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Project Work

As an active member of the project design team, RMI serves as a catalyst for innovation to push beyond business-as-usual to the next generation of buildings; we invite you to explore some of our past successes below.

Are you interested in exploring the opportunity for a deep retrofit of your properties? You can find out more about how we can help you today, about our training classes and seminars offered in Deep Energy Retrofits, Building Energy Modeling and in Life Cycle Costs.

Featured Projects:

Empire State Building

In 2008, a team of five key players (Clinton Climate Initiative, Empire State Building, Jones Lange LaSalle, Johnson Controls, and Rocky Mountain Institute) developed an integrated sustainability program, including energy efficiency retrofit measures for the Empire State Building. The project, which achieved a 38 percent energy use reduction, now serves as a model throughout the world for deep retrofit projects in large multi-tenant office buildings, both new and historic. The Empire State Building retrofit demonstrates the financially attractive nature of a comprehensive retrofit program when coordinated with planned infrastructure upgrades.

RMI brought a whole-systems approach to the project while serving as a design partner and technical peer reviewer on behalf of ownership. RMI facilitated workshops, provided design input, conducted the life cycle cost analysis, contributed to presentations to ownership, and helped assemble a variety of outreach efforts, including pulling together the project storyline and developing a project website.

Location: New York City, New York
Building Owner: ESB Company
Building Size: 2.7 million sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: 60 KBtu/sf/yr
Annual Cost Savings: 4.4 million

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Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building

The Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building is on track to become one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in the U.S. The building is currently undergoing a retrofit that will be completed in 2013, and will result in a 70 percent reduction from existing energy use through efficiency measures alone, a staggering feat for a historic building. With the incorporation of cutting edge technologies like chilled beams and LED lighting, the retrofit will position this building 5 to 10 years ahead of GSA’s schedule towards reaching their Net Zero energy goals by 2030.

As the high-performance green building consultant and a part of the Design/Build team, RMI is providing full life cycle cost analysis and daylighting design and analysis, in addition to developing tenant sustainability design guidelines. RMI is bringing additional value to the project through its own development-funded efforts, including a tenant sustainability workshop and tool development for the life cycle cost analysis. RMI is working with the building owner, U.S. General Services Administration, and the 11 tenant agencies housed in the building to break down institutional barriers that traditionally prevent federal buildings from achieving a truly integrated design. The Byron Rogers retrofit stands to serve as an outstanding example for other federal buildings to follow.

Location: Denver, Colorado
Building Owner: GSA
Building Size: 494,156 sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: 27 KBtu/sf/yr
Annual Cost Savings: TBD

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Ford Motor Company

RMI was invited to help Ford create a compelling green dealership program that they could offer to their dealers. The first step in this process was to build a strong business case for comprehensive efficiency upgrades by partnering with carefully selected pilot dealerships located in different climate zones throughout the US. The team conducted deep energy audits and analysis and assembled an interactive bundle of energy efficiency measures that could be cost-effectively replicated across the entire chain. This will enable the retail chain to develop a strategic plan to help individual storeowners reduce their energy costs, without duplicating analysis, thus reducing retrofit costs.

The team estimated that over half (specific savings confidential until verified) of the pilot store energy cost savings could be replicated across the entire chain with minimal corporate administrative time as well as minimal design and analysis. As a result, the team anticipates that roughly 30 to 50 percent of the energy cost in stores across the country could be saved, with a five-year simple payback or less.

Location: Across the US
Building Owner: Varies
Building Size: 43,000-58,000 sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: 36-79 KBtu/sf/yr
Annual Cost Savings: Confidential pending verification

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Indianapolis

The City & County Building was constructed in 1959, and had undergone many alterations in the name of energy efficiency. By the time RMI was invited to help kick off the retrofit of this iconic building for SustainIndy, the city’s Office of Sustainability, some of those alterations were no longer effective. Dark tinted and screened curtainwall, cellular office layouts, central lighting controls, and a rapidly growing data center all contributed to high energy consumption. RMI facilitated an Innovation and Opportunity Charrette that included a diverse group of building industry experts to identify opportunities, barriers and solutions to achieving significant energy savings in this building.

In a terrific example of integrative design, the charrette experience revealed that since 1959, the city had pumped over 200 gal/min of groundwater from the lower parking deck due to a high water table, which could be used to heat and cool the building. The charrette revealed many other opportunities and the City & County recently signed an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) for 57 percent energy savings.

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Building Owner: City & County of Indianapolis
Building Size: 731,119 sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: 56.6 KBtu/sf/yr
Annual Cost Savings: $777,000

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The Clark Museum of Art

The museum design world provides a special opportunity for energy efficiency because the standards for energy use in controlled environments like museums is currently evolving and becoming more sophisticated. The challenge in laboratories and museums is to provide energy savings while maintain a strictly controlled environment to provide safety in labs and to protect art and artifacts in curatorial environments.

RMI was able to recommend energy saving opportunities in the existing Clark facilities that would double the HVAC savings predicted by the current design team energy model. With a high profile architect designing the Clark Museum addition and retrofit, opportunity for publicity and exposure for these sustainability measures is high.

Location: Williamstown, MA
Building Owner: Clark Museum of Art
Building Size: 256,480 sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: <59 KBtu/sf
Annual Cost Savings: $202,000 est.

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International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Due to its aging infrastructure, the IMF HQ1 office building is due for a renovation. IMF hired RMI to work with the renovation planning team to investigate the financial benefits of investing in a deep retrofit instead of simply considering business-as-usual in-kind replacements. The assessment included an integrated design process that incorporates a life-cycle cost analysis to assess added-value opportunities. RMI worked with the team to develop several synergistic design options the team considered in conjunction with renewable and cogeneration systems. The most aggressive design option resulted in a 60 percent reduction in energy use. The design with favorable life-cycle costs resulted in a 50 percent reduction in energy use.

The IMF team used the study to inform the renovation project scope of work and budget requirements. Currently, the IMF is selecting the team for design and construction. The design team will build on the study and explore additional options for leveraging the incremental cost opportunities that this deep retrofit offers.

Location: Washington D.C.
Building Owner: IMF
Building Size: 1.9 million gross sf
Post Retrofit Energy Use: 96 KBtu / sf
Annual Cost Savings: TBD

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