24-Story Energy Efficient Retrofit in Phoenix Achieves Energy Star Score of 98

27 Mar 2018

The BOMA Green Building Committee Kilowatt Krackdown was recently awarded to 3200 N. Central Avenue – a retrocommissioned, 24 stories, 345,000 SF building in Phoenix AZ built in 1986 – for achieving the highest Energy Star score of 98 in the competition. 

Tim Rose, Executive VP of DPC companies commented on the need for SMARTPneumatics technology.  “Prior to the retrocommission, our heating and cooling expenses for the existing building were substantially higher what we felt they should be running for a building of this size and age.  That, combined with numerous tenant complaints about cooling issues throughout the year, and the resulting tenant comfort work order requests made it clear to us that we needed to improve the building’s HVAC. We are very pleased with the upgrade and most importantly, our tenants couldn’t be more satisfied.  The new controls were solely responsible for reducing the tenant cooling requests from an average 25 – 30 calls per day when we purchased the building  to approximately 3 to 5 per week.” 

The energy savings gained were attributed to implementing a combination of low cost best practices and equipment replacement projects:

  • Using SMARTPneumatics to complete a major VAV retrocommissioning that included repairs to air leaks in the pneumatic system, re-calibration, and actuators for improved air flow correction. Energy use was reduced by 160,000 KWH per year.
  • Two 50 HP, high efficiency motors were installed for the condensing loop and one VFD was added to a motor.
  • During the main lobby remodel, new 12-watt LED flood lights were installed which replaced 50-100 watt incandescent fixtures.
  • The exterior landscape remodel added 30 10-watt LED fixtures and lamps outside, replacing 50 watt halogens.
  • Timers were installed for all drinking fountains. 

In the words of Harry Sim, CEO of Cypress Envirosystems: "Buildings with old-style pneumatic thermostats have no data or visibility, which means it's harder to maintain a building and it will underperform. When customers like DPC use SMARTPneumatics, they gain the visibility needed to achieve top Energy Star ratings and maintain that performance over time."

Retrocommissioning increases the asset value of a building

Improving the building for maximum energy efficiency and tenant comfort

A Cypress Envirosystems Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat system was installed at 3200 N. Central Avenue in 2011; DPC Companies bought the building on 11/4/2016 with the strategy of improving performance to increase asset value and improve tenant satisfaction.  In early 2017, DPC began a retro-commission of all the VAV boxes to make sure the building performed at its best.

Cypress Envirosystems provided SMARTPneumatics reports which use IoT data from their Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat system to automatically identify how each HVAC zone is performing.  All 400 zones in the building were prioritized from the worst to best performing zones, so technicians could focus where it was most important, thus saving maintenance costs.

These on–going, IoT generated reports give the technicians the root cause of any underperformance, so they know exactly what to fix. They can identify several mechanical issues, including: stuck dampers, undersized capacity, oscillation between heating/cooling, pneumatic line leaks, and other issues.   The reports are run again after the mechanical work to make sure the problem was fixed.  DPC engaged a local mechanical contractor (Southwest Mechanical) to use the SMARTPneumatics reports to fix the zones and achieve the 98 Energy Star.

When buying an existing building, owners can provide enhanced tenant comfort, lower energy costs, and increase asset value through the use of the Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat and SMARTPneumatics. 

Cypress Envirosystems | http://www.cypressenvirosystems.com