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Office Tower Gains 20% Efficiency; Seattle U. Installs Fabric Ductwork

A Seattle University library and 17-floor Dallas office tower have installed systems to dramatically improve efficiency of their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Highland Park Place in Dallas has experienced a 20 percent efficiency gain with the installation of Building Portfolio EMS, an HVAC upgrade and management system from Incenergy, the company has announced.

In the first four months after installation, the 164,000-square-foot building managed by Stream Realty Partners saw energy usage fall by 262,736 kWh over the previous year, resulting in reduced electricity expense of $5,800 per month. These reductions were chiefly attributable to the automation and schedule optimization of temperature set-points, temperature override limits and fault detection alerts, Incenergy says.

It says the EMS will give a one-year payback, and will enable the building to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,227,705 lbs CO2 a year. The platform combines smart thermostats with cloud computing to track over 60 attributes in a web interface, and also supports iPhones and Android mobile devices (pictured).

Until now Incenergy has targeted low-rise buildings in the four million plus light commercial market.

A full case study is available here.

Meanwhile, Seattle University’s $55 million renovation and building addition at its Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons uses UnderFloorSox, a new type of fabric ductwork for under-floor air distribution. The installation helped the university earn LEED Gold certification.

Lead buildings control technician Patrick Baldwin-McCurdy says he rarely gets calls about the temperature in the addition, although he typically receives about ten calls a day related to temperature on campus. And an analysis by consulting engineering firm CDi found that UFAD could save the university about 32 percent in operational energy costs and a total energy savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars over its lifecycle, versus a conventional overhead system.

The design team chose a raised access floor design with UFAD, to hide the cabling needed for 80 desktop and 120 laptop computers, a high-definition video studio, 11 multimedia editing stations and video monitors. UnderFloorSox manufacturer DuctSox said that while a conventional overhead system typically supplies 55°F and cools from top to bottom, the UFAD supplies 65°F and uses air displacement to cool the bottom five feet of the addition’s 18-foot-high areas.

Each zone in the addition has its own temperature sensor that’s mounted five feet high and monitored by the university’s building automation system at Delta Controls, in Surrey, British Columbia.

DuctSox says architects and engineers specify UFAD for its quietness, even temperature control and ability to aesthetically hide support utilities and HVAC ventilation.

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