Tag Archives: Building automation

Overlooked Low- and No-Cost Energy Effiicent Opportunities

What is an often overlooked low- or no-cost technique for saving energy in building systems?

Tenant engagement is a valuable tool to educate and get occupants on board with a building wide energy and sustainability program. How a space is designed and occupied plays a big role in the overall building energy performance, which is reflected in a building’s Energy Star rating. We are also working on Tenant Star, which will recognize energy efficient leased space and provide a voluntary platform to benchmark tenant spaces. Another building wide solution to consider are demand response programs which reduce peak energy demand through pre-cooling and load shedding and which are incentivized through many utility programs.

Answers provided by Wendy Fok, project director, High Performance Demonstration Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.

Source: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Overlooked-Low-and-NoCost-Energy-Effiicent-Opportunities–14996?source=part

Ensuring the Most Energy Efficient Equipment

How can facility managers make sure they’re getting the most energy efficiency out of new or upgraded building equipment?

Ongoing energy use measurement and diagnostics will help optimize energy performance and keep building systems operating smoothly. There are new building energy management applications which bridge between data collection to diagnostics, alerts, and work orders, but an excellent facilities manager is the key to success. It’s also a tremendous asset to have tenant billed for actual energy consumption. Sub-metering tenant spaces with easily accessible, simple energy reports allow both building owners and tenants to understand energy use and costs. This transparency makes it easier to keep things running as planned and adapt as necessary.

Answers provided by Wendy Fok, project director, High Performance Demonstration Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.

Source: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Ensuring-the-Most-Energy-Efficient-Equipment–14995?source=part

Big Strides in HVAC and Lighting Efficiency

There have been big strides made recently in efficiency in HVAC and lighting. What do you see as the next area that offers the potential for improved energy efficiency?

Tenant spaces typically account for 50-70 percent of a building’s overall energy use, and building owners who effectively engage with tenants to build out and operate energy efficient leased space will improve the building’s overall energy performance and comfort while both sides can benefit financially. Office equipment plug loads are the primary energy driver in leased space and managing these ‘phantom loads’ through outlet switches and computer energy management software can be cost effective strategies.

NRDC’s High Performance Tenant Demonstration Project is focused on energy use in leased commercial space, and the economic benefits of building owner and tenant collaboration, and the projects are realizing strong returns of 25 percent IRR and payback periods well under 5 years.

Answers provided by Wendy Fok, project director, High Performance Demonstration Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.

Getting Back On Energy Budget After a Rough Winter

Most of the country had a pretty rough winter, and that led to a lot of people going over their energy budget. What can facility managers do now that the weather’s improving to help make up for some of that spending?

Spring is an excellent time to take stock of a building’s annual utility expenses and map out an energy saving strategy, at an asset and portfolio level. A walk through energy audit, retro-commissioning, and project identification are steps which will help a facility manager understand how building systems interact and where the ripe targets for energy savings are. Reviewing the building’s sequence of operations, and making adjustments to schedules, temperature and flow rate set-points in HVAC equipment are easy opportunities. A comprehensive energy efficient lighting and plug load reduction projects are also cost effective ways to reduce energy waste in buildings.

Mild spring temperatures and longer daylight hours also offer good opportunities to make HVAC and lighting adjustments. Outside air economization and free cooling, as well as for variable frequency drives on HVAC equipment serve to reduce cooling energy, and this is the best time to use operable windows. Don’t forget to make sure that the heating systems are shut off and the appropriate controls are functioning so that steam or electricity is not wasted unnecessarily. Capturing natural daylight by raising shades and adjusting lighting controls and timers to take advantage of longer daylight hours is an easy energy saving strategy.

Source: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Getting-Back-On-Energy-Budget-After-a-Rough-Winter–14993?source=part

Answers provided by Wendy Fok, project director, High Performance Demonstration Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.

Tridium Broadens Market from Building Automation to the Internet of Things

DiCosmos makes DataEye announcement.

