City Center West – Duluth, MN

Building Science and Forensics


City Center West – Duluth, Minnesota

Forensic Investigation, Continuous Commissioning and Airtightness

After completing an Facility & Site Asset Management Program (FSAM) for the Arrowhead Juvenile Correctional Facility in Duluth, Minnesota, CR-BPS was hired to complete a follow-up forensic investigation of the City Center West (CCW) building. This initial forensic investigation supported the City’s goal of achieving sustained, low-cost energy savings throughout the life of a building and served as a pilot project for developing an easy-to-use and low-cost Energy Efficient Protocol (EEP) that would then be applied to other assets managed by the City of Duluth Property and Facility Department.

The CR-BPS project team identified the following strategies to create a low-cost EEP:

  1. Use VFA Facility Asset Management Software to gather critical system requirements and energy data for the CCW Pilot Project.
  2. Use the State of Minnesota’s Buildings, Benchmark, and Beyond Energy Efficient Operations, (B3 EEO) program, to identify probable areas of concern related to low-cost Energy Efficient Operations. Research conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota reveals that operating schedules, air handling units, and air tightness are the top three energy-wasting systems for buildings similar to CCW.
  3. Use Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO), as delineated in the Retro-commissioning (RCx) process, to capture low-cost savings.
  4. Use low-cost devices to sub-meter energy consumption at the component/system level.
  5. Use the City of Duluth’s recently purchased Work Order system to embed an EEP into the City’s routine practices.
  6. Use conventional funding sources to ensure that the EEP is completed for each respective asset.
  7. Use the Energy Tracking Tool to benchmark the results of CCW’s energy use and cost for the pilot project.

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