In a previous post on ENERGY STAR’s National Building Competition, I discussed energy-savings changes to lighting at two Reno facilities owned and occupied by Intuit.
Energy Strategies at Reno Facilities, Part II
Previously I discussed the changes to lighting that have saved a tremendous amount of energy at two Intuit Corporate facilities in Reno NV. This post is about actions we’ve taken beyond lighting—in HVAC, building automation and other systems—to minimize energy use without sacrificing occupant comfort—and without spending a lot of money.
– Exhaust fans in bathrooms used to run 24/7. We installed timers so now they run just 10 hours a day, during peak work hours.
– We lowered the temperature setting on hot water heaters. There’s still plenty of hot water for all the building’s needs.
– We reduced the timing on air conditioning manual overrides. When janitorial staff or employees come onto a floor at off-hours, they can override timers to get air conditioning. In the past, the manual override lasted three hours—we’ve reduced it to one hour.
– We have utilized the building automation system more effectively to maximize air handlers, VAV systems and boilers.
– A lot of the janitorial work has been switched to day cleaning. The main purpose was to save on janitorial costs, but an additional benefit is that lighting and HVAC don’t need to run as long during off-hours.
We’re currently examining strategies that would reduce energy use in the small data centers within each building. Combining the two data centers into one would save energy but may not be feasible for IT reasons. We’re working with IT on ways we might improve datacenter efficiency, and I’m hopeful that our joint efforts will result in gains.
With the strategies already in place, we’ve seen source energy utilization intensity decline by 9 to 10 percent at both buildings. At the Reno I building, normalized EUI has fallen from 278.5 EUI in May 2010 to 255 in May 2011, a 27-point drop. That equates to a 10 percent decrease in energy intensity, the other building, Reno II, has seen nearly the same level of improvement despite having more data center space. Normalized EUI fell from 436.8 in May 2010 to 396.6 a year later, a decline of about 9 percent. Energy cost savings are actually a bit greater.
As “Green Champion,” my goal is to get Energy Star certification for both properties and the Battle of the Buildings competition has helped motivate the management staff to make energy efficiency a priority. The first building’s Energy Star score has risen from 58 to 66 during that time, and Reno II has seen its score increase from 69 to 72, so we are well on our way to meeting our goals.