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IBM Southeast Employees Credit Union

Hill York implements a comprehensive energy efficiency program to help IBM Southeast Employees Credit Union save $1,200 a month in energy costs at their Delray Beach branch.

Project Name and Location:
IBM Southeast Employees Credit Union
1000 NW 17th Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33445

Completion Date:
8/25/2016

Project Scope:
IBM Southeast Employees Credit Union was chartered in 1969 and serves over 72,000 members from 16 locations throughout Florida and Georgia. In 2009, IBM Southeast opened an office in Delray Beach, Florida that included a branch, drive-through, call center and mortgage and lending offices. 

As operations grew at the Delray Beach facility, IBM Southeast’s facility director noted higher than expected energy bills and an overall lack of control of their HVAC system. Turning to Hill York for help, he listed a variety of issues, including air constantly running at peak capacity and uncomfortable humidity levels throughout the building.

Hill York’s Energy Solutions Group conducted a detailed assessment of mechanical and control systems and began a series of critical upgrades to cut energy expenses and give IBM Southeast greater control over their indoor climate. Replacing an old air-cooled chiller with a new chilled water system was essential. But that was just a starting point for the improvements to come.

“We converted the branch from an outdated pneumatic building control system to a state-of-the-art Alerton energy management system (EMS),” explained Chris Grigsby, Hill York’s Controls Operations Manager. “It’s become the industry standard for maximizing building comfort, energy efficiency, and user operating flexibility.”

Drawing on experience as one of the fastest growing Alerton dealers, Hill York installed the Ascent Compass Solution, an open protocol BACnet solution. The platform provided a dynamic interface empowering IBM managers to remotely monitor and control indoor conditions from any standard Web browser and receive e-mail and text alerts when issues arise.

“Alerton’s DDC technologies use electronic sensors to evaluate inputs like temperature and humidity levels,” observed Grigsby. “It enables much higher accuracy with comfort control and gives operators the ability to monitor and change system operations instantly.”

Another key element of the energy management program was an upgrade of the building’s Variable Air Volume controls to incorporate Demand Control Ventilation (DCV). Instead of continuously ventilating the branch at a constant rate designed to accommodate the maximum number of occupants, DCV modulates the amount of outside air supplied to the building based on the actual number of people present.

“By reducing the amount of air that needs to be cooled, the DCV approach saves significant energy and improves humidity levels,” Grigsby pointed out.

Hill York’s cost saving solutions transformed an inefficient HVAC system that ran at full capacity all the time to one that greatly reduced facility cooling loads and energy use. The results have been nothing short of exceptional. The projected energy savings of $1,000 a month have in fact hovered around the $1,200 a month mark and the average relative humidity has improved dramatically.

For IBM Southeast Employee Credit Union’s Delray Beach branch, the Hill York-led conversion to an Alerton digital energy management system has provided the technology and user access to keep the cool air flowing at peak efficiency. And in steamy South Florida, less indoor humidity means a comfort level staff and customers can appreciate year-round.

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New River Fine Art

New-River-Fine-Arts-panoramic-view

Hill York’s partnership with property managers brought the comfort and energy saving benefits of HYStat smart technology to businesses along downtown Fort Lauderdale’s historic Las Olas shopping and dining hub. The prestigious New River Fine Art gallery on Las Olas Boulevard is one example of the impact of modern A/C monitoring innovation.

Project Name and Location:

New River Fine Art
914 East Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Client/Owner Contact:

Lisa Burgess
Owner

Project Scope:

Las Olas Boulevard has a long history as downtown Fort Lauderdale’s signature street, offering upscale dining, shopping and cultural experiences. To make its future as bright as its past, a new vision to turn the street into a destination with fresh appeal for millennials and others is gaining momentum.

Property managers are focused on raising the area’s profile as a must-visit destination and a place where world class tenants feel at home. That commitment to provide the very best tenant environment prompted them to join forces with Hill York. The Mission: To harness new technology to increase tenant comfort, cut energy costs, and save money on HVAC maintenance and capital budgeting.

The initiative was founded on a more responsive alternative to A/C maintenance contracts – a remote monitoring service that Hill York launched called HYStat. After gathering information from tenants and analyzing the equipment in their spaces, Hill York installed HYStat smart
technology thermostats to monitor cooling systems and feed data back to their network operations center.