The senior leadership of Tridium laid out its strategic vision for the company to expand its presence in the Internet of Things this morning during the opening of the 2014 Niagara Summit in Las Vegas. While maintaining its commitment to its core market in commercial building automation, the Richmond, Va.-based technology firm outlined plans to move into adjacent markets involving building and infrastructure facilities such as data centers, industrial buildings and smart cities.

“We’ve been connecting devices from the very beginning. We were building the Internet of Things before it was even called the Internet of Things,” said Chief Technology Officer John Sublett in addressing the crowd of roughly 1,500 comprised of customers, re-sellers and other participants in the fast-growing Niagara ecosystem.

Tridium remains committed to building automation as its core market, said President Nino DiCosmo, as demonstrated by its development of the next-generation Niagara 4 framework. That upgrade, which should enter the Beta testing phase later this year and launch by the first quarter of 2015, will provide ease-of-use upgrades to bolster the productivity of developers and re-sellers, superior visualization and reporting tools, a new user interface and security enhancements.

Although Niagara has been deployed in settings outside of building automation, the company has never made a major push into adjacent markets like the one DiCosmo described. In a collaboration with Geist, a provider of power, cooling, monitoring and management solutions, Tridium is moving into the data-center market, which is expected to see a 12% compounded annual growth rate through 2016. Likewise, Tridium has targeted industrial buildings and smart cities.

Between the electric grid, parking lots, traffic management, water and waste-water utilities, the smart-cities market accounts for a market of roughly $6 billion a year and is forecast to grow 16% annually through 2016. Tridium’s position in commercial and industrial buildings — which interface with public power grids, utilities and transportation systems — makes the sector a logical extension.

Among major news announced this morning, DiCosmo said the company has acquired DataEye, a cloud-based analytics engine for improving energy efficiency; a “brand refresh,” that includes new logo, corporate colors, website and social media outreach; and plans to build a Niagara marketplace to promote solutions provided by all players in the Niagara marketplace as well as to enable companies to share chunks of software.

View original article here: http://www.niagarasummit.com/tridium-broadens-market-from-building-automation-to-the-internet-of-things

Using Smart Building Strategies To Meet Energy, Sustainability Goals

Executive summary: Many organizations are taking steps to make buildings more energy efficient and more sustainable. At the same time, many are implementing smart building measures. The results of a new survey of facility executives demonstrates that smart building measures are being used to improve energy and sustainability performance, and that those measures have in fact proven to boost performance in those areas. But a more strategic approach to smart buildings, combined with even wider use of smart building measures, represents an important opportunity for facility executives to drive further gains in energy efficiency and sustainability.

This white paper examines facility executives’ experiences with smart buildings and shows how smart building measures can enable other key organizational goals.

Topics addressed include:

  • Synergies between smart buildings, energy efficiency, and sustainability
  • Facility executives’ plans for smart building upgrades
  • Value of a broad-based team to develop smart building strategies
  • Role of people in smart building strategies
  • Integration as a key to a smart building strategy

 

Smart Building Strategies Can Help Reach Energy and Sustainability Targets

It’s a rare facility executive who doesn’t devote significant effort to improving energy efficiency or sustainability. These two issues are now priorities for many organizations. Increasingly, organizations are also seeing the benefits of implementing measures to make their buildings smarter. And as those smart building strategies have been implemented, experience has shown they are key enablers for meeting energy efficiency and sustainability goals.

The synergy among sustainability, energy efficiency, and smart building strategies suggests facility executives should address all three in combination, rather than each separately. For example, smart building strategies can help facility executives ensure good indoor environmental quality leading to occupant comfort, a key sustainability goal, while hitting energy efficiency targets. Indeed, smart building strategies should be seen as key ways to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability goals.

Today, however, the fact is many organizations have failed to take advantage of key smart building opportunities that can not only improve operational efficiency, but also reduce energy costs and buttress sustainability efforts. Many organizations have also failed to link smart building strategies with strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability. But the next few years should see a significant increase in the implementation of important smart building measures.

