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Michigan State Spends $7 Million to Retrofit Old Building

Linda Hardesty

Michigan State University in Lansing is doing a comprehensive energy-efficiency retrofit of one of its oldest buildings in the hopes of reaping cost savings of about $536,000 per year.

MSU has selected Anthony Hall, built in 1957, as its showcase energy-efficiency project. The university will spend an estimated $7 million on the retrofit and expects a 34 percent annual energy savings once implementation is complete, with a payback period of from seven to 10 years.

Anthony Hall is a 317,200-sq-foot multi-purpose building that houses the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, as well as the University’s Meats Lab and Dairy Store.

MSU is employing a five-step existing-building commissioning process:

  1. Building profiling;
  2. Documentation and analysis phase where MSU performs an energy audit in the building to identify significant mechanical and related systems that may need to be replaced or added;
  3. All building systems are evaluated, or assessed and adjusted to ensure they are operating at the optimal level, and energy-conservation measures are identified that will result in further efficiencies;
  4. Implementation of the selected energy-conservation measures;
  5. MSU will “continuously commission” the building, or aggressively monitor the new or newly adjusted systems to ensure efficiency is sustained.

The project is part of the Better Buildings Challenge, where CEOs and university presidents are asked to make their organizations more energy efficient. The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the larger Better Buildings Initiative.

The following energy-conservation measures are planned for implementation at Anthony Hall:

  • Installing variable-speed drives on cooling tower fans: savings of $5,000 annually for building and another $2,000 annually for process towers;
  • Installing air-flow monitoring and repairing economizer damper controls: savings of $73,000 annually;
  • Implementing demand-ventilation control strategies in auditoriums: savings of $2,600 annually;
  • Installing air-quality sensors in laboratories: savings of $128,000 annually;
  • Installing heat-recovery unit in the exhaust air stream: savings of $4,000 annually;
  • Connecting heat recovery to refrigeration units: savings for this measure are under review;
  • Converting multiple building reheat systems to variable-speed systems: savings for all reheat work including insulation and VAV conversion of $23,000 annually;
  • Upgrading lighting and installing lighting controls: savings of $10,000 annually;
  • Add occupancy sensors to fume hoods to set back flow when hood is not in use: savings of $14,000 annually;
  • Correction actions of typical maintenance and repair items, such as replacing leaking valves and dampers, cleaning heating coils, and adjusting controls: savings of $130,000 annually;
  • Miscellanous includes insulating steam and chilled water valves with removable covers; add controls in elevators to turn off lights and fans when not in use; adjust controls on face and bypass dampers and steam control valve; replace existing pneumatic terminal unit controls with DDC control; install control valves on steam humidifiers: savings of $110,000 annually.

Anthony Hall will be the first building at MSU to undergo this complete upgrade process, setting the blueprint for future energy efficiency improvements in MSU’s aging building portfolio.



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