For New River Fine Art owner Lisa Burgess, heading off the damaging effects of possible condensate leaks on one-of-a-kind artwork was the main motivation for embracing the HYStat program. The substantial cost reductions and energy efficiency gains were a pleasant bonus.
In 2016, the first full year under the HYStat monitoring program, the gallery saved an average of 16% a month over the previous year’s energy spending, which is helping counteract FPL electric rate increases moving forward.

“Like many other Las Olas businesses that benefited from our 24/7 monitoring, real-time data and fast-response A/C service, HYStat really empowered the gallery to gain greater control over their indoor climate and costs,” explained Hill York’s Bob Lafferty. “Plus, they went from an old thermostat with no scheduling ability to one where they have remote access with a user friendly smart phone app to view and change settings and set schedules from anywhere.”

For an image conscious business like New River Fine Art, providing a higher standard of comfort for special events like lectures, exhibits and
VIP receptions is especially important.

“Staff and client comfort, more reliable system performance, and the scheduling control of remote access are some of the many benefits we’re enjoying,” noted gallery owner Burgess. “When we have gallery events outside of normal business hours, the new service platform ensures that everyone experiences complete comfort without our having to overspend on utility costs.”

As for the energy improvements, the early results are likely a preview of things to come. With Hill York’s HYStat engineers and data analysts monitoring performance on an ongoing basis, they’re able to make recommendations that will generate cost reductions over the long haul.

“For the first time in HVAC history, we have a data-driven service that facilitates capital budgeting and true predictive maintenance instead of relying on system age or a calendar,” Lafferty observed. “This showcases HYStat’s ability to replace expensive maintenance contracts with a cost-effective monitoring program that delivers service when it’s needed and a year-round return on investment.”

As a new wave of tenants seeks the prestige of a Las Olas address, energy efficient comfort backed by advanced technology will be one more
attraction of a landmark destination’s allure.

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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) in Florida

Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to look at the projects that need to be accomplished at your home and business. When making decisions on which projects you complete and how you are going to pay for them, don’t forget to look into clean energy financing as one of your options.

In the tri-county area of South Florida, we have the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program available to us. Through property-based financing, PACE Florida alleviates the financial hurdles facing owners wanting to make sustainable upgrades to their property. Below are the top 3 reasons why the PACE program might be for you.

Zero Cost Upfront: The upfront costs of sustainability projects like energy efficiency, renewable energy, or wind mitigation can be daunting and limiting. PACE was created to remove that upfront cost barrier and allow anyone to make positive changes to their businesses and homes. The private lender pays the initial cost of the projects, which is then repaid over a 5-25 year period as a line item on your property taxes. In order to qualify with Ygrene, one of the PACE program lenders, you need:

  • 10% equity in your home,
  • To be current on your mortgage payments,
  • Not currently be in bankruptcy, and
  • To have not been late on your property taxes in the last three years.

Hundreds of Projects: Selecting projects to tackle through PACE financing can be a difficult decision because there are so many possible improvements to choose from. Examples of qualifying projects are high efficiency air conditioners, kitchen appliances, and LED lighting as well as new roofing, hurricane impact windows, insulation, solar panels, and water efficient fixtures and landscaping.

More Savings: The most tangible benefits that come from completing a sustainability project through PACE are how easy they are to complete, they raise your property’s value, lower utility bills, and reduce your insurance costs. In some cases, the savings you receive from updating your home or business will more than make up the amount of the loan attached to your property taxes. Every month that you have new, more energy efficient equipment is more money to be used how you see fit. In addition, because these upgrades mitigate risk to your home or business, you can see reductions in your insurance.

There are many ways to fund green and energy efficient projects. Having the PACE program available to use in South Florida is one of the best ways to make investments into your property and your pocket book.  For more information visit one of the local PACE program lenders or the Florida PACE informational site.

Buildings ‘get smart’ to improve comfort, save money, and reduce energy use

Today’s economy is one run by consumers and participants having unlimited information at their fingertips at all times.  This on-demand economy has brought smart technology and data analytics into all facets of business today.  The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released a report discussing how smart buildings upgrades are catching up to this new trend.  Among many other findings, they spoke to the energy saving potential that the South region of the United States has when it comes to smart heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) for commercial buildings.

