Energy Upgrade for Federal Building
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were allocated to upgrade outdated infrastructure -- with a focus on high-performance, energy-efficient design -- at the Neal Smith Federal Building. Built in the 1960s (a high-performance envelope was installed in 2004), the 390,000-square-foot office building provides tenant space to numerous federal agencies.
KJWW assisted in an assessment of the building’s existing infrastructure, using energy modeling, retro-commissioning, and cost analysis to generate and compare various upgrade strategies. Several innovative concepts were developed and tested in various bundles (or strategies) to find an optimum balance between cost, benefit, and performance.
The scope of the project addressed deferred maintenance items and upgrades to the majority of the building’s MEP infrastructure, including: a complete lighting system replacement (including all fixtures and controls); converting the building’s main air handling units from dual duct to variable air volume; a new demand-controlled ventilation system based on building occupancy; energy recovery for ventilation air; replacement of the existing high-velocity perimeter induction units with radiant heat; new electronic-based zone HVAC controls; conversion to variable-speed chilled water pumping; advanced metering of building energy usage; control of overhead lighting based on daylight levels and occupancy; reducing the overall lighting power density building-wide, and optimization of the building management control system.
Other work included a complete replacement of the building’s outdated transformers (which provided significant energy savings) and a cooling tower replacement. The final project realized a 30 percent reduction of the building’s total energy use.
The project is Energy Star certified.