More than 200 building owners, facilities managers and C-level executives from Fortune companies across North America came to FMA’s Future Facilities Summit in Teaneck, New Jersey on October 20-21, 2015. They shared a common purpose: to evaluate their best options for intelligent building and facilities management.
What they got in addition was a detailed look at state-of-the-art technology in building automation, energy storage, lighting systems, and renewable energy solutions for high-performance facilities. Plus the incalculable benefit of new or solidified business relationships with solutions providers at leading companies like Kaeser Compressors, Inc., Coppertree Analytics, Hudson’s Bay Company and GE Solar.
Bringing together the right people and the right companies under one roof is the hallmark of Montreal-based FMA Summits. In just two and a half days of informative presentations, live product demos and informal, one-on-one discussions between solution providers, a national retailer identified potential partners to work synergistically in the overhaul of its more than 1,000 showrooms. An operator of a chain of group homes for severely disabled adults discovered cost-effective construction solutions to improve the comfort and safety of its residents. All participants gained new relationships they can leverage in their endeavors to increase operational efficiency, reduce energy costs and improve building resiliency.
In his keynote presentation, John Lee, Deputy Director for Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability the common challenges that that New York City shares with building owners and facilities managers. Lee is leading the city’s policy and legislative efforts driving the City to meet its unprecedented energy efficiency standards and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Integral to the “One New York” plan will be the retrofitting of the City’s one million buildings to maximize energy efficiency. The City also plans to install 100 MW of renewable power and train the labor market in skills that they can bring to the private market. “The investments we make in buildings will have direct results across our economy,” Lee said.
LED lighting — the fastest route to savings.
One of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency and uncover costs savings is through LED lighting,” says Jim Hunter, Senior Vice Preident of Sales and Marketing at MaxLite, a New Jersey-based designer and manufacturer of energy efficient lighting. That proposition was echoed by Bob Cantarutti, President of Emium Lighting and Kendra Paschall, Vice President of Sales at Every Watt Matters, an international, full-service lighting installer. LEDs use 50% less energy and 85% less than incandescants. “Converting to LEDs can save money — up to $275 per lamp — so the ROI can easily reach 10X the initial product investment,” says Paschall.
Converting to LED lighting may be a sure bet, but building owners and managers still need to ask questions, cautioned Bill Burke, Director of Sales at Houston-based US LED, Ltd. Substantial savings can be realized through less wattage, reduced maintenance costs, and better lighting quality. But you need to ask, ‘Who manufacturers your diodes? What is your system efficacy? (The higher the efficacy the better the product.) What’s the L70 rating? How long will it last?’ “If the answers you get are, ‘It’s proprietary or I’m not sure,” that’s a red flag.” Burke advised using reputable suppliers like Citizen, Samsung and LG Innotek. Most important, he says, is finding out exactly what you are getting in terms of spacing and layout before you spend any money.
The cost-saving benefits of LED lighting notwithstanding, sometimes decision makers need a little more convincing. That’s what Gary Levitan, Senior Manager of Energy & Utilities Hudson’s Bay Company learned when he embarked on a major LED lighting overhaul in some of its Saks Fifth Avenue stores. With a retail culture that values the customer experience above all, and a skeptical finance department, the task of converting Saks stores to LED lighting presented a daunting challenge. To gain buy in, Levitan actively engaged store designers in the process of selecting and testing lamps in-store and followed many of their recommendations. When speaking with finance, he broke down the ROI model lamp by lamp, showing the simple arithmetic. “When you break it down and show where the savings are coming from, they had no choice but to approve the project.”
Solar as the gateway to savings.
Recognizing the many interconnected forms of sustainability — starting with solar — drives the business strategy at GE Solar. “There’s an incredible demand for solar…and businesses are seeing an inflection point in the industry,” says Eric Schiemann, Global Solar Business Leader. Given its extensive experience and investments in solar R&D and countless success stories, the GE approach uses solar as a gateway solution to a portfolio of renewable energy solutions, from LED lighting installs to backup power supplies. “Establishing trust allows us to help our clients control their energy costs in multiple, innovative buy lamictal online ways.”
