Sky High Energy Savings
November 09, 2009
Convia Selected for Empire State Building Retrofit; Developers Set Sights on Achieving Top-Level Efficiency
The team responsible for greening one of the world's most famous buildings is calling on the energy management strategies and advanced control capabilities of Convia/A Herman Miller Company. Today, Convia announced that it has been selected as the lighting control provider for pre-built offices as part of the $20 million dollar Empire State Building retrofit project. Targeted at making the landmark a model of sustainability and propelling the nation's interest in green building retrofits, the project is expected to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the building by approximately 40 percent and put it within the top 10 percent of all energy efficient buildings worldwide.
"The Empire State Building served as a global symbol of progress through the Great Depression. Now it is positioned to serve as a worldwide model for another key cause: sustainability," said Randy Storch, president of Convia. "We're honored to have been selected to help with this effort to set the efficiency standard for large commercial retrofits, and prove to designers and tenants around the world that these measures are easily within their reach."
The Empire State Building retrofit project is led by a team of consulting, design and construction partners, including the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and Rocky Mountain Institute. The Convia technology, on display this week at the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, will play a critical role in the energy management of the Empire State Building's pre-built tenant spaces, which other tenants may use as a model for energy efficiency within their own spaces. The building owners are looking to tenant participation to reduce energy consumption by 17 percent.
Convia is installed in a prototype office space on the building's 42nd floor, which has been set up to reflect a Platinum LEED office. New and renewing tenants can visit the prototype for ideas on how they can design for maximum efficiency as well as employee productivity and comfort. Nearly 40 percent of tenant space will come up for renewal in the next four years.
"Convia's work in the prebuilt space is an example of the technology we embrace," said Dana Schneider, Senior Project Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle. "When tenants want to use our pre-built space as a model for their own buildout, we have no hesitation in recommending Convia."
A Whole Building Approach for Peak Efficiency
Together, HVAC (30-35 percent), lighting (30-40 percent) and plug loads/office equipment (12-18 percent) account for nearly 93 percent of total energy use within a building. Convia addresses all three of these areas with a simple and intelligent controls and management platform. Within the prototype space, the Convia technology offers a whole-building level of control, providing sustainable solutions for everything from the building infrastructure to the individual workstation, including new advancements in plug load control through Herman Miller's Energy Manager.
Energy Manager, which is embedded in Herman Miller's Intent and Ethospace workstations in the space, is a device that senses occupancy and controls power in the company's systems furniture to save energy and lower costs. When a person sits down to work, an occupancy sensor detects their presence and turns on the devices in the cluster plugged into those two circuits, known as "plug loads" (e.g. task lights, printers, monitors or chargers). When the cluster is unoccupied, the devices automatically shut off. With plug load energy expected to rise by 70 percent over the next decade, Energy Manager provides an effective solution to control this energy.
Other key components of Convia that are integrated into the prototype space include:
- Occupancy Sensors: Sensors are programmed to trigger multiple devices for events.
- Thermostat set-points: Convia technology, in conjunction with Johnson Controls, regulates the temperature of the space based on occupancy levels. For example, when a room empties, an occupancy sensor turns off the lights and sends a signal to Johnson Controls to change the thermostat setting to a more energy efficient level (e.g. reduced heating) when the room is not in use.
- Daylight Dimming: Light dimming levels are automatically adjusted based on the time of day and the level of natural daylight available, which is essential to avoid distracting employees.
- Wall Switches: The switches enable users to control daylight dimming. Simply click once and lights turn on and daylight dimming is activated. Push and hold the switch and lights brighten and daylight dimming is disabled.
- Wand: Through Convia's "plug and play" connections and wand, tenants can renovate space via virtual rewiring (without the hardwiring of devices or switches), allowing them to customize and configure their space with ease. Such technologies will help the Empire State Building increase efficiency, improve space utilization, raise productivity and lower overall operating expenses.
Energy Reporting for Monumental Savings
A key part of the Empire State Building's green retrofit strategy is to provide tenants with quantitative data on energy use in their space to allow them to continuously modify their strategies to meet energy goals.
With Convia's Energy Track Reporting Tool, tenants leasing within the building can track their energy use at a zone (e.g. a private office, individual workstation or workstation cluster) or circuit level. Convia's Energy Track displays a space's actual energy usage on a simple and intuitive dashboard interface. Energy monitoring chips integrated into the Convia-enabled control components allow for accurate reporting. Based on this granular and highly accurate data, tenants can accurately report energy use and change their strategies based on this data.
Unlike traditional energy management control products, which can only manage energy based on estimates of consumed use, Energy Track will allow tenants to accurately determine the efficiency of their space.
"With Energy Track, current and future tenants in the Empire State Building can make educated, confident decisions about their energy strategies for immediate and ongoing improvement. This in turn will help optimize the building's real estate use and lower overall operating costs," said Storch.
About Convia, Inc.
Convia, Inc./A Herman Miller Company, seeks to advance energy management strategies and change the way people design, build, personalize and manage space. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Convia offers an end-to-end level of control that enables a building to adapt to the evolving needs of the people and organizations who occupy it while helping facility managers broaden their energy goals. Through its partnership with Wiremold/Legrand, the leading provider of modular electrical distribution components, Convia Controls are imbedded into Wiremold's flexible electrical wiring systems to provide a control platform that fuels the adoption of flexible, sustainable spaces. Such platforms can ultimately reduce real estate and building operating costs while improving employee productivity. For more information about Convia, visit www.convia.com.