Oneida High-rise Office Buildings

DULUTH, MINNESOTA
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HVAC Engineering & Low Carbon Design

Alworth Lonsdale and Medical Arts buildings

In 2017, Exergy was appointed by Oneida Realty to undertake an energy efficiency retrofit assessment in order to define improvements to increase energy efficiency and decrease operational costs of several of Oneida’s buildings.

Located in the heart of the central business district of Duluth Minnesota, the Alworth Building – completed in May 1910 – was the tallest building in the state of Minnesota, the Lonsdale was originally a five-story building, but another three stories were added in 1906. Later in the twentieth century – the medical arts building, considered an Art Deco masterpiece, was built close by. In all cases, the ageing nature of technology in the buildings led to relatively high operational costs prompting investigation into possible improvements.

Service Provided

Exergy undertook a full assessment of the site, the existing building systems and the microclimate. By utilising a suite of energy modelling and simulation tools, a large set of energy measures were tested. Various options for building improvement were analysed from both a financial and environmental perspective. Conceptual mechanical engineering drawings of the proposed HVAC systems, controls matrix, cost estimates and a construction plan were elaborated at the end of the conceptual design phase.

Challenge

High-rise commercial buildings encompass complex dynamics of multiple mechanical, electrical and control systems.  Within the given project timeframe, Exergy team successfully analysed how all existing and proposed new building systems work together to achieve greater energy efficiency, maximum performance and improved durability.

Outcome

Final designs and figures were presented to Oneida, supporting a business case for initiating improvements to the building including:

Building automation system
Solar PV panels
Improved air tightness
High efficiency low temperature central heating system
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant
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KPIs

The proposed design established cost and environmental improvements of implementation:

ENERGY EFFICIENCY INCREASED
38%
ANNUAL OPERATIONAL SAVINGS INCREASED
50%
CARBON EMISSIONS REDUCED
60%

Interested in this project or want to find out more?

Get in touch with our specialist in this area
Gozde Unkaya

Architectural Engineer