Top ways MEP engineering services can make older buildings more efficient: Part 2

In the second of a three-part series, we break down two more strategies that use MEP engineering services to make existing buildings more energy efficient.


In the second of a three-part series, we break down two more strategies that use MEP engineering services to make existing buildings more energy efficient. Courtesy: RTM EngineeringAlthough sustainability is important as it relates to new construction, it also should be a priority when updating older buildings. With the changing demands in an environment of growing energy costs, RTM's Sustainability Studio focuses specifically on providing clean, efficient solutions to owners.

In the second of a three-part series, we break down two more strategies that use mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services to make existing buildings more energy-efficient.

1. Implement a retro-commissioning strategy

The retro-commissioning process identifies equipment and systems that aren't performing at their optimal level in existing buildings. Through a feasibility study, the costs for upgrading these systems are determined and compared with the operational savings that would come from better performance.

RTM implements a retro-commissioning strategy for older buildings that would see worthwhile payback—through increased efficiency and savings—from an upfront investment.

"The team at RTM currently is working on a few retro-commissioning projects at Veterans Affairs medical centers in Wisconsin and Illinois. One project requires an upgrade to a chiller system that has been in place since the building's construction," said RTM Principal Tim Larson, PE. "We were able to provide a more efficient system that will save significant energy and costs over time, offering payback in less than 5 years, which is the preferred timeframe of a retro-commissioning return on investment."

2. Explore utility incentive and rebate programs

Varying types of city, state, and federal green initiatives exist that support sustainable design and provide benefits to building owners. Experienced MEP engineers know how to analyze the details and advantages of each program to determine the best fit for an older building renovation.

"At RTM, we facilitate the process of implementing various energy-efficient programs to reduce the high upfront costs associated with employing certain energy strategies. We advise our clients regarding which incentives they qualify for and help prepare documentation and applications for these programs" said RTM Principal Mitesh Smart, PE.

-This article originally appeared on RTM. RTM is a CFE Media content partner.

No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
MEP Giants; MEP Annual Report; Mergers and acquisitions; Passive, active fire protection; LED retrofits; HVAC energy efficiency
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me