The New Face of Efficiency
The New Face of Efficiency
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The New Face of Efficiency
By: Patrick Worthington 1 minute read

Comprehensive energy management programs can work to both minimize the energy consumption of facilities and improve interior environments, keeping rising utility costs in check and enhancing the airport experience.

In an era where rising utility costs, aging facilities and the environment are increasingly becoming more prominent on the list of key issues facing airport personnel, comprehensive energy management programs offer a valuable, often underutilized, solution.

In the past, discussions of energy conservation conjured images of uninviting, uncomfortable, dimly lit spaces that conveyed the feeling that comfort was sacrificed in the name of conservation. Experience has shown us that this does not have to be the case. The correct application of advancing technology and design philosophy in a comprehensive energy management solution can work to both minimize the energy consumption of facilities and improve interior environments, keeping rising utility costs in check and enhancing the airport experience.

Artificial lighting systems within terminals and other airport facilities provide numerous opportunities to not only significantly reduce energy consumption but to optimize illumination levels and improve color rendition. This improves the overall quality of artificial light and creates more inviting and comfortable spaces. Likewise, upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can provide better control of indoor environmental factors and maximize passenger comfort, while still reducing overall energy consumption.

These two areas represent the tip of the iceberg with respect to energy efficiency opportunities that can positively impact the airport experience. The success of such opportunities should be gauged on their contributions to energy goals and positive impact on passenger experience, as well as environmental benefits, reductions in operating and maintenance costs, replacement of aging equipment, and increased system reliability.

While there are numerous implementation strategies that allow airports to achieve the benefits of efficiency, the Energy Services Performance Contract (ESPC) stands apart in its ability to efficiently develop and implement a comprehensive energy management strategy while minimizing risk to airport management.

The ESPC is implemented as a turnkey solution. Burns & McDonnell executes and manages all phases, including conceptual design, detailed engineering, construction and commissioning. This project delivery approach ensures consistency, a single point of responsibility and shorter schedules.

Another key component of the ESPC is that the resulting cost savings fund 100 percent of the program debt service, requiring no out-of-pocket expense. The cost savings are guaranteed and verified by Burns & McDonnell over the performance term of the program, typically five to 20 years. This guarantee enables numerous financing alternatives, eliminates performance risk associated with the program and preserves the capital budget for other facility improvements.

Case Study: Port Columbus International Airport

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority and Burns & McDonnell implemented a comprehensive energy management program at Port Columbus International Airport in Ohio that will allow the authority to achieve energy savings totaling $7 million over the next 10 years. The program was completed in early 2007. Savings within the first year of measurement were more than 10 million kilowatt-hours, 14,000 kilowatts and nearly $600,000.

The project included a comprehensive list of energy conservation measures, including upgrades to building automation and HVAC controls; installation of energy savings controls on escalators and elevators; integration of the Flight Information Display System with the energy management system for equipment scheduling; and installation of a new power quality system.

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