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Science & Technology Facility Building Commissioning Project. EEWG Meeting at Energy2006 Otto Van Geet & Sara Farrar-Nagy August 10, 2006. Science and Technology Facility (S&TF). Renewable energy process/manufacturing research Near-term technologies such as thin-film solar cells

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Science & Technology Facility Building Commissioning Project

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Science technology facility building commissioning project

Science & Technology FacilityBuilding Commissioning Project

EEWG Meeting at Energy2006

Otto Van Geet & Sara Farrar-Nagy

August 10, 2006

Science and technology facility s tf

Science and Technology Facility (S&TF)

  • Renewable energy process/manufacturing research

    • Near-term technologies such as thin-film solar cells

    • Next-generation technologies such as organic and nano-structured solar cells

  • 2-story laboratory and office building

  • 71,347 gross square feet

  • NREL South Table Mountain campus in Golden, CO

  • $22.7 million for construction, $29.8 million total

S tf building energy systems

S&TF Building Energy Systems

  • VAV supply and exhaust for all lab and office areas

  • Underfloor air distribution in offices with CO2 monitoring

  • Evaporative cooling system assist

  • Exhaust air energy recovery

  • Adjacent building central plant expansion with high-efficiency chiller and boiler to serve the S&TF load

  • Heat exchanger generates chilled water directly from the cooling tower

  • Process and specialty gas pathways and toxic gas monitoring

  • 100% daylighting in office areas, good daylighting in laboratories, and lighting control throughout

S tf project schedule

S&TF Project Schedule

  • Final design completed 2003

  • Bid documents finalized early 2004

  • Competitive construction contractor selection: M.A. Mortenson Company

  • Construction started Feb. 2005

  • Substantial completion June 21 and ribbon cutting July 7, 2006

Overall cx goals

Overall Cx Goals

  • Achieve energy savings

    • Building Cx is critical to successful operation of energy efficient systems

  • Achieve cost savings for O&M

    • Operating costs of Cx buildings are 8–20% below non-Cx buildings

  • Educate staff

    • Future buildings will apply Cx

    • Existing buildings retro-Cx

  • Recognition for LEED Rating

    • Fundamental Building Systems Cx prerequisite & Additional Cx credit

S tf commissioning cx procurement

S&TF Commissioning (Cx) Procurement

  • Cost comparison with 3 lab building Cx projects in region: NOAA, LANL & Sandia

  • Based on DOE/PECI “Model Commissioning Plan & Guide Specifications”

  • Competitive RFP for 3rd party Cx Authority (CxA) services, contracted by owner

  • Selected Engineering Economics, Inc. (EEI)

  • $115k contract for preliminary design phase through 1-year post occupancy

S tf cx scope integrated responsibilities

S&TF Cx Scope:Integrated Responsibilities

  • CxA

    • Documentation: plans and reports

    • Design and submittal reviews

    • Coordination and spot checking performance tests

    • LEED prerequisite and credit requirements

  • Construction contractor & subs

    • Complete pre-functional checklists

    • Complete functional performance testing

    • Address deficiencies

  • Owner

    • Review and approve CxA deliverables

S tf cx scope building systems

S&TF Cx Scope:Building Systems

  • Central building automation including linkages to remote monitoring and control sites, excluding any security-related controls

  • Laboratory air supply and exhaust systems and controls

  • Life safety systems and the toxic gas monitoring system: verify HVAC systems interlock and operate per code under emergency situations

  • Central plant: boilers, chillers, pumps, etc.

  • Process and specialty gas, including hazardous production materials, N2, LN2, and Argon

  • All HVAC including TAB procedures and ductwork cleaning

  • Process cooling water including deionized water

  • Emergency power

  • Lighting controls

  • Domestic hot water

Milestones through design

Milestones through Design

  • Design Phase Commissioning Plan

  • Intensive design review at 100% of Preliminary Design (Title I)

  • Preliminary Design Phase Commissioning Report

  • Intensive design reviews at 50% and 95% of Final Design (Title II)

  • Construction Phase Commissioning Plan including:

    • Construction document specifications

    • Sample pre-functional checklists and functional performance test documentation

  • Final Design Commissioning Report

Milestones through construction

Milestones through Construction

  • Updated Construction Phase Commissioning Plan

    • Final pre-functional checklists and functional performance test procedures based on submittals

  • Monthly progress reports

  • Final Commissioning Report

    • Completed checklists and functional performance tests

  • LEED documentation requirements

    • Recommissioning manual

Summary results design phase

Summary Results – Design Phase

  • Critical items flagged as incomplete/incorrect

    • Would have impacted construction cost & operational efficiency

    • Design team responded through the final design development phase

  • Cx specifications in construction bid package

    • CSI sections 01810, 15999, and 16999

    • Construction Phase Commissioning Plan addendum

  • LEED 2.1 prerequisite and additional credit

    • Satisfied several technical requirements

Summary results construction

Summary Results – Construction

  • Cx punchlist of outstanding issues still to resolve

  • Ventilation air control items

  • Lighting control problems

    • Sensors

    • Automation control program

  • Owner training

  • Cx cost

    • 0.5% of construction budget

    • $1.60/ft2 of building area

Lessons learned

Lessons Learned

  • Specify, define, and require Design Intent and Basis of Design documents in the contract for the A/E design team services

  • Contract for third-party Cx authority services early

    • During the conceptual design phase or perhaps even earlier

  • DOE/PECI “Model Commissioning Plan & Guide Specifications” sample contract statement of work is a helpful resource

    • Requires significant and careful revisions to apply to a particular project and the specific design processes and building systems to be commissioned

