The Future Build

Cutting Energy Consumption 42%, Water Consumption 34%

Genzyme Center

Showcasing another energy efficiency case study from Schneider Electric’s impressive portfolio, the Genzyme Corporation headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was supposed to do more than save energy and water. The goal was to make it a wonderful place for 900 employees work.

“The goal was to combine innovative design and cutting-edge technology to create an exciting, healthy, and productive workplace,” Schneider Electric writes. “The environmental requirements translated into a variety of design specifications, such as movable mirrors placed on the roof to direct sunlight inside, blinds programmed to follow the sun and then close at night, and windows that employees could open to let in fresh air. And that was just the beginning.”

Genzyme Center

"We provided Schneider Electric with our requirements and they came up with a great plan. Their building management system takes care of 40,000 points of control - lighting, heating, air conditioning, and fire alarm monitoring. It is the brain that monitors everything in the building. Schneider Electric came up with a great plan. They catered to us and they did a great job," Lou Capozzi, Facilities Manager of Genzyme Center, said.

40,000 points of control. Wow. The analogy to a brain really does seem to fit.

“Schneider Electric's Andover Continuum building management system (BMS) is fully programmable and leverages a Windows® front-end workstation connected directly to Genzyme's Ethernet VPN. This configuration enables Genzyme to monitor and manage a wide range of operations - from HVAC equipment, chiller and boiler interfaces, carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide levels and rainwater collection, to window, blind, and door controls, artificial lighting and building/tenant metering. Andover Continuum field controllers interface with lighting components to yield significant savings by eliminating the need for a separate network system to handle the lighting. In addition, Schneider Electric's Smart Sensors give employees individual room control for HVAC and lighting.

“In this state-of-the-art green building, 900 stainless steel blinds are monitored on the Schneider Electric system. The blinds reflect the sunlight off the first two rows of ceiling panels, which are also stainless steel. As the sun moves, the blinds tilt to reflect more sunlight into the offices. Even more light is brought into the building by seven 5 ft. x 5 ft. rotating mirrors called heliostats, located on the roof of the building. The heliostats follow the sun and reflect the light through prisms, which in turn shines the light onto chandeliers that deliver sunlight to the entire building.

"Schneider Electric's building management system is the brain that monitors everything in the building, including the mirrors and blinds, even though they operate on separate software.

“The BMS also flushes old air out of the building. When the temperature is around 70 degrees and the wind is less than 5 mph. At 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., the BMS opens all the windows, pushes the old air out of the building, and takes in new air.

“The crowning jewel of the Genzyme Center is its "green roof", with 6,000 sq. ft. of plant life that provides insulation, absorbs water and slows the amount of water going down the building's drains. Much of that rainwater is filtered, captured and stored in four 200-gallon tanks on the roof, and is used to water plants in the summer. Again, the Schneider Electric BMS monitors this process.”

Much of this sounds futuristic, but this building was actually completed in 2003! Imagine if the leadership and technology behind this building were utilitized by default.

Here are some of the benefits Schneider summarizes:

"The Genzyme Center earned a LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, under the Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating SystemTM.

* energy-efficient features, including fans, motors, and an extensive BMS, reduced projected overall energy cost for the building by about 42%

* reduced water usage by 34% below the standard established by the 1992 Energy Policy Act

* 2 less building technicians required

* employees say that the environmental and collaborative features of Genzyme Center have made them more productive

* sick time reduced by 5%

* 88% employees report improved well being

* 72% report improved alertness and productivity

* easier recruiting and greater retention of employees

* enhanced corporate image"

Photo Credits: Unknown (via Catherine Lau) ; graysky. / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Posted by Zachary on Sustainnovate