These are among the key findings of a survey of facility executives conducted by Siemens Industry, Inc., and Building Operating Management magazine, as well as discussions with facility executives and other experts in the field. That research points the way to the wider use of smart building technology to help achieve energy efficiency and sustainability objectives.

Smart Building Strategy Defined

Although there is no single, universally accepted definition of a smart building, widespread agreement exists about some of the key elements of the concept. A key part of the consensus is that smart building strategies improve the productivity of people and processes in buildings and lead to better decisions, based on actionable information, for improvements to the facility.

Technology is also critical. For example, smart buildings tap building automation systems (BAS), allowing facility executives to have the building’s core systems seamlessly integrated. And smart buildings often leverage advanced technology to make their properties as efficient and sustainable as possible.

A smart building strategy “works to ensure that a building can provide timely, integrated systems information to building owners, managers, and tenants so that they can make intelligent decisions regarding operations and maintenance,” explains Ronald J. Zimmer, president and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). This plan “evolves with changing user requirements and technology, ensuring continued and improved optimization,” Zimmer says.

Smart buildings are comfortable buildings for occupants. “Ideally, such a strategy leads to a building that uses both technology and process to create a facility that is safe, healthy, and comfortable and enables productivity and well-being for its occupants,” says Zimmer.

Tom Shircliff, co-founder of Intelligent Buildings, LLC, a real estate professional services company, points out that “strategy is about what is happening to you and what to do about it.” And what Shircliff sees happening involves material changes in building controls technology. Given that perspective, he says there should be three basic outcomes to a smart building strategy:

“1. The Hippocratic Oath: ‘First, do no harm’ when spending capital and operational budget money by avoiding proprietary solutions and disconnected building systems.

“2. Lower Cost Structure: Create a base strategy that lowers your overall and ongoing capital and operational cost structure. This aligns all planned projects and spending with a smart building strategy.

“3. Data-Driven Decisions: Move your organization to a data-driven decision making culture. Big data and the cloud have finally come to real estate, and there are millions of data points that can provide insights, risk reduction, and lower costs.”

Improving and Enabling

According to the Siemens/Building Operating Management survey, many organizations are taking steps to make their buildings smarter, more energy efficient, and more sustainable. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Which of the following improvement measures has your organization taken in the past three years? R=821

Lighting upgrades:83%
Recycling:70%

HVAC retrofits: 61%

Facility staff training: 52%

Water efficiency measures: 51%
Controls upgrades: 47%
Green cleaning: 45%
Integration for building systems: 39%
Automated monitoring and reporting: 37%
Retrocommissioning of building systems: 20%
Reflective roofing:18%
Renewable energy:17%
Automated optimization:15%
Automated fault detection & diagnostics: 14%
Dashboards: 12%
Continuous commissioning: 10%
Other: 3%

The top two items on the list are measures that often have a very rapid payback or are very low cost — not surprising, given the economic conditions of the past three years. But the survey indicates smart building elements have been under-deployed in comparison to how important facility executives say those elements are.

The survey asked whether a range of measures were important for achieving energy and sustainability goals. Sixty nine percent of respondents say “integration for building systems” is an important smart building strategy to meet energy and sustainability goals, yet only 39 percent of respondents report having implemented integration in the past three years. Similarly, 52 percent say “automated monitoring and reporting” is important, yet only 37 percent report having implemented it. A similar situation holds for “automated fault detection and diagnostics” (31 percent say it’s important but only 14 percent implemented it), “automated optimization” (30 percent vs. 15 percent), “continuous commissioning” (24 percent vs. 10 percent), and “dashboards” (21 percent vs. 12 percent).

One exception to this pattern: 54 percent of respondents call controls upgrades important and 47 percent say they performed controls upgrades in the past three years.

University Taps Smart Building, Water Strategies for LEED

Portland State University (PSU) earned LEED Gold certification for its Northwest Center for Engineering Science and Technology by tapping both smart building technologies and smart water strategies. The building features natural lighting, natural ventilation of its five-story atrium, a rainwater harvesting system that supplies water for toilets and urinals, and geothermal heating and cooling from underground springs.

