s efforts, with the help of rebates from Focus on Energy plus in-kind support from others, are saving a total of $1,070 and preventing approximately 18,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, located in Shaker Heights, Ohio, provides exhibits, nature trails, and environmental education for the surrounding community. True to its mission, the Nature Center wanted to build a facility that was an example of sustainable technologies while providing a comfortable environment for visitors even if utility cost savings were not realized. Between May 2002 and July 2003, the Nature Center began an improvement project on its facility, expanding it from 6,800 square feet to 11,440 square feet.
During the expansion, additional insulation was added along with double paned, low-emissivity (low-E) windows that are operable to allow natural ventilation when the outside temperature permits. The heating system was completely redesigned with the elimination of the original natural gas system in favor of an ultra-high efficiency geothermal heat pump. This system also added central air conditioning for the first time, an energy-consuming amenity. The facility was divided into multiple heating and cooling zones, controlled by programmable thermostats connected to an energy management system (EMS). Energy recovery ventilators (ERV) were also installed. To ensure the continued efficient and reliable operation of the system, maintenance and service contracts with seasonal tune ups were signed. Ceiling fans were also installed to provide additional air-circulation and cooling in the summer.
High-performance lighting fixtures were incorporated into the facility with their own ballast and replaceable compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Motion-detecting occupancy sensors were installed in the restrooms and daylight is harvested through six tubular-shaped skylights. Finally, an ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator and dishwasher were installed.
The Nature Center’s leadership is serious about educating staff on the energy-efficient features of the facility and how to improve the facility’s performance through behavioral changes. Staff education programs include training on the facility’s heating and cooling systems, the use of a portable plug-load meter to demonstrate the actual energy consumption of appliances and computers, and protocols on reducing electricity use.
All of their efforts helped the Nature Center to reduce its annual energy consumption by 11,000 Therms of natural gas and prevent approximately 62,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Arrowhead Credit, a Southern California based credit union, offers a full range of financial services to its customers. The Credit Union upgraded a total of 137,000 square feet across twelve of its facilities to improve energy efficiency. The Small Business Energy Alliance , provided Arrowhead Credit financial incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities. Arrowhead upgraded the facilities’ T12 fluorescent lighting and magnetic ballasts with energy-efficient T8 fluorescent lighting and electronic ballasts. In addition, seven of the facilities tuned up their air conditioners and installed programmable thermostats.
Beyond equipment, Arrowhead Credit has integrated energy awareness into the organization’s values by educating its employees about the importance of turning off lights and computers when not in use. According to the project’s construction manager, the change in facility appearance with the new lighting system was “remarkable” with the credit union branches improving from “dingy” to “stunning.” True to its values of financial and social responsibility, Arrowhead Credit is saving more than 46,000 kWh of electricity, and $7,200 annually while preventing over 74,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery, an 8,000 square-foot store and nursery located in Sebastopol, California, is literarily growing money on trees with energy-efficiency improvements. Working with the Small Business Energy Alliance (SBEA) , Harmony Farm conducted a comprehensive lighting upgrade. T12 fluorescent lighting systems with magnetic ballasts were replaced with energy efficient T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts, while high-bay metal halide lamps were replaced with ultra-energy efficient T5 lamps, electronic ballasts, and aluminum specular reflectors. The facility’s heating and cooling systems were upgraded with programmable thermostats. This comprehensive package, after subtracting financial incentives from the SBEA, only cost the owners of Harmony Farm Supply $3,000.
Harmony Farm has gone beyond just energy-efficiency upgrades in its efforts to improve energy performance. As a dealer of solar photovoltaic panels, they implement what they sell and have installed a 37 kW solar array. This array is generating more than 53,000 kWh of clean energy annually. Harmony Farm’s energy-efficiency and renewable energy efforts are collectively saving more than $7,000 a year and preventing the emission of 75,700 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
Intex Solutions, operating out of 13,700 square feet of space, is a commercial carpet and floor care company in Montebello, California. Intex Solutions endeavors to not only deliver the “greenest” floor care services to its clients, but to also green its internal business practices as well with the goal of reducing its impact on the environment and society. Intex Solutions started by retrofitting its facility’s 48 8-foot and 88 4-foot T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballast lighting system with a T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballast lighting system. Exterior lighting is regulated by motion sensors that provide lighting for security while allowing the facility to remain dark when not in use. Most of the facility’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is controlled by programmable thermostats. In addition, a scheduled maintenance program was established to maximize system efficiency, including seasonal tune-ups and frequent filter changes. A new photocopier and 14 computer monitors, all ENERGY STAR qualified products, were purchased.
Intex Solutions’ management also conducts “green” staff training twice a year, providing instruction on the company’s energy-efficiency efforts and also ideas that employees can implement in their own homes. As an incentive, the organization passes out cases of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for the staff to use at home. Intex Solutions is also a member of California’s Global Climate Change Registry, and provides floor care services pro bono to environmental organizations in their service territory. The energy-efficiency efforts taken at the company’s facility are saving 12,000 kWh of electricity and $2,000 dollars annually.
Intex Solutions has gone beyond energy efficiency by installing a solar photovoltaic array. This system is generating 2,600 kWh of clean electricity and saving $440 dollars annually. Collectively, Intex Solutions’ efforts are saving $2,440 and preventing a total of 23,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
World of Carpets located in a 35,000 square-foot facility in Santa Rosa, California, is carpeting itself green with energy savings. As a retailer of carpets and floor coverings, lighting system attributes such as color rendition and quality are invaluable to improving sales and allowing customers to get an accurate perception of the products they are purchasing. World of Carpets improved these characteristics by replacing its T12 fluorescent lamp and magnetic ballast lighting system with an ultra-energy efficient T5 fluorescent lamp and electronic ballast system. Additional savings were obtained by replacing highly inefficient incandescent flood lamps with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). According to World of Carpets’ management, the warm natural looking light that has resulted from the upgrade “shows off our fabrics and carpets in their true colors.” In addition, World of Carpets educates and encourages its employees to turn off lights when not in use and use electric fans to improve air movement and reduce air conditioner use. These improvements have resulted in the facility saving more than 43,700 kWh of electricity and $5,500 a year, while preventing the emission of 69,900 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
Yorkshire Development, housed in a completely refurbished 22,000 square-foot office building (the Tricom Building) located in Pasadena, California, is a small development company dedicated to energy-efficient design and construction.
Beginning with the building shell, insulation was increased in the facility’s perimeter walls, interior walls bordering unconditioned space, and ceiling. The water heater and hot water pipes were also insulated and Yorkshire Development chose to install double-paned, low-emissivity (low-E) windows.
Yorkshire chose more efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems than originally specified. Capacity was reduced across all units, resulting in lower energy use and unit cost. Finally, the units are controlled using programmable thermostats. The lighting system was revised by reducing the wattage of halogen lamps, improving access to daylight.
The facility’s energy-efficiency improvements are saving Yorkshire Development 17,000 kWh of electricity and $1,900 annually. Energy savings from the upgrades were estimated based on a comparison to a building of similar use in the same region. Facility utility data was compared to average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey .
In addition to sound energy-efficiency technologies and practices, Yorkshire Development generates renewable energy from a solar photovoltaic array that produces an estimated 43,700 kWh of clean energy, while saving $4,800 annually. Combined with the energy-efficiency efforts Yorkshire is saving $6,700 and preventing 97,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Yorkshire Development is also a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership and the Tricom Building has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s (U.S.G.B.C) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating.