In 2015, Wayne State University’s Academic Administration Building, Detroit, MI, was facing many of the same concerns as other office buildings of similar age. Tenants (in this case University employees) repeatedly complained to building maintenance staff that they were “too hot” or “too cold.” And the costs of running the building kept creeping up.
As part of a DTE Energy and Nexant Retro-commissioning (RCx) project for no-cost and low-cost energy conservation measures (ECMs) with short-term payback, Newman Consulting Group (NCG) conducted an ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Analysis and RCx Study on the building. We uncovered several opportunities that would not only make tenants more comfortable, but also save money. The DTE RCx program, however, dictated that any measures eligible for rebates from DTE under their Energy Optimization program could not be included in the ECMs implemented for this project, e.g., LED lighting, high-efficiency motors, or VFDs, to name a few. Still, we were able to make significant improvements.