At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency, Data Analysis
Amrutha Prabhu built a comprehensive building energy model of an existing Mayo Clinic building to analyze the impact of various energy conservation measures.
Mayo Clinic engaged Amrutha as their seventh EDF Climate Corps fellow to build a comprehensive energy model for an existing building. Her analysis and results will empower Mayo Clinic to analyze different strategies for reducing the building's energy use intensity (EUI), such as heat recovery, building envelope improvements, and HVAC controls changes. This project is proposed to serve as a pilot to determine the efficacy of using Building Energy Modeling to improve the EUI of the existing building stock.
Amrutha used the existing building information data to build a comprehensive energy model using OpenStudio software and calibrated it by plugging accurate schedules, temperature setpoints, and HVAC data. This baseline model was then compared to actual 2019 utility data to check the simulation accuracy.
After matching the baseline energy consumption with actual data, energy conservation measures were implemented on the baseline models as different iterations. Both active and passive measures were applied to the energy model to analyze the cost, energy, and carbon savings impact.
Passive energy efficiency measures to the building envelope included the addition of shading devices and triple pane low-E windows. Under the active energy conservation measures, heating, and cooling setpoint changes, a geothermal heat pump system to replace the existing heating and cooling systems, and an Energy recovery system for the Air handling units were implemented.
Using the simulation results from each of the energy conservation iterations, EUI and carbon reduction potential and corresponding cost savings were calculated and compared to evaluate which of the measure has the maximum impact. Based on the simulation results, the Geothermal heat pump system and the energy recovery system had the largest EUI and carbon reduction potential compared to others.
When the geothermal heat pump system was implemented in the baseline energy model, there was a 28% reduction in Energy Use Intensity (EUI) from 137.81 to 98.60 with 292.2 metric CO2 equivalent savings. Another strategy to reduce the EUI of the existing building was identified as an energy recovery system for the Air-side HVAC loops. This inexpensive measure helped reduce the EUI from 137.81 to 115.31 with 264.7 metric CO2 equivalent savings.
Since these energy conservation measures have an immense impact on reducing GHG emissions, they are recommended as a potential solution to meet Mayo Clinic’s Better Climate Challenge commitments to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.