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.

By RTM Engineering Consultants July 19, 2016

Although 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.

Author Bio: RTM Engineering Consultants are a MEP and Civil engineering firm.