Leaders from Trane a brand of Ingersoll Rand, and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) unveiled upgrades to the Atlanta convention center this week which are expected to cut energy costs and reduce the centers carbon footprint by 39 percent annually, saving more than $2.5 million in the first year alone.
The GWCCA, featuring the landmark convention center, represents a significant economic driver for the state. GWCCA leaders report that the 2016 economic impact of the convention center was $1.1 billion and that in its entirety, the GWCCA, including the convention center, currently ranks as the number one sports, entertainment, and convention destination in the world.
Convention center upgrades were needed to improve lighting, increase the reliability and performance of heating and cooling solutions, and reduce the center’s carbon footprint to reflect the Authority’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
<b>Performance Contracting Funded the Upgrades
</b>The GWCCA funded the $28 million project through the Georgia Energy Savings Contracting Procurement program, making it the state’s largest stand-alone energy performance contract and the nation’s largest for any public assembly venue, according to the GWCCA.
The performance contract allowed GWCCA to use future energy and operational savings to finance the infrastructure improvements up front. Performance contracting is a project delivery method that provides measurable business results to support strategic business objectives with reduced or eliminated capital funding requirements.
GWCCA leaders selected Trane through a competitive bid process to help enhance the convention center’s position as a sought-after location for major Atlanta-area events.
With 3.9 million square feet under one roof, the convention center operates much like a small city and needed to maintain operations during the upgrade process. Trane worked with the GWCC facilities team to develop a plan to address major business needs for the organization. Before identifying specific energy conservation measures, Trane and the GWCCA facilities team conducted an in-depth audit to identify opportunities for improvement.
<b>Upgrades Included New Central Plant, Energy Management and Lighting
</b>Based on the results of the audit, the facilities team selected upgrades that included implementing a new central plant to provide reliable heating and cooling performance for the next two to three decades. The uniquely designed central plant was completed without the need to demolish walls or the roof or interrupt the event schedule.
Upgrades also included new energy management systems and services that facilitate monitoring, analysis, alerts, reporting, tracking and data visualization of the convention center systems and building performance. These technology-based energy management services help the GWCCA facilities team assess building performance and work with Trane to modify systems as needed. The GWCCA team can use any web-connected mobile device to remotely access and adjust convention center building controls 24/7.
The project team also installed LED facility-wide lighting retrofits, installing lamps offering 500 percent longer life. The lighting improves illumination and color rendering and enhances visitors’ experience while ensuring the architectural integrity of the facility.
A measurement and verification service agreement will be implemented after the project upgrades are entirely completed this spring to help ensure that the building continues to operate and perform at optimal levels.
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