St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church HVAC Roof-top air handling units (RTUs) & Controls Upgrade - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Brief History of the Campus
While the exact date is unknown, the first mass was celebrated in the stone chapel early in 1931.
Several additions and expansions were completed since, in fact in 1967 the current St. Hugo Convent was completed and in 1968 the St. Hugo School reached its present form.
After an extensive study in 1986, the Parish Pastoral Council approved plans for the construction of a new church / parish complex that included administrative offices, meeting rooms, bride's room / child center and multi-use social hall with kitchen.
About the Project
The project consisted of the replacement of two gas / electric Roof-Top Units (respectively serving the church / parish complex: sanctuary and the administrative offices) sized for a total of 120 tons of cooling, and included the replacement and upgrade of the building basic controls with DDC technology. The existing VAV & Fan Power Boxes serving each individual zone were also retrofitted with new velocity sensors.
This project started as a simple HVAC upgrade, due to the equipment age and deteriorating conditions, and as a result of the lack of system controllability and space comfort during peak and low building occupancy in the sanctuary and/or the multi-purpose areas.
Furthermore, the existing HVAC roof top equipment lacked an automatic outside air damper control (making it very difficult for the Building Engineer to maintain the proper building ventilation requirements), thus, an average fixed open setting was selected by the owner to comply with ventilation demand, resulting in high energy consumption and equipment wear out.
The Project Cost
The initial project replacement costs for the HVAC roof top units and the new Building Management System (BMS) upgrades was estimated to be $300,000.00 and $25,000.00 was added by the owner for miscellaneous contingencies. However, due to the cooling season approaching very rapidly, the owner was in need for a more reliable and timing project implementation approach and five contractors were invited to bid the project.
CSM Mechanical, in partnership with CSM Energy, ultimately received the contract award for a total contract amount of $225,000.00 ($100,000 less than the estimated construction cost). The good news of the bid results was that no voluntary alternates and/or other general conditions were included in the bid, in fact, the given bid was it! All included in the price, and as indicated in the design package! CSM has a commitment to all clients to be their financial stewards.
The CSM Solution
The “Total Project Integrated Approach” method was immediately adopted and started at the walk-through. In fact contrary to the other bidders, the entire CSM Mechanical project team was present at the site for assessment, including: the HVAC – Electrical and Control Trade, the Equipment RTU’s Vendor, the Crane Operator, and other minor sub-trades.
Please note that due to the building location and the equipment large load, a special crane had to be used (largest in the mid-west), therefore all the special logistics were evaluated during the walk-through and prior the bid. Thus. the final bid result was none other than the direct results of everyone being present at the walk-through, so no “assumptions” were made risking to overestimating the project.
The End Result
The project was completed by the CSM Mechanical project team as anticipated - on budget and on time. No surprises were encountered by the project team, with the exception of several electrical voltage spikes that required the replacement of the BMS Control Board.
CSM Mechanical had one change order (from the owner) in order to add to the original scope of work the replacement of the existing hot water boiler serving the administrative office area, including the boiler serving the original 1931 stone chapel hot water heating system. In fact, the additional change order for the contract amount of $109,000.00 was received to implement the additional requested work. This additional amount, represented the exact amount saved by the owner and left in the original project implementation funds for future capital improvement projects, as a result of the CSM MECHANICAL “Total Integrated Project Delivery Approach” savings.
Additional Project Information
Note: The existing RTU’s were replaced with the new generation McQuay – Maverik, the units were fitted (among others) with CO2 sensors for Demand Controlled Ventilation. The building was also provided with a new BMS – ASI control system, and the existing boilers were replaced with new LAARS – Condensing Boilers 97% efficiency, as a result of the above-discussed upgrades, the owner received over $10,000.00 in utility incentive rebates, a substantial amount considering the non-profit status of the organization.
St. Hugo of the Hills Boiler Replacement - Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Brief Project Background
As a result of the “Cost Savings Approach” (see Case Study Part – 1 / HVAC RTU Upgrades which resulted in $109,000 savings), Mr. Jerry Morrocco (Owner and Business Manager) immediately realized that the money saved on the previous project should be used to address his next facility challenge; specifically replacing the 25-year old boiler serving the Church Parish Complex and Administration Office Area. This also included the 27-year old boiler serving the Stone Chapel.
About the Project
The project consisted of the replacement of two cast iron boilers (respectively 25 and 27-year-old). Parts were no longer available and the boilers efficiency was estimated to be around 65% (or below), furthermore, in addition to operational and control issues, the equipment was operating well beyond its life expectancy.
The decision to replace the boilers was a logical one since the existing system was on the edge of expiration. The owner estimated that the cost to repair and maintain the old units far exceeded the justification. In addition, by installing the new boilers, St. Hugo of the Hills Church could take advantage of the energy savings operational benefits, including the rebates offered by the utility company program (Consumers Energy).
The Project Cost
The total project replacement costs for both boiler replacements, including the control interfacing to the existing BMS system was accomplished with $109,000.00.
The CSM Solution
Due to the need for a more reliable and timing project implementation the “Total Project Integrated Approach” method was discussed and approved by the owner, also an immediate decision was to be made due to the fact that the end of the summer and the cold intermediate season was approaching and the equipment needed to be ordered ASAP - or he would wait for the next season to implement the project.
The old boilers were replaced with “commercial modulating condensing boilers”. These new boilers offered innovating technology, user-friendly features, compact workhorse, and are powered by a dual fire ASME stainless steel water tube heat exchanger, resulting in 10:1 turndown ratio and a thermal efficiency as high as 99%.
The boiler replacement design system, called for one 1000 MBH boiler for the Church Administration Area, and two 500 MBH boilers for the Stone Chapel, due to logistic reasons and in order to bring the equipment down the narrow stairway leading to the boiler room located in the Chapel basement.
The End Result
The Project was completed by CSM Mechanical project team on budget and in a record breaking time. In fact, the boiler serving the Church and Administration Building was replaced in less than 24 hours (from demolition to start-up), followed by the installation of the two boilers serving the Stone Chapel, where two stainless steel liners were installed side by side inside an existing 12” flue stack for a total equivalent length of 95 L.F. (+/-).
All parts of the team were involved in the process, and once the design was laid out and the components assembled, the actual installation went pretty smoothly. This was largely due to the fact that a great deal of pre-planning went into the install. It went pretty much according to plan. The biggest hiccup was getting the boilers down the stairs; other than that everything went without a hitch.
A few adjustments were necessary as a result of several power surges damaging the boiler control board, but the system is running smoothly and the parish is pleased with the results of the replacement project. In addition to the long-term energy savings the update should bring, there was a pleasant surprise on the financial side, an $8000 cash rebate was awarded to the parish by Consumers Energy several weeks later.
Every dollar counts, and for a parish that plans to be around for at least another 100 years, the kind of efficient long-term performance this boiler upgrade delivers will pay off many times over. Also, as an additional benefit of this, the new boiler system operation will greatly reduce the CO2 emissions level accounting for around 60% of their Carbon Foot Print, thereby helping both their bank balance and the environment.
Additional Project Information
Note: In comparing the energy bills for the period of January 2012 and January 2013, we noticed that in January 2013 we had 18 of the coldest days than the year before, with temperature difference ranges as high than 30F to 20F (compared to the same day of the previous year). The gas consumption was exactly the same and as follows: January 2012 gas consumption: 533.1 MCF, January 2013 gas consumption: 534.9 MCF - an indication of the energy saving benefits due to the new boiler's performance.