BRA/EDIC Properties Go on an Energy-efficiency “Diet” thanks to Capital Construction Department
Aug 22, 2014
By Dolores Fazio AIA, LEED-AP, Project Architect
To help improve energy-efficiency at our properties over the past decade, the BRA/EDIC has invested over $700,000 and partnered with utility companies that provided over $220,000 worth of incentives to complete the work and decrease payback time as energy savings accrue. Utility incentive programs are ratepayer-funded under the 2008 Green Communities Act. Some highlights of our lighting and mechanical system energy-efficiency improvements include the following:
Installing LED lighting throughout the Marine Industrial Park’s Central Parking Garage and China Trade Center building common areas. For the garage, testing and evaluation was conducted on a dozen low bay garage lights. For an LED light operating 24/7, lifetime expectancy is 100,000 hours (10 years), or triple that of the previously used technology. The fixture we ultimately selected has a low initial cost, natural color rendition, the ability to generate bright light with minimal energy, and is locally made. The new fixtures translate to a 60-70% savings and have reduced electric bills by approximately $8,200 per month.
Installing occupancy and daylight sensors to minimize the use of artificial light in the common areas at 12 Channel Street and our offices at 22 Drydock Avenue. All fluorescent lamps were replaced this summer through a Department of Energy Resources program, which provided long-lasting lamps at no charge that the BRA/EDIC Operations Department installed.
HVAC and lighting upgrades at the China Trade Center. The BRA/EDIC installed temperature controls that connect to a central energy management system and are wired for communication with heat pumps. The web-based system displays the building’s climate control data in real-time, allowing the building operator an overall and detailed performance report on any computer or wireless device. Performance of mechanical equipment is graphically displayed for each of the building’s seven floors. To reach greater efficiency, 1980s-era pumps and motors were replaced with new high-efficiency pumps and technology to control output based on demand. To increase furnace efficiency, a new dual-fuel burner reduces the use of heating fuel oil and instead uses natural gas. These improvements are expected to yield an annual energy savings of $42,000.
Nstar’s Municipal Vendor Program, which is intended to streamline the procurement process by allowing Nstar to bulk purchase materials and pre-qualify vendors, helped us deliver several of these projects.
More energy-efficiency projects lie ahead. The list includes projects to upgrade street lights, temperature control and energy management systems, lighting controls, and HVAC equipment throughout the Marine Industrial Park. New construction projects will incorporate energy-efficient lighting as well.
Updated facility systems lower operating costs and reduce maintenance needs, allowing the BRA/EDIC to become a greener property owner and a good example for others. We’re excited for the work ahead and look forward to partnering with the utilities to bring these projects to life.
The upgraded boiler system, featuring a new burner and gas line, at the China Trade Center.