The facility’s building automation system (BAS) controls geothermal water flow and the rainwater harvesting system’s water flow applications, as well as controlling the motorized operable windows and providing indoor air quality measurements. The BAS also is integrated with building systems for fan controls and shutdown operations for life safety.

Rainwater from the roof goes into a sediment tank to allow large particles to settle out. A sump pump transfers the untreated water from this tank into the storage tank. Water samples from the storage tank are pumped through a flow cell where the automated controller monitors and compares oxidation-reduction potential to a target setpoint, pumping in sodium hypochlorite as needed.

Two ultraviolet systems disinfect water as it is pumped to its usage points and as a sidestream treatment for the storage tank. During the rainwater system’s first eight weeks of operation, no city water was used for flushing toilets and urinals.

By combining smart energy and water efficiency technologies, PSU uses 45 percent less energy than Oregon code and nearly 40 percent less water than it did in the past, according to the university.

More here: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/

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How Facility Managers Handle Occupant Complaints

Successfully confronting and resolving the complaints the facility management department is faced with on a daily basis falls in line with a quality management system (QMS) or “the whole plan, do, check, act cycle,” says Kit Tuveson, facility management consultant, Tuveson & Associates.

A key step in a QMS is gathering feedback. Facility managers can start by seeing what other departments within the larger organization might also be gathering employee feedback, so that the facility management department isn’t reinventing the wheel. “HR has employee surveys. IT has surveys,” Tuveson says. “There may be things going on that you can leverage and get support for.” He suggests starting small with some simple surveys vetted with occupants friendly to the facility management department.

Other resources to explore in creating a QMS are other facility managers and property managers, and educational modules from organizations such as BOMI and IFMA.

And, naturally, involve your in-house people and your vendors as well, he says. It is not likely that all the service providers touching the facility are going to align around a common QMS, so facility managers should establish some metrics that providers can report back on. And for any vendors who are not already doing QMS, make it a part of the specs and requirements going forward. “It’s not difficult but it might be complicated,” Tuveson says.

Contrary to a once popular perception, invisibility is not the hallmark of good facility management and will certainly not improve any situation around a complaint.

“The best facilities teams are out there engaging their customers, setting expectations, managing perceptions, and being really clear about what limits are, what affordability, processes and procedures are,” Tuveson says. “They don’t leave it up to the panoply of occupants to figure out for themselves because they will ask for the moon.”


FMs Minimize Time Spent on Complaints

68% of survey respondents said temperature was the single biggest complaint they receive from occupants, followed by restrooms (10%) and parking/grounds (5%).

How much of your department’s time is typically spent responding to occupant complaints or request every month? R = 317
Less than 25% 25% to less than 50% 50% or more
51% 33% 16%

 

What percentage of complaints or requests would you describe as purely subjective or frivolous? R=318
Less than 10% 10% to less than 25% 25% to less than 50% 50% or more
41% 38% 15% 6%

 

Filter Out Complaints With Work Order Systems

Have you had success with any of the following steps to minimize the time spent handling subjective or frivolous requests?

Complaints/Requests Very Successful Somewhat Successful Not Successful Not Tried
Automated work order systems R=135 48% 38% 4% 10%
Education of/ Communication with Occupants R=136 34% 62% 3% 1%
Training of Facility Staff R=134 43% 54% 2% 1%

 

Source for all: Building Operating Management Survey


America’s Funniest Building Occupant?

Readers shared their best complaint horror stories — and some that just made them chuckle. Every week we’ll post a new batch of stories at myfacilitiesnet.com/complaints so you can select a favorite. There’ll be space to share your story too. Here’s the first round.

User Error
“A professor complained about having no water in the building and complained all the way to the president of the college. Come to find out he had changed a faucet the evening before and never turned the water back on.”
“Director complained that locks and keys were not supplied/changed as requested. Mid level manager filed complaint, said lower level admin person had entered requests, and why was it not done. System showed that no requests were ever enteredExposed the weak link which was the person who said it was requested, who in fact didn’t ask for the work at all.”
“I’ve received multiple calls from different tenants regarding having no lights and when maintenance arrives all they needed to do was flip the light switch.”