Woody Rubin, VP Energy Solutions at AES attributed the changing solar energy business model as the impetus for his company. “We’re going from centralized plants with passive consumers to customers taking ownership and control over their energy sourcing.” In response, AES takes the best of both sides of the grid, delivering on-site and off-site applications ranging from traditional rooftop installations and parking canopies to non-traditional “community solar” projects built on landfills, Rubin said. Community solar arrays allow facilities to generate power off-site, have multiple customers, and be built on a larger scale.
“Companies should be looking to their compressed air systems to find significant savings,” says Wayne Perry, Technical Director at Kaeser Compressors, Inc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, compressed air systems waste an astonishing 50% of its energy due to leakage and other factors. “That’s about $18.5 billion per year wasted…If we optimize compressed air systems, it is like doubling our renewables,” said Perry. He described how Kaeser Compressors can analyze a company’s energy usage and capture and sustain energy savings, while reducing maintenance costs. Kaeser’s System Optimization tecnology allow companies to anticipate demand events rather than react to them, so they can take control of energy consumption.
Kent McCord, Director of Marketing at DOOSAN, the global leader in fuel cells, introduced a high efficiency machine, the “PureCell® Model 400,” which operates on natural gas, generating 440 kW of clean electricity and 1.7 million BTU/hour of useable heat. Fuel cells generate electricity and heat through an electrochemical process with no combustion or moving parts, McCord explained. “The simplicity of operation yields high-efficiency, ultra-low emissions and exceptional reliability.”
Smart solutions for building enclosures.
Building owners and facilities managers seeking building enclosure options also found innovative solutions at the Future Facilities Summit.
BASF, the largest chemical company in the construction materials industry, showcased a building innovation it developed as part of an industry competition funded by the Clinton Global Initiative. Moses Clark, BASF’s National Account Manager, described the challenge: to reduce the carbon footprint at a large New York City Housing Authority property located in Brooklyn. Because the property was occupied, safety and quality of life issues were paramount concerns, especially during the construction process. “If you’ve worked for housing units, you know we can’t say, ‘we want you to move out for a month,” said Moses. So BASF developed an insulating material that produced low VOCs, no odors or fumes, was quick to install, and would require minimal waste removal at the end of its life cycle. The product was selected among 630 solutions providers.
Energy management key to cost savings.
Another way companies can cut costs and make facilities smarter is by leveraging intelligent energy management systems.
Randy Parole, Senior Account Executive at Parole, described ways to cut peak demand (a.k.a. “demand shaving”) using robust software. STEM’s system tracks building patterns so companies can shift energy use to times when rates are lower. What’s more, there are currently a half billion dollars in financial incentives available to help companies manage dynamic energy markets.
Keith Larose , Director of Business Development at CopperTree Analytics, described his company’s energy management (EMS) and fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) software for companies that want to gain greater control of their energy dollars. CopperTree’s hallmark service is a “tight” breakdown of energy consumption for any device, available on a monthly, daily, hourly or by 15-minute time periods, along with real time reporting and analytics. Larose cited a case study of a maximum seciurity hospital in Nevada which had high peak demand charges. Coppertree offered a detailed energy prediction for 24-hour intervals, so that energy usage could be modified. With an initial investment of $1,200 the State of Nevata now saves $35K annually. In addition to cost benefits, Coppertree Analytic systems can be used to improve tenant comfort and reduce maintenance costs.
Many building owners struggle with the challenge of how to upgrade existing technologies without spending a fortune. Harry Sim, CEO of Cypress Envirosystems, presented a portfolio of low-cost, non-invasive technologies for companies to improve existing buildings. STEM’s wireless pneumatic thermostats, wireless gauge readers, wireless steam trap monitors and many other solutions “provide easy retrofit, and offer energy and labor savings with fast payback,” he said.
Gerald Bane, Regional Manager at Ware, a provider of industrial and commercial boiler systems, described a variety of combustion and control energy retrofits, as well as boiler rental programs that can save companies money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Faced with rising utility costs, unreliable grids, and the negative environmental impacts of our many of our energy choices, building owners must look to a new energy model. Connecting all facets of intelligent building and putting the right people together under one roof — the collaborative formula of FMA Summits — offers a clear pathway to the solutions they’ll need.