Science technology facility building commissioning project

Energy Modeling Analysis and Baseline Performance Comparison NREL S&TF - Golden, Colorado &EPA S&TC - Kansas City

Nrel epa kc


  • Similar size (70,000 sf +)

  • NREL lab includes prototype manufacturing

  • Both are VAV labs, and have runaround heat recovery, and efficient central plants

  • NREL design is more aggressive with daylight, fan measures, fan coil sensible cooling and raised supply air temperatures

  • EPA-KC maintains higher winter indoor humidity levels than planned at NREL & used electric humidification

Nrel s tf energy conservation measures ecms

NREL S&TF Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)

  • In addition to VAV fume hoods

  • Lab ventilation air heat recovery (runaround loop)

  • Fan coils for lab sensible cooling w/o requiring extra expensive conditioned OA

  • Increased supply air temperatures

  • Lab fan power minimization and exhaust fan staging

  • High efficiency condensing boiler

  • High efficiency VSD chiller

  • Office under floor air system

  • Evaporative cooling

  • Process cooling water energy recovery to ventilation

  • Daylighting controls for office & labs

Ecm results

ECM Results

Nrel s tf budget baseline analysis

NREL S&TF Budget/Baseline Analysis:

  • LEED Version 2.1 / ASHRAE 90.1-1999 Energy Cost Budget (ECB)

  • Labs21 - Refinements to 90.1-1999 ECB

  • LEED Version 2.2 / ASHRAE 90.1- 2004 Performance Rating Method (PRM)

  • 71,347 gsf

Usgbc leed credit interpretations for lab ventilation

USGBC LEED Credit Interpretations for Lab Ventilation

  • These are all over the map

  • Allowable lab fan power can be the same in the budget as in the proposed model

  • Allowable lab fan power in the budget can be increased, if the proposed design has low-velocity coils

  • Lab exhaust systems are are “unregulated,” process energy

  • This study uses straight ASHRAE ECB & PRM methods to determine budget/baseline allowable fan power

Nrel stf cost comparison

NREL STF Cost Comparison

Nrel stf energy comparison

NREL STF Energy Comparison

Epa kc s tc energy conservation measures ecms

EPA-KC S&TC Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)

  • In addition to VAV fume hoods

  • Lab ventilation air heat recovery (runaround loop)

  • Lab exhaust fan modulation (5000 - 3000 fpm)

  • Multiple (six) modular boiler plant

  • High efficiency, low-flow, chiller plant

  • Process cooling water tower free cooling (not counted by ASHRAE/LEED)

  • Daylighting controls for small open office areas

Ecm results paybacks

ECM Results – Paybacks

Epa kc s tc budget baseline analysis

EPA-KC S&TC Budget/Baseline Analysis

  • LEED Version 2.1 / ASHRAE 90.1-1999 Energy Cost Budget (ECB)

  • Labs21 - Refinements to 90.1-1999 ECB

  • LEED Version 2.2 / ASHRAE 90.1- 2004 Performance Rating Method (PRM)

  • 71,955 gsf

  • Simulation results verified with utility bills

Epa kc stc cost comparison

EPA KC STC Cost Comparison

Epa kc stc energy comparison

EPA KC STC Energy Comparison



  • Labs21 budget model is only budget/baseline to treat lab fans & fan ECMs fairly

  • Significant savings beyond VAV are technically & economically feasible

  • If internal gains require airflows above minimum settings, fan coil sensible cooling provides significant savings, particularly when primary air supply air temperatures can be reset

  • 30% energy cost savings over ASHRAE 90.1-2004 PRM not practical for labs because of process (plug) loads, 15% is reasonable goal.

  • LEED energy point the same under LEED 2.1 and 2.2



  • DEMP Model Program

  • Labs21 Program

  • NREL Facilities Management and Sustainable NREL Program

Renewable fuel heating plant rfhp

Renewable Fuel Heating Plant (RFHP)

  • Heat STM buildings with wood using local sources

    • Also supports local small business

  • Renewable Energy showcase

  • Risk considerations

    • O&M, wood fuel price, R&R

  • Future opportunities

Nrel heating system


Two natural gas fueled boiler plants heat water

Hot water pumped to buildings


New wood chip fueled boiler plant

New pipes connect all heating systems

Existing boilers remain

NREL Heating System

Stm heat plants

STM Heat Plants

FTLB Central Plant

SERF Energy Center will also serve S&TF

Rfhp would heat major stm buildings

RFHP Would Heat Major STM Buildings

  • Wood chip fueled RFHP added to Central Plant

  • New pipes connect to SERF/S&TF

  • Additional pipes could serve RSF and other buildings


Conceptual rfhp layout

Conceptual RFHP Layout

Wood chip boiler with fuel storage

Nrel using renewable energy

NREL Using Renewable Energy

RFHP would cut STM natural gas usage by 80%

  • S&TF,SERF, FTLB, OTF, TTF, and AFUF could be heated with 3,600 tons/year of wood chips (360,000 therms/year).

  • Current gas use is 450,000 therms/year.

Science technology facility building commissioning project


  • Pros:

    • No large NREL or DOE investment required

    • Begins with feasibility study at no cost and no commitment

    • Quickest option (design/build)

    • Could incorporate long-term fuel supply in contract

  • Cons:

    • Delayed revenue (but no NREL investment)

Science technology facility building commissioning project

  • Current Status: AMERESCO developing Initial Proposal, EA beginning

  • Expected economics: $2M investment, 15-year term

  • Tentative schedule:

    • Initial Proposal: July 31

    • NOIA: September 30

    • Final Proposal: January 2007

    • Award: April 2007

    • Const. Completion/Acceptance: October 2007

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