Which one was your favorite? Vote at myfacilitiesnet.com/complaints

Electronic Design Europe News Brand Building A Path To Better Building Efficiency

Europe’s energy-inefficient buildings consume 40% of available energy. Lighting, air-conditioning, and heating are the main culprits.

Buildings in Europe devour a prodigious 40% of total available end-user energy (see figure above). Obviously, curtailing that inefficiency becomes imperative, particularly in light of the European Union’s (EU) goals to reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, improve energy efficiency by 20% and achieve 20% renewable power generation by 2020.

One of the EU’s prime strategies toward achieving these environmental ambitions involves the use of information and communications technology (ICT). It believes ICT will be able to facilitate a “whole building approach” in design and building operation through simulation, modeling, analysis, monitoring, and visualization tools. ICT also can play essential roles in simplifying the implementation of energy policies, and in measuring their effectiveness.

To support this course of action, the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings was instituted to provide a methodology that calculates the energy performance of buildings. If successfully implemented, the data provided would assist in identifying common inefficiencies, best practices, and opportunities to improve energy usage.

Such a meritorious stance from the European Commission must be applauded. However, these proposals will only develop into pragmatic reality by enlisting expertise from the electronics industry.

With this in mind, 26 industry companies from five European countries will partner over a three-year period in what is hoped will be trailblazing research on environmental sensors and sensor networks. The mission is to develop energy-efficient solutions aimed at cutting power usage in buildings.

The “Environmental Sensors for Energy Efficiency” (ESEE) project is led by German chipmaker Infineon Technologies and supported by the EU through its European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking, as well as by national and regional funding of the participating nations. Among others, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports the ESEE project under its “Information and Communication Technology 2020” program.

Essential Component

An essential element within modern building-management systems is a sensor-system network. Unsurprisingly, the focus of the ESEE project is to create new low-power connected sensor systems based on semiconductors and heterogeneous 3D integration.ESEE plans to target applications that require extremely reliable information about environmental conditions to identify measures that will help reduce energy consumption. When combined with solutions for air-quality management, the project believes the potential to inner-building energy savings could go beyond 30%.

All of this sits very comfortably with the European Commission’s Europe 2020 initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. One key enabler, though, surrounds the development, design, and manufacture of sensor- and energy-management systems in Europe at competitive costs.

The ESEE project is timed to conclude in March 2016. It will be interesting to see what technological progress is made, considering sensors and controls continue to be profoundly overlooked despite the critical roles they play in building energy management.

In addition to the environmental imperative to minimize energy use, there’s considerable financial incentive to develop building control networks that fully exploit interconnected sensor-based systems. Industry analysts suggest the sensors market in the U.S. and Europe is set to grow nearly 20% annually from now until 2020. In value terms, the U.S. market would be worth $2.14 billion by that time, while the Europe sector would reach $1.93 billion.

Lux Research’s recent report “Sensors and Controls for Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS): Providing the Neural Network to Net-Zero Energy” sheds another light. It indicates that key to sensor sector growth will be a profusion of advanced non-invasive, cost-effective, and quick-to-install sensor and control technologies that can overcome existing cost constraints.

It is certainly true that wireless-based, energy-harvesting, network-enabled sensors, switches, and associated media technologies will lower installation costs.

In summary, it appears that the overall environmental prospects look positive in terms of more efficient building consumption. More so when taking into account those companies involved in the research and development of capable sensor control networks are fueled by the dual incentives of reducing global emissions and substantial commercial reward.

Article By:  | Electronic Design Europe News Brand

St. John’s Makes Energy Upgrades To 36 Buildings, Installs Building Automation System

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

State ARRA-funded C&I grant helps fund building retrofit: St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, is constantly seeking ways to improve its infrastructure in the most cost-effective ways. And when the stimulus-funded Commercial and Industrial Grant Program from the Minnesota Department of Commerce came along, it made energy efficiency easy.

