DTMB upgrades two historic buildings and receives Energy Star Certification

The Michigan Department of Technology Management & Budget (DTMB) has shown that old buildings can be energy efficient, adding Cadillac Place and the George W. Romney Building its list of Energy Star certified facilities.

An Energy Star certification is the gold standard for assessing a building’s energy efficiency. It can be difficult to meet the rigorous standards, especially with historic buildings, which may be using outdated electrical systems, as well as heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The changes made at the two state-owned properties are part of an overall effort to reduce energy consumption in DTMB-managed facilities across the state. So far, these facility improvements have resulted in an estimated decrease of $4.3 million dollars per year in utility expenses.

Cadillac Place ExteriorCadillac Place InteriorPlans to modernize Cadillac Place, a 1.4 million square foot building in downtown Detroit that was built in 1920 as the headquarters for General Motors, began in spring 2017. Achieving Energy Star certification meant upgrading the 100-year-old building’s HVAC systems, replacing 5,000 steam traps, and increasing energy storage capacity. Additionally, common areas were outfitted with motion sensors to minimize the use of 18,000 new LED lightbulbs.

HVAC units, which contribute to 40 percent of a building’s energy costs, are one of the first areas where energy efficient improvements can be made. Another is to exchange older lightbulbs with new LED lights. A relatively simple transition, these types of bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Currently, 20 DTMB facilities are completely lit with LED lighting.

Romney Energy Star Photo featuring (L to R) Steven Fox, Vince Warolin, Brady Ruhl, Jeff Howell, Bob Bierwagen, Keyna Court, Ryan Dush, and Brandon PattisonThe George W. Romney Building in downtown Lansing originally opened in 1926 as a hotel and was sold to the state in 1988. It houses the offices of multiple state agencies. It has undergone various improvements through the years, but the recent addition of variable-frequency drives to regulate the flow of water and air throughout the building will cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. The infrastructure of the Romney Building has also been updated with energy saving controls. The updated network enables the remote monitoring and management of the building’s HVAC, lighting, elevators, and energy metering into one smart computing and network-supported system.

The efforts to make state facilities more energy efficient is an example of state government leading by example to meet Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of having Michigan become fully carbon neutral by 2050.

 

Photo Credits: 

Photo#1, Cadillac Place (Exterior): 

1st Row

Darrin Futch

Dan Harris

Zach Cooper

2nd Row

Maurice Johnson

Bob Walker

John Richmond

Mike Blair

Al Vettese

3rd Row

Mark Montgomery

Glen Sevek

Marge Bustillo

Larry Beck

 

 

Photo #2, Cadillac Place (Interior): 

1st Row

Marge Bustillo

Dan Harris

Zach Cooper

2nd Row

John Richmond

Mike Blair

Al Vettese

3rd Row

Bob Walker

Glen Sevek

Larry Beck

4th Row

Mark Montgomery

Darrin Futch

Maurice Johnson

 

 

Photo #3, Romney Building (Interior): 

(L to R) Steven Fox, Vince Warolin, Brady Ruhl, Jeff Howell, Bob Bierwagen, Keyna Court, Ryan Dush, and Brandon Pattison