Making much more data and information available to a building operator is driving efficiency in large and small buildings all over the country.  Whereas a smart building with integrated systems can realize 30-50% savings, individual components can be added to small and medium businesses and save 5-15% with little money upfront.  HVAC technologies like smart thermostats, sensors, variable frequency drives, and cloud based energy information systems have huge potential for savings in Florida where HVAC use in commercial buildings accounts for over 50% of electricity consumption, which is significantly above the national average. A study referenced in the ACEEE report proved that rooftop package units installed with smart thermostat controls, multi-fan speeds, and demand control ventilation can save approximately 50% in electricity savings.

With the addition of the aforementioned smart controllers and sensors, real time data analytics can give visibility to a unit’s operating efficiency by the minute.  This advanced assessment of a building gives the operator an unprecedented look into run-time and efficiency so that nothing is wasted.  Hill York has been working with these new smart building solutions for more than 8 years with our Alerton and HYStat controls for large and small commercial buildings, respectively.  Seeing reports from the country’s leading energy efficiency minds further validates what Hill York has been advocating for years; smarter buildings make efficient buildings, which fuel smart businesses.

 

8 Ways to Leverage Your FPL Account

Some of the best resources to help businesses save money and energy are through the utility companies; and Florida has a shining example with Florida Power & Light (FPL).  Two reasons to take advantage of such programs are the energy savings and the fact that, as a ratepayer, you are helping fund the programs through fees on your utility bills. Since you are already paying for rebates, why not make sure that you reap the energy savings benefits? Below are the top 8 programs and rebates that you can implement in your business through Florida Power & Light.

Business Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Program

Replace your existing A/C unit or chiller with a qualifying, high-efficiency system and receive a rebate check from FPL. In addition to your rebate savings, the new systems will be more energy efficient and save you money; it literally pays for itself.

Demand Control Ventilation (DCV)

Control your building’s ventilation based off of occupancy to save your business energy and improve indoor air quality at the same time. Installation of a DCV sensor allows your building to adjust the amount of fresh air you are letting in depending on the occupancy, making sure your building is as efficient and cost saving as possible.

Business Custom Incentives (BCI)

An organization or business can upgrade their business equipment to be more energy efficient and receive a check from FPL. Upgrades that save over 25 kWh and meets other requirements detailed here, will qualify for the check and save money.

Thermal Energy Storage (TES)

Storing energy at night relieves energy demand during the day and helps FPL maintain the grid so they incentivise this. Using a TES system also reduces the runtime of your systems, which increases their lifespan and efficiency. Hill York successfully implemented one of the largest ice storage facilities in the United States at Nova Southeastern University central energy plant.

Commercial Demand Reduction Program

By adding a load management device to HVAC systems, businesses can receive a monthly rebate. This device will, in the event of high demand times for the utility, turn your system off and on to help reduce the overall load on the energy grid.

On Call® Program

Similar to the Commercial Demand Reduction Program, the On Call program will occasionally shut off your HVAC system during peak months to reduce the load on the grid. You can save $2 per ton on systems that are enrolled.

Power Monitoring Service

When the power goes out, it can be costly for your business.  FPL helps you minimize that costly down-time by continually monitoring your business for any power interruptions through a small device that immediately notifies the utility. Check out the FPL’s website for several case studies.

Business Energy Evaluation Plan

An FPL “Energy Expert” can help customize an energy savings plan for your business’ specific needs. This energy evaluation will look at everything from your lighting systems to your HVAC to your building envelope in order to find a plan that will best fit your needs.

These are just some of the savings opportunities through FPL that enable you to invest in what’s really important to your business. Hill York has a dedicated personnel team that can facilitate these rebates and better help you save money, energy, and time.  In order to learn more about these programs or find out specifics about qualifications, please visit this brochure page or contact one of our knowledgeable Hill York Team members.

Hill York Helps

Extends Comfort And Care To Team Members And Their Families

family-graphic-blog-imageThe old saying “charity begins at home” rang especially true for Hill York in 2016. While Hill Yorkers participated in a diverse range of community service activities and met the Hill York Helps campaign goal for volunteer hours, their internal support of each other was equally impressive.

