Bundle-Based EnergyEfficiency Technology Solutions for Commercial Buildings
October 11, 2023
Energy Research and Development (500)
Clean Transportation Program
Andrea Marr, PE; Willdan Energy Solutions
Energy managers, facility managers, and utility representatives for cities and buildings would all benefit from a deeper understanding of how complex energy-efficiency projects can improve the comfort of occupants within their facilities, reduce energy consumption, and lower maintenance costs. This project demonstrated the potential for energy-efficiency retrofits that provide at least 20 percent energy savings using a suite of emerging technologies.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) headquarters near Diamond Bar, CA, was chosen as a demonstration site. This 30-year-old facility has laboratory space, office space, and meeting rooms across 350,000 square feet. SCAQMD is the public air pollution control agency for all or portions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
The project consisted of three technology “bundles,” each demonstrating energy savings in some of the highest energy-consuming areas: chilled water plants, office and exterior spaces, and laboratory/critical environments. First, the team replaced the existing chilled water plant with high-efficiency chillers using low global warming potential refrigerant and an advanced automation system. Next, a combination lighting/HVAC retrofit was implemented in the office space, increasing zone control level by occupancy. Finally, the laboratory space ventilation system was converted from constant volume to variable volume, and the lighting system was converted to operate with DC power from an existing solar photovoltaic installation.
These three “bundles” of projects proved the viability and importance of pre-commercial energy-efficiency technologies and accelerated market adoption by identifying and addressing implementation barriers.