Zora Neale Hurston Building retro-commissioning

Project Summary

Through a program targeted at reducing energy consumption in public buildings while maintaining a comfortable environment for building tenants and guests, the Florida Department of Management Services engaged Hanson to retro-commission the Zora Neale Hurston Building in downtown Orlando. 

The Hurston Building consists of two towers (north and south) and the adjacent Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) building with more than 470,000 gross square feet of office space, laboratories and support areas. Construction of the FDLE building was completed in 1999, while the north and south towers were constructed in 1979 and 1989, respectively. 

As a part of a multi-step, retro-commissioning process, Hanson conducted a facility site assessment visit, reviewed record documents, analyzed utility information and evaluated existing control strategies. Hanson's field investigation included interviews with operating personnel, observations of the buildings’ energy-consuming systems and identification of potential energy-conservation measures. 

The retro-commissioning report included recommendations for specific energy efficiency improvements for the primary building energy systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment and distribution, lighting and associated controls), along with a preliminary financial analysis of the recommendations, which included estimated implementation costs, projected savings estimates and break-even return on investment. 

A mix of low-cost measures and a couple of small capital improvements reflected savings of approximately $82,000 per year with a payback of slightly less than one-and-a-half years.

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