The retrocommissioning of the University of Minnesota’s Biological Sciences laboratory is an outstanding example of a modest efficiency investment that delivered strong financial performance.
Constructed in 1969, Biological Sciences is a dual-purpose teaching and research laboratory with eight floors, located on the University’s St. Paul campus. No significant efficiency improvements were made to the building in the years preceding the recent retrocommissioning effort, which began in June 2013 and concluded in January 2014.
The retrocommissioning of this building was a tremendous success, yielding a substantial return on the University’s investment and a 46% reduction of the building’s weather-normalised annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI). Biological Sciences is now one of the most energy efficient teaching and research laboratories on campus.
Owner: University of Minnesota
Location: Falcon Heights, Minnesota
Building Type: Teaching and research laboratory
Size: 8 stories; 207,115 square feet
Year Built: 1969
Occupancy sensors in all laboratory spaces
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) provide 6 ACH during the day and 3 ACH at night
Two-way hot water system replaced existing three-way system
Reheat system turned off during summer months
500 LED kits installed throughout the building
Weather-normalised annual EUI decreased by 46%
Reduced steam, electricity, and chilled water use
Annual utility savings of $242,000 on an investment of only $450,000
Greater building occupant comfort
For further information and details, you can download the relevant report elaborated by the Institute for Market Transformation (ICM) here.