“We have a genuine close-knit family dynamic here,” said HR Director Monique Estevez. “It really comes out in all the different ways we show our compassion and support for each other through the year.”

Examples of Hill York and its employees stepping up for each other in 2016 are many, including:

  • An on-site Wellness Day arranged by Hill York for employees to get key health and risk  factors checked by licensed medical personnel.
  • A group of 20 turning out for the first annual Florida Brain Aneurysm Foundation Walk in  Fort Myers in honor of Hill Yorker Robert’s wife.
  • Hill Yorkers from two offices joining forces in Davie to rally each other for a team-building  experience at Sheridan House’s Goliath Gauntlet Race.
  • Groups of Hill York volunteers mobilizing to put up shutters and plywood for co-workers  unable to prepare for the threat of Hurricane Matthew.
  • Quarterly care packages sent to Hill York family members serving in the military.
  • Care packages for several Hill Yorkers welcoming newborns, with practical provisions like  a 6-month supply of diapers.
  • A generous gift card for a first-time homeowner to help get up and running.
  • Financial aid from the Employee Relief Program, the Hill Yorker funded initiative providing  emergency relief to co-workers in need.
  • The announcement of a Biggest Loser Challenge for 2017 to encourage Hill Yorkers to  engage in a friendly competition to lose weight and lead healthier lives.

“We constantly strive to make life more comfortable for our customers and those in need in the community,” observed Estevez. “In 2016, we were reminded that embracing opportunities to do more for each other is equally important and rewarding.”

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Strong Strides For #SafetyCHAMP As Awareness And Training Expand In 2016

safetychamp-blog-imageAt work, home and on the road, Hill Yorkers continued mastering a safety first mindset in 2016. That enlightened outlook was on display in October when open communication via Hill York’s intranet and text message platform helped everyone prepare and pull together during the Hurricane Matthew threat.

Statistically, safety highlights for the year included a reduction in workers’ comp reported injuries and a dramatic drop in at-fault vehicle accidents from 12 in 2015 to only three. But the big 2016 #SafetyCHAMP trend was an expanded focus on promoting safe practices in all areas of life.

“The level of awareness that makes safety a way of life isn’t something to be turned on and off like a faucet,” observed Hill York Safety Director Luis Moreno. “Our goal is to keep safety at the forefront of Hill Yorkers’ thoughts so that their choices throughout each day avoid risks and save lives.”

To strengthen safety attitudes and skill sets at all levels, Hill York ramped up its investment in a wide variety of training programs. Over the summer, 26 members of the construction management team completed OSHA 30, a comprehensive certification program for safety and managerial personal. An accident procedures class is planned for early 2017 to educate Hill Yorkers on how to handle everything from paper cuts to heart attacks.

In 2017, the emphasis on training for risk reduction and medical emergency procedures continues with mandatory CPR training for field personnel and CPR/infant CPR training available for all employees. Also on tap in the months ahead is a rigging and signaling safety course for service technicians, and companywide personal protective equipment (PPE) and automated external defibrillator (AED) classes.

“Whether you’re working in the field, warehouse or office, or you’re at home with your family, our ultimate #SafetyCHAMP goal is always the same,” observed Luis Moreno. “We want all Hill Yorkers to be ready and able to do what’s necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and others.”

It’s safe to say, a smarter, stronger, safer Hill York will continue to emerge in 2017 and beyond.

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Hill York Broward Office Renovations Breathe New Life Into Historic Space

An interior renovation of Hill York’s main office in Fort Lauderdale is in full bloom this spring as a graceful merger of historic past and next-generation future takes shape. The ongoing project is focused on converting the older building into a contemporary flex-space environment that enhances collaboration and reflects our brand and culture as a high-tech leader in commercial air conditioning and energy solutions.

The renovation and remodeling of the office in Broward involves upgrading and reconfiguring space for improved function and efficiency. The interior design features include modified open work stations, advanced technology dispatching, and tech-friendly collaboration space.

As part of the remodeling work, new flooring and freshly painted walls are prominent throughout the office, along with sleek LED lighting fixtures in about a quarter of the space so far. To enhance energy efficiency, all existing fluorescent T8 light fixtures will eventually be replaced with the LED lights. At completion, the upgrade is expected to deliver an over 50 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption and move Hill York closer to a performance rating of 75 or above – the first step towards achieving Energy Star certification.

