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Projects Updates for Retrocommissioning (RCx)

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  1. Revolving Loan Fund: FY2020 Project Selection Results

    7 projects were approved during the FY2020 Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) project selection. At this time, final scoring results were determined as well. F&S will be beginning these projects soon and will start assessing their correlated utility savings.

    Due to COVID-19, the voting process was conducted via email as opposed to meeting in person. As a result of the success in the virtual voting process, future selections are planned to occur in a similar fashion.

  2. Info from Andy Robinson at F&S

    I am on the team that did the Retrocommissioning project in 2018 and I would be happy to share some of our knowledge from that process.  Below is the link to a presentation of that project that we took to a Big Ten energy conference.   Some of our main takeaways are that the combination of chilled beams, dual HX wheels, coil sizing, occupancy ventilation, and thoughtful building pressurization have led to one of the most efficient buildings on campus.  Also, the heat pumps work well to heat/cool with electricity, but would be optimal if there were more of a reheat load, or a hot water loop to send reject heat to a neighboring building in summer, which campus is looking into in certain locations. 



    Andy Robinson, LEED-AP, CEM

    DDC Specialist, F&S Energy Services - RCx

  3. Final project reports for Fall 2017

    The CEE 398 Project Based Learning and the Sustainability Minor's ENVS 492 Capstone students completed their nine fall 2017 reports.

    There were five projects completed for capstone partners:

    1. Energy Dashboards for Accenture
    2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Johnson Controls
    3. Food Hub Study for The Land Connection
    4. Sensors and Green Buildings for CERL
    5. Biomass Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for Chip Energy

    There were four other projects completed by CEE students:

    1. Rain Garden Design
    2. Solar and Green Roofs Analysis
    3. Food Waste to Energy
    4. ADA Sidewalk Repair Cost Analysis
  4. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Chacellor's approval

  5. Revolving Loan Fund projects approved

    The Revolving Loan Fund selection committee has approved funding for all the viable RLF projects.  See attached image for list.

  6. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Transmittal to the Council

    ECONS003 Conservation Budget Recommendation was transmitted to the Office of the Provost on March 6, 2017. The Council discussed the recommendation at this meeting.

    See iWG Assessment of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

    See SWATeam Recommendation of ECONS003 Conservation Budget

  7. special vote requested

    Revolving Loan Fund Selection Committee,

    The time is almost here to select another round of projects for the Revolving Loan Fund. For this upcoming selection we have approximately $1,000,000 to allocate. However, due to a timing issue I am appealing to the committee to decide on a Retro-Commissioning project in advance of the formal selection meeting. The reason for requesting Retro-Commissioning at Memorial Stadium early is due to a deadline associated with the availability of DCEO grant dollars. If expenditures and savings are realized prior to May 31, 2017, DIA could receive $100,000 in grant money from DCEO. Our meeting for project selection is targeted for the first week of May 2017 which does not give us enough time to qualify for the grant.

    Below is project specific information that would normally be presented at the project selection meeting. We don’t necessarily need to score this project, all we need is a majority decision (yes or no) to approve this project. If accepted, the committee would be considering $800,000 for allocation at the targeted May selection meeting.

    Project Name: Memorial Stadium Retro-Commissioning

    Project type: Retro-Commissioning

    Buildings: Memorial Stadium

    Energy Cost Savings: $300,000 /year

    Funding Request: $200,000

    Project Cost: $500,000 (DIA will contribute $200,000 and DCEO grant contribution will be $100,000)

    Payback Period: Approximately 2 Years

    General Description of Work:

    Provide temperature control upgrades & retro-commissioning services for the west and north portions of the stadium. During preliminary work, many noteworthy items have been identified. Several HVAC equipment scheduling improvements have been made already.

    Project Owners: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)

    Project Execution Contact: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)


    1-      Payback Period: The payback period is approximately 2 years.

    2-      Reduction of Greenhouse Gas: Greenhouse gases will be reduced by 3,491,227 lbs due to conservation of electricity, chilled water, and steam.

