An HVAC system can account for 44% of a commercial office building’s energy consumption.1 So, the potential of saving an average of 30%1 was part of the reason US Foods (USF)-Manassas chose to integrate its HVAC system with a Building Management System (BMS).

The USF Manassas, VA, location has been operational since 1986, employing 500 people. The decision was made to expand and renovate its existing facility because of business growth and increased demand in the Washington DC metro area. This includes approximately 173,000 sq. ft. of -10°F of freezer/cooler space, conversion of the current freezer to coolers, renovation of the dry storage area, expansion of the dry storage area, renovation of the office, and expansion of the office. Additionally, a CO2/NH3 hybrid central refrigeration system is being installed to improve energy efficiency, along with new interior insulated metal panels designed to maintain temperatures in the controlled interior environments.

The existing office HVAC systems have been upgraded to meet the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.  And, the new office area has high-efficiency HVAC equipment, which includes a new BMS.  “A BMS facilitates system operation and maintenance of the HVAC systems,” explains Amy Koch, PE, mechanical design engineer, ESI Group USA.  “The HVAC systems are controlled by the BMS to allow the owner a single point of access to view the status of their comfort systems, adjust set-points and schedules, and monitor system alarms.  Additionally, the BMS allows maintenance personnel to view any alarms or temperature issues from a single web-based program that is accessible via a password-protected web interface.”

The new BMS allows maintenance staff to monitor trends for space temperature, operating mode, fan speed, etc., to allow the HVAC systems to operate most efficiently.  The BMS notifies maintenance staff of equipment alarms on mobile devices and via email to ensure that staff are dispatched to immediately address the issue.

“Having a BMS that detects areas that are not operating at peak efficiency and signals maintenance personnel of these issues in real-time gives USF-Manassas the opportunity to save time and money,” says Koch.

Reference

  1. Cloud-Connected HVAC Systems Are at the Core of Smart Facilities, the News, Nov. 25, 2019, https://www.achrnews.com/articles/142206-cloud-connected-hvac-systems-are-at-the-core-of-smart-facilities.