The National Housing Center Corporation
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Transwestern began managing the National Housing Center in May of 2001. At that time, 1201 15th Street was undergoing a major renovation of the original building. A 141,000-square-foot addition was also under way. The expansion more than doubled the size of the original building. The two existing 148-ton McQuay 134A chillers, built in 1996, remained. New equipment included a new, Trane 250-ton helical rotary chiller, two gas-fired hot water boilers, two 115-ton and one 90-ton roof top air-handlers, and two cooling towers. In addition, there are several small air handlers and package units serving the conference room and other areas. The three main air handlers remained with modifications.
The Transwestern team made it a priority to familiarize themselves with the design of the building automation systems during construction, before the building was turned over to the team for daily operation. After learning how the HVAC and lighting controls were designed, they started a documentation and calibration program to be sure equipment and controls were working as designed. Quickly, they found some equipment was not operating as designed, some sequences of control were not appropriate, and some devices were not controlled at all.
The following are some examples of improvements that the National Association of Home Builders enabled Transwestern to implement to reduce energy consumption:
-- Air handling unit controls were typical for a variable air volume (VAV) distribution system; however, the National Housing Center has a constant volume system. The ductwork had leakage, restrictions and had not been balanced.
o The control logic was corrected accordingly.
o The air distribution systems were inspected to locate and repair leaks and remove obstructions.
o A testing and balancing company was employed to completely balance the air delivery systems.
-- The hot water heating system was designed to operate any time, day or night, the outside air (OSA) temperature was below 65 degrees and to circulate 180 degree water regardless of the outdoor air temp.
o The boilers were put on a time-of-day schedule with a low temperature safety. This turns the boilers off at night as long as the OSA temperature is above freezing.
o Boiler controls were installed to reset the heating water temperature set point according to the OSA temperature.
o A time clock was installed to turn the domestic water heater off after hours.
-- The 517 perimeter fan coil units were not controlled at all. They ran continuously at whatever setting the occupants chose. The majority of the time the thermostats were set to one extreme or the other. Many FCUs were inside a large metal enclosures, which prevented most of the conditioned air from getting into the office space.
o Although it was too late and not cost effective to integrate the FCUs into the building automation system, which would have been ideal during construction, a time clock system was installed to turn off the FCUs after hours.
o Software was purchased which enabled Transwestern to calibrate thermostats and set parameters for each fan coil unit.
o Metal collars were fabricated and installed to direct the conditioned air up and out of the metal enclosures.
-- Garage lighting and elevator lobby lighting was not controlled at all.
o Motion sensors were installed in the garage, restrooms, and copy/work rooms to turn off lighting when there are periods of inactivity.
o A time clock system was installed to control elevator lobby lights.
-- Frequency drives were installed on the cooling towers.
-- Low flow aerators were installed in restroom faucets.
-- The maintenance staff was trained to consider energy consumption in their daily routines.
-- Sometimes the team starts a chiller early to avoid peak demand time or turns one off early if they feel they can do so without sacrificing comfort.
-- High wattage lights are turned off when they are not necessary during the day and incandescent lights are being replaced with compact fluorescent lights.
-- The Transwestern team tries to keep their condenser water as cool as possible to reduce the amount of work required from compressors.
-- The team performs preventative maintenance on each piece of equipment regularly, making certain filters, coils, and strainers are clean.
Transwestern has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year (2004, 2005) and as a Sustained Excellence Partner (2006-2012) for its outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through leadership in energy management.
"There are many things well-educated building maintenance personnel, conscientious tenants, and cleaning crews can do to help conserve energy. EPA's ENERGY STAR program is a great way to get the information you need to make the right energy decisions. We just have to think about energy savings every day." -- Eric Rodda, Chief Engineer, NAHB
Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by National Association of Home Builders or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.
National Association of Home Builders
Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
Facility Type: Office
Total Floorspace: 240863 sf
Year Constructed: 2001
Contract Type: None
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