    3-      Fund Size Impact: While grant dollars are available for this particular submission, the grant will not be used to increase the Revolving Loan Fund balance.

    4-      Visibility: Memorial Stadium is an iconic building for Athletics on campus.  The energy savings could be indirectly visible in that it could pay for other items that Athletics desires. There is a large amount of diversity in the usage of the space.

    5-      Project Coordination: Coordination items need to be considered as the south end zone & east grandstand project approaches. There are temporary plans to be considered prior to the arrival of this particular project.

    Other Pertinent Information:

    It is proposed that Athletics provide $200k for this project. Eileen Westervelt, via DCEO funding, has provided a building energy study which has identified large energy savings in this building of over $300,000 per year. It is suggested that to secure the $100K DCEO grant, $150K needs to be spent by May 31, 2017 and evidence will need to be presented that the indicated energy is being saved.

    The campus has realized a significant amount of utility savings due to the efforts made by the Retro-Commissioning teams and the expectation would be no different at Memorial Stadium. The data the Retro-Commissioning group has provided for this application predicts a very positive outcome which is consistent with most of their projects throughout campus.

    The reason for the expedited decision is to take advantage of the possible DCEO funds that will likely not be available in the future. Thanks again for your participation in this selection process and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    I ask that you please reply with your individual yes or no votes before February 10, 2017.

    Thanks again,

    Josh Whitson

  8. FY 16 RCx Progress Report

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Retrocommissioning (RCx) team has completed nine years of operation on campus in more than 60 campus buildings covering over 8 million square ft. of campus space, having begun our work in Aug. 2007. We have avoided utility costs of over $47M considering the campus fully loaded utility rate or $39M considering the campus variable utility rate. We have also secured millions of dollars in DCEO grants in the past years, including $1.5 million in FY16. We continue to accrue and maintain significant energy usage reductions (average of 27%) on our retrocommissioned buildings. This rate of energy reductions has been generally maintained for 8+ years. More investment in larger projects will be needed going forward to achieve larger energy conservation results.

    Attached Files: 
  9. Conservation Budget Recommendation (ECONS003) - Assessment with comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on May 31, 2016, to discuss and start the assessment of the SWATeam recommendation ECONS003 Conservation Budget. They supported the Continued Funding for Energy Conservation (ECONS003 Conservation Budget) recommendation. The iWG's official comments for this recommendation was:

    "Strategic investment in energy conservation, including recommissioning and preventive maintenance, offers the campus a unique opportunity to achieve long-term savings in utility costs while also advancing the objectives of the Illinois Climate Action Plan. In contrast, failure to invest in conservation, while it may appear to offer short-term financial savings, will only lead to higher future utility costs; this is analogous to “eating the seed corn.” Campus efforts have already led to $8M/year savings.
    This SWATeam recommendation describes a number of key issues and needs that we recommend be addressed. Due to the major impact of this recommendation, the
    iCAP Working Group plans to transmit this to the Sustainability Council. However, due to the timely nature of budget discussions, we recommend that iSEE meet with the Provost to share this recommendation."

    See attached the iWG assessment complete with official comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation of ECON003 Conservation Budget


    Attached Files: 
  10. BLUE Retrocommissioning info

    Retrocommissioning is an in-depth analysis of a building’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.  This program restores peak operating conditions while optimizing the control strategies for energy conservation, sustainability, and client comfort.   

    Since August of 2007, engineering teams have accomplished system updates and upgrades in 16 campus buildings for an average energy reduction of 28%. 

  11. Retrocommissioning award application

    The Retro-commissioning (RCx) team applied for (and later won) the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2011.  RCx at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 2007 and has been working to reduce energy consumption in campus buildings by repairing and optimizing their air and hydronic systems and restoring buildings to their required operating standards.

    Attached Files: 
  12. Second Team added

    Associated Project(s): 

    The first Retro-Commissioning (RCx) team was created in August of 2007. Due to their significant success in saving energy, a second team was started in January of 2009.