St. John’s Hospital received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems. The grant, combined with other energy improvements financed by the St. Paul Port Authority and the Trillion Btu Program, will save St. John’s about $200,000 per year in energy costs. Simple payback for the $1 million project is about five years.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our infrastructure—to improve clinical quality, increase efficiency, reduce risk, and improve safety,” said Jed Field, system director of engineering for HealthEast Care System. “The state grant allowed us to take the extra step or two from an energy-efficiency perspective to achieve the maximum energy savings for our buildings.”

Field said the grant was perfect timing for several large-scale improvements the hospital needed. The work, completed in 2011, included operational improvements and control of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems to attain maximum energy performance. New NEMA premium efficiency motors were installed to replace all non-NEMA premium motors 10 HP or larger. The new building automation system was implemented so that equipment can be turned down or turned off when the spaces served are unoccupied. Equipment adjustments were made and special pump controls and valves were installed for precise control to meet heating and cooling needs.

The energy upgrade work on St. John’s Hospital not only reduces energy costs, it improved the indoor air quality and comfort for patients and staff. It also generated work for at least two full-time equivalent jobs for one year, Field added.

Field said virtually any commercial or industrial facility that is 20 years or older figures to save 20 percent on their energy bill if they make significant energy upgrades. “There are great opportunities for retrofitting buildings,” Field added.

36 facilities realize energy efficiency, cost savings: St. John’s is just one of dozens of commercial, industrial and nonprofit facilities throughout Minnesota that are realizing handsome energy and cost savings, thanks in part to the $4.1 million energy upgrade grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. The grants, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), supported cost-effective energy efficiency improvements at 36 facilities in Minnesota.

Those 36 facilities will realize more than $3 million in ongoing energy savings every year for the foreseeable future, said Mike Rothman, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “This targeted investment of one-time funds will pay for itself over and over again,” said Rothman. “It has helped dozens of facilities dramatically reduce their energy consumption and realize millions of dollars in ongoing cost savings. That’s good for business, good for our environment, and good for our economy.

“Commercial buildings and industrial facilities like St. John’s Hospital consume about half of our state’s energy,” Rothman continued. “That’s why it makes sense to target large buildings like these. Targeted retrofits using one-time investments deliver the biggest bang for our buck.”

The program, which launched in December 2009, received 150 proposals out of which 39 were selected to receive grants. Most of the grants—36—were awarded for direct energy improvement projects, and three were given to nonprofit entities to operate revolving loan programs to help finance energy efficiency projects. For the direct improvement projects, the program required a financial match component. Projects were ranked according to projected energy savings, payback, leveraged additional spending per grant dollar, and job labor hours of work generated by the funding.

Average payback of four years: The grantees included a wide cross section of for-profit and nonprofit entities. Energy efficiency measures achieved included upgrades to lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and controls and improvements to industrial processes. Overall, the projects will save an estimated 440,000 MMBtu per year, or enough energy to heat 8,150 homes per year, and will have an average payback of four years. The projects helped create or sustain more than 25 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Plant in Benson used its grant to improve the process to recover waste heat from a stream of hot exhaust gases discharged from a regenerative thermal oxidizer. The process captures heat that normally would be exhausted into the atmosphere, runs it through a heat exchanger, and then uses it to avoid burning natural gas to produce heat needed for other parts of the ethanol production process. Chippewa Valley received a $500,000 grant to help fund the $2 million project. With estimated savings of $700,000 in natural gas costs per year, the project will pay for itself in about three years.

Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc. of Duluth replaced two 30-year-old 900 kW power supplies with two new energy efficient 1,125 kW power supplies. The power is used to heat steel bar stock which is cut and forged into steel balls varying in size from 1 inch to 6 inches in diameter. The steel balls produced from the operation are used extensively in the taconite mining industry of Minnesota as well as other ore processing operations globally. The $1.5 million project, which received a $95,000 grant, is projected to reduce Gerdau’s energy consumption by 7 percent and save about $50,000 per year.

