Using PC Optimizer to Reinforce Energy Retrofits

Convincing a building owner or facility manager on an energy retrofit proposal given limited operational and maintenance budgets can be quite challenging if not presented with the proper tools or methods to accurately demonstrate the true present and future values of the proposal. Luckily, Phoenix Controls provides us, Belnor Engineering Inc., with a software platform that can put a dollar value on the energy savings we propose.

PC Optimizer is a program that intakes basic parameters about an existing site, such as location and weather data, desired temperature and humidity set points, and information on the air handling units, economizers, supply and exhaust fans, and heating and cooling loads and efficiencies of the spaces. Information on any fume hoods or point exhausts and their desired set points are also entered into the program.

Then, by inputting a floor plan, with room by room information on the supply and exhaust airflows, we can create a general airflow profile of the building, given their general occupancies. The software then analyzes all the parameters and generates a full report, which outlines the major savings if the energy retrofit where to occur.

PC Optimizer has proven to be a useful aid during high-level discussions with major players as it offers a quantitative value on the direct energy savings of a project, which can otherwise be quite difficult to estimate and because of which, hinders the decision-making process because of lack of substantial information. When presented with an option to retrofit a building, an owner will usually need relevant empirical data on the state of the existing system to make an informed decision, so it is important to take advantage of these types of tools in order to bulk up the proposal and make it noteworthy.

Energy retrofits sometimes, but not always, come with a premium over sticking with the existing system, so we have realized it is important to present the data in a way that can appeal to the owner such as calculating and effectively communicating the payback period or return on investment. If a return on investment is within 5 years, then there is a better probability of an owner looking down the road more comfortably and realizing the true value of the investment, which is usually backed by the enhanced productivity and sustainability of the new system.

Nevertheless, if the proposal does not generate enough buzz and worry about the existing system, then the owner can simply just choose to stay with the original one despite the advantages that the new one presents down the road. By using PC Optimizer in the early stages, we can work with engineers, contractors, building owners, and facility managers in convincing and ensuring that everyone is on the same page and understands the value of the return on investment in order to go through with the better alternative at hand.

By offering a green alternative to the construction and retrofit of hospitals, schools, research facilities, laboratories, office buildings, and recreational or manufacturing facilities, Belnor Engineering Inc. can confidently present a proposal for these knowing that the data backing it up is sound and gives a good idea of the present and future value of the project.

PC Optimizer allows us to stand behind the proposal more firmly with regards to the laboratory and venturi valve equipment we offer under the Phoenix Controls product line, and has helped to physically realize projects such as the John Hodgins Engineering building at McMaster University, in Hamilton, or the Mercury Facility. In addition to this software, Belnor Engineering Inc. can offer payment options for these sometimes costly retrofits through a third party organization known as Noesis.

Noesis is a leader in third-party building project negotiations, specializing in energy retrofit proposals and has worked with all the major players, such as Honeywell, Siemens and Trane to name a few, in reaching conclusive deals. By sitting down with the owner and Noesis, Belnor can provide a retrofit solution that is quantified by empirical data and can be supported by different payment options! Feel free to request an energy retrofit quotation from us if you believe a building within your organization needs a much-needed sustainability or operational face-lift!

We enjoy working with owners and engineers in determining a green option that works for everyone involved and realizing the project from start to finish.

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