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Showcase Project: Erickson Hall

Sector Type

Education

Location

East Lansing, Michigan

Project Size

220,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

$1,100,000

Annual Energy Use

Baseline (2010)
414 kBtu/sq.ft
Actual (2014)
245 kBtu/sq.ft

Energy Savings:

41%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2010)
$833,000
Actual (2014)
$526,000

Cost Savings:

$307,000
Background

Built in 1957, Erickson Hall is a mixed use classroom and office facility that houses the College of Education. MSU recognized the value of “tuning up” heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and in 2009 started the process of retro-commissioning most major buildings on campus.  Erickson Hall was the pilot project for this existing building commissioning (EB Cx) process at MSU. 

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Solutions

The existing building commissioning process included the following measures:

  • Documenting existing systems, compiling the original system configurations and settings along with all the modifications made over 50+ years.
  • Assessing and testing controls for all the major HVAC systems.
  • Re-balancing air and water flows through the HVAC systems.
  • Evaluating building use and any known problems.
  • Implementing low-cost and no-cost adjustments and calibration.
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Once the EB Cx process was completed, and the list of deficiencies and energy conservation opportunities was developed, items considered standard maintenance and repair issues were referred to maintenance staff. Other items requiring additional capital funding were prioritized for implementation, based on simple payback.

MSU internal staff conducted the EB Cx study and then implemented the identified energy conservation measures (ECMs) to improve reliability and efficiency.  The commissioning process informed the development of ECMs for the building. The measures that yielded the largest energy reductions included:

  • Sealing openings in architectural supply-air plenums
  • Converting pneumatic constant volume air-handling systems to electronically controlled (DDC) variable air volume systems
  • Re-calculating outdoor air ventilation rates based on current code requirements
  • Installing air-flow monitoring devices and new outdoor air dampers to correctly monitor and adjust for the appropriate volume of outdoor ventilation air
  • Re-calculating heating/cooling loads to reduce maximum fan speeds
  • Focused re-zoning of the air-distribution system to meet occupant comfort requests and  improve overall system performance
  • Implementing annual steam trap testing and replacement program
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Other Benefits

Occupant comfort has increased in Erickson Hall.  The commissioning process has also stimulated an engaged population that is interested in additional opportunities to reduce energy consumption. 

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