Other companies to benefit from the state energy grant program included 3M Company, Aeon, Aitkin Iron Works, Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment Company Inc., Caledonia Care and Rehab, Cambria Company LLC, Center for Energy and Environment, City Center Retail/AG 800 Washington LLC, City of Minneapolis CPED, Coastal Seafoods, Community Reinvestment Fund, Davisco Foods International Inc., Douglas Machine Inc., Earl Brown Tower LLP, Fairview Health Services (Maple Grove), FourCrown Inc. (Wendy’s), Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota, Honeywell, J&B Group Inc., Le Sueur Inc., LifeCare Medical Center, Mall of America, National Sports Center Foundation, North Memorial Health Care (Maple Grove), Northern Plains Dairy, Pequot Tool & Mfg. Inc., Prospect Foundry LLC, Resource Inc., Rolco Inc., Seagate Technology LLC, Spruce Tree Center LLP, SuperValu Inc., Walker Art Center, Wausau Paper Mills LLC, YMCA of Greater St. Paul, and YWCA of Minneapolis.

To learn more: For more information from the Division of Energy Resources, visit the efficiency section of our website. Incentives for businesses and residences to perform energy efficiency upgrades are listed in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

This case study was created by the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources, Department of Commerce. Click here to see other success storie
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/25/st-johns-makes-energy-upgrades-to-36-buildings-installs-building-automation-system/#3bHxrAkedzI3Xij6.99

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN, received a $300,000 grant for a $1 million building automation system upgrade and retro-commissioning project that covered all facility air handling units and heating and cooling systems.

US Building Automation Market Primed for Growth

Could Help Commercial Structures Cope with Rising Energy Costs
The U.S. market for building automation equipment is set to grow by more than 40 percent within a five-year period ending in 2017, spurred by the need in commercial buildings for more efficient energy consumption, according to a new report from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

With electricity rates on the rise, driven by increasing wholesale prices and investments in renewable sources of energy, demand for lower energy consumption in buildings is bound to occur, the findings in the report entitled “Building Automation Equipment” suggest.

All told, the U.S. building automation systems market will reach a projected $1.65 billion by year-end, up 5 percent from $1.57 billion in 2012. Solid growth ranging from 7 to 9 percent will follow in the next four years, with industry revenue forecast to hit $2.24 billion by 2017, equivalent to a 43 percent increase from 2012, as shown in the below figure.

The spiraling cost of electricity is a major factor in the operational efficiency of a commercial building structure, which explains why building automation systems could play an important role. Prices for U.S. retail electric power will increase by 8 percent from 2012 to 2020, IHS CERA forecasts, with a sizable proportion of the increase in price related to the investments being made by the market in renewable energy.

A similar story is unfolding in Germany, where the Energiewende policy is promoting the move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel power generation and toward renewable sources of energy. Such investments are driving up the cost of energy overall and adding pressure to the already stretched operational budgets of many commercial and government organizations.

“With budgets cut and many large companies struggling to grow at more than 5 percent on an annual basis, the higher cost of electricity could prove to be a major headache for commercial and government building owners,” said Sam Grinter, market analyst for the Building Technologies group at IHS.
The solution to rising energy prices

In particular, buildings consume huge quantities of energy through heating, ventilation and cooling, Grinter noted. “Making buildings as efficient as possible is crucial to driving down energy consumption. And one way to increase energy efficiency is to install an integrated building automation system,” Grinter noted.

Building automation systems centrally manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of a structure. Compared to more basic mechanisms, building automation systems can save a considerable amount of energy consumption, via scheduled periods of heating or through cooling controlled by a thermostat, to cite two examples. Some vendors of building automation systems claim that energy savings of more than 30 percent can be obtained when evaluated against conventional HVAC systems.

This is why building owners will increasingly look to building automation systems to achieve savings on energy consumption, especially as the cost of electricity keeps going up, IHS believes.

www.ihs.com