WUSM – West Building Energy Study

St. Louis, Missouri

Health Care
  • Year Completed: 
  • Project Team: 
    • Eric Utterson, Principal
    • Erich Blaufuss, Principal

In coordination with Washington University’s goal of reducing carbon emissions, 8760  recognized that the West Building, a 6-story, 106,000 sf building housing a mix of laboratories and offices, would benefit from an energy study. Studies performed on similar buildings on campus pointed to the fact that airflow reductions identified in such studies could produce energy paybacks for the University. 8760 created a multi-step process in order to modify the West Building systems. The process consisted of:

  • Developing an energy design standard to include design space temperatures, acceptable design air change rates, acceptable rules for setting occupied and unoccupied cycles for HVAC systems and guidance on how to account for standard laboratory equipment in cooling load calculations.
  • Retro-Commissioning: Performing an evaluation of all systems to correct systems which were not operating correctly or were operating in a way that consumed more energy than necessary.
  • Detailed Energy Study: Performing field work to quantify lighting, equipment and occupancy information. Characterizing lighting, equipment, and HVAC energy loads to be used for evaluating methods of reducing energy consumption on campus.
  • Implementing the energy conservation measures that met the economic and environmental goals of the University.

The study ultimately recommended that the University perform a $1,000,000 HVAC retrofit that will result in a $300,000 annual energy savings. The implementation project for these recommendations will be complete by the end of 2011.

Challenges of the Project:

  1.  100 year old building that had undergone numerous renovations.
  2. Building occupancy included offices, laboratories, and a morgue.
  3. Previous modification had already reduced airflows. Measurements were performed as part of the work to quantify actual airflows.