Employees at the city hall in Quincy, Ill. (2007 population: 40,069), have been coping with ancient mechanical systems. “The 50-year-old HVAC system was fraught with problems, not only due to the age of the equipment, but also because of a lack of proper maintenance over the years prior to the city acquiring the building,” Ken Cantrell told GovPro.com.

Cantrell, who is the city's director of administrative services, added: “Comfort control in our building was impossible. Some offices were freezing, and others were boiling. Compounded with astronomical utility bills, we had a huge problem. Skyrocketing utility costs made modifying the systems more palatable.”

And so, the city turned to St. Louis-based design and construction firm Control Technology and Solutions (CTS). The company replaced the antiquated HVAC setup with a high-efficiency system and added a design improvement in the delivery of conditioned air. The new system is linked to a Web-based building automation unit that creates a more comfortable working environment by balancing 62 heating and cooling zones. The 33,000-square-foot municipal facility previously had only eight zones.

The turnkey facility upgrade, valued at $1.3 million, has delivered a six-month energy savings of $53,000 to the city. A six-month audit has shown that the retrofit is on pace to more than double the guaranteed annual energy savings of $45,000. A January 2009 energy appraisal found that the city already has achieved $27,000 in natural gas savings and $26,000 in electric use savings, which brings the total savings to $53,000. In addition, the retrofit is cutting operating and maintenance costs by $56,000 annually.

CTS offers services that improve the energy efficiency of government, educational, institutional and commercial buildings. And what about comfort control at the Quincy city hall, following the retrofit? “Visitors and occupants are now comfortable, which was not possible with the old system,” Cantrell says.

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