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Ameresco Begins $45M ESPC for General Services

Linda Hardesty

Federal Center Energy ManageAmeresco started project construction of its $45 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with the US General Services Administration (GSA). The ESPC will serve two federal buildings: the New Carrollton Federal Building in Lanham, Md., and the Silver Spring Metro Center 1 building in Silver Spring, Md.

About 1 MW equivalent of on-site renewable energy using solar and geothermal technologies will be installed at the New Carrollton building.

The ESPC measures are also designed to reduce overall water consumption in the two buildings by over 17 million gallons a year. Savings in the first year are expected to be over $2.8 million with total energy consumption of the two federal buildings reduced by 60 percent.

Both buildings will be modernized with the installation of 11,000 individually addressable LED fixtures controlled by a network of over 2,000 sensors. The new lighting control systems will integrate into existing and new DDC control systems allowing the HVAC systems to heat and cool only occupied spaces.

At the New Carrollton building, Ameresco will construct an 808 kW solar parking lot canopy as well as a 67 kW carport structure in the south parking lot facing the New Carrollton Metro Stop. A new solar thermal heating system will also be installed on the building’s roof.

A geothermal well field for heat rejection will increase the efficiency of a new chilled water plant, consisting of two new high efficiency chillers and one new chiller-heater. Similar to a heat pump, the chiller-heater will be used to generate hot water for space heating as well as domestic hot water.

In February, GSA said it had awarded more than $191 million worth of ESPCs for nearly 100 buildings as part of its contribution to the Better Buildings Challenge.

New standards for federal facilities run by GSA will focus less on specific technologies and more on positive outcomes, according to a GSA blog. GSA’s facility managers will no longer be mandated to use specific technologies as long as energy and environmental goals are met. For example, the old facility standards required that the HVAC system in all federal buildings use variable air volume technology. The new standards specify the target performance for an HVAC system – as measured in terms of temperature, humidity, energy efficiency, ventilation and other variables – and leaves it to the designer to decide which technology best achieves that outcome.



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