Greater understanding.

A major mechanical contractor in the Midwest was asked by its industrial client to evaluate whether its existing 50-year-old steam heating system could be made more efficient. The Building Performance Team was then asked to assist the mechanical contractor with this evaluation. Our team's recommendation was to scrap the boilers and install a new 92%-efficient, direct-fired heating and ventilating system. This recommendation was recently completed and has been meeting savings projections of ~$150,000 per year, for a payback of less than two years.


 This aging, 300,000 square foot, former automotive plant had been unoccupied for several years and its owners were rehabilitating and re-purposing the facility for lease by multiple new industrial tenants. Their mechanical service contractor recognized that the steam boiler was very old and potentially inefficient, and asked BPT for a performance and energy assessment of the heating system. BPT evaluated the heating system and its boiler, and then compared that with alternative systems, including their costs of operation. BPT's assessment included review of the envelope (walls, windows, roof) conditions, the repairs needed for the old boiler and zones that should have individual controls and scheduling. That information was then incorporated into a zone-by-zone load calculation and a simplified energy model to predict operating costs between several heating options. This assessment resulted in our recommendation to relace the boiler with a new heating system that provided individual zone temperature and scheduling control and had exceptional efficiency. The new system was installed and demonstrated dramatic energy savings, even when compared to the previously unoccupied condition! Payback was less than 2 years.

  • Building Exterior
  • Building Exterior
  • Interior
  • Piping
  • Vacant interior

Benefits 01

Case Study: 800,000 sq.ft. Midwest facility for major engine manufacturer
This manufacturer was dealing with an aging steam heating system which required frequent repairs and was very costly to operate and maintain. In addition, the maintenance staff had no timely way of knowing when a problem had occurred, causing delays in repair response and impairment of production. Using a BPT team member's recommendations, existing steam equipment was converted to high-efficiency natural-gas heating coupled with easy-to-use digital controls. The new controls enabled instantaneous communication concerning the system's operation and reported on any problem with 17 different pieces of equipment. After this highly successful first phase, a second phase was implemented to gain additional savings.