Optima Engineering, Charlotte, NC
LEED & Sustainable Energy Solutions
L.T. MECHANICAL VALUE DELIVERED
Improved building safety and comfort; increased reliability; reduced energy consumption and costs; increased protection for data systems; a highly effective showcase for marketing the client’s own expertise in LEED energy-efficiency solutions and sustainable construction; LEED Platinum certification.
BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY OBJECTIVES
To accommodate business growth and highlight the firm’s sustainable design capabilities.
HVAC, BAS & ENERGY SERVICES SOLUTIONS
To help support Optima’s LEED Platinum objectives, L.T. Mechanical installed an array of high-efficiency HVAC technologies. The basic strategy was to minimize the amount of outdoor air needed to properly ventilate the firm’s 16,000-square-foot space. L.T. achieved this by adjusting the HVAC system to meet demand as measured by occupancy and CO2 levels, significantly reducing heating and cooling costs.
To implement this strategy, L.T. installed 67.5 tons of rooftop variable air volume (VAV) units with a 100 percent economizer and power exhaust; variable frequency drive (VFD)-equipped supply and exhaust fans, outside air flow monitoring, CO2 sensors and 18 VAV boxes with controls. A direct digital control (DDC) system optimizes operation and performance, while terminal units provide temperature-based, zone-by-zone control, reducing air flow, fan horsepower and energy consumption.
In addition, L.T. equipped the data room with an energy-efficient HVAC system that maintains safe temperatures for the client’s servers and other information technologies.
L.T. also commissioned the building automation system (BAS), calibrating sensors, testing control sequences, evaluating power quality and conducting a number of other evaluations and adjustments. The company then performed certified independent building control system testing and balancing, demonstrating to Optima – and the U.S. Green Building Council, the governing authority for the LEED program – that the facility automation system met the LEED program’s stringent requirements for Platinum-level projects.
Initial performance figures showed the building’s operating efficiencies exceeding ASHRAE Standard 90.1 by more than 15 percent. Besides earning LEED Platinum certification, Optima’s new offices received the 2009 Green Commercial Project of the Year Award from the Charlotte Business Journal, and Real Estate & Construction Review chose the building as "one of the best new green projects in the Southeastern region" from more than 2,500 entries.
OPTIMA ENGINEERING FACILITY BACKGROUND
Optima Engineering is a multi-disciplined, professional engineering firm specializing in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, lighting, sustainable design and commissioning services. Its new facility was the first building in the Charlotte area to receive LEED Platinum certification for commercial interiors.