Along with energy smart upgrades that promote sustainability, Hill York has brought a conservation mentality to all aspect of operations, streamlining space, equipment and supplies. The approach has  found its way into a warehouse and pipe shop adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale office where state-of-the-art equipment, tools and inventory systems have created a lighter, leaner and safer way of working. Plans call for similar renovations to the West Palm Beach office.

While far from over, the comprehensive changes have already produced big benefits, reinforcing a collaborative atmosphere and promoting greater teamwork across all business units.

“We have a 60 plus year history in Broward County and this building’s been our hub through six decades of growth and innovation,” said Chip Lafferty. “We have a company culture that’s based on making life more comfortable for people. This update gives our team the comfort and flexibility to work together and accomplish great things in this location for many years to come.”

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Hill York Professionals Earn OSHA 30 Certification

osha-certifiedHill York continued its rise as a jobsite safety leader by recently completing training to obtain the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration’s 30-hour certification for construction management professionals. The online course was taken by 26 members of the Hill York team, including foremen, project and service managers, superintendents, owners, and vice presidents.

“By going through this training, Hill York has fortified its commitment to maintaining safe work environments,” said Luis Moreno, Hill York Safety Director. “OSHA 30 certification is another tool that helps us field an educated staff that’s proactive in its approach to putting on-the-job safety first.”

The OSHA 30-hour course is a comprehensive program designed for safety and managerial personnel in the general industry and construction trade. The program recognizes companies that correct hazards, develop and implement effective programs, and become self-sufficient in managing occupational safety and health. Course topics include scaffolding, cranes and rigging, and excavation.

“From a culture standpoint, this is another tangible reflection of who we are and how we go about our work,” Moreno pointed out. “Hill York’s #SafetyCHAMP program has achieved exceptional results in preventing accidents and injuries. Having an OSHA-educated team makes us even stronger in our daily mission to get everyone home safe.”

Since its start up in 2014, the #SafetyCHAMP program has driven steady improvement in reducing the number of injuries and time lost by Hill York employees. Earlier this year, the company was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of America’s East Coast Chapter with a Safety Award of Excellence.

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides energy efficient solutions for the installation, maintenance, and repair of a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

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Hill York Takes the Lead in New Grooved Pipe Technology

Victaulic Roll Grooving ToolEarly Adoption of Victaulic Roll Grooving Tool Boosts Pipefitter Efficiency and Safety. When Hill York heard that piping solutions innovator Victaulic designed an “intelligent” roll groover with next generation efficiency and safety features, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. They flew a team to Victaulic’s corporate headquarters in Easton, Pennsylvania, saw the new equipment in action, and made the decision to become one of the first contractors in the country to lease it.

“Improving accuracy and productivity while getting our employees home accident free is what drives our decision making,” said Todd Aquilo, Hill York General Superintendent. “We’ve had a 25 year partnership with Victaulic and their RG5200i Intelligent Roll Grooving Tool gives our pipefitters the performance and protection we can count on 100 percent.”

Unlike competing models, Victaulic’s RG5200i uses lasers and computers to set the depth of the grooving tool, rotating pipes with hydraulic pressure to form the groove according to specifications. The new model removes the need to manually guide the pipes, allowing operators to work faster while increasing safety, ensuring reliability and maximizing efficiency.

Among the other smart technology upgrades, the RG5200i features a sensor that monitors a marked off area around the machine to create a safety barrier. If someone enters the area when the roll groover is operating, the sensor detects the movement and immediately shuts down.

“The safety mode feature eliminates the possibility that someone could accidentally become harmed,” Aquilo noted. “That’s an important layer of injury prevention that didn’t exist before.”

The RG5200i also includes built-in sensors that measure pipe diameter and groove after the roll grooving is complete. As a result, Hill York’s pipefitters can provide a document at the end of the day to engineers and owners confirming that all pipes meet specifications without additional labor-intensive measurement.

“When you look at accuracy, reliability, traceability and safety, Victaulic’s piping solution is a perfect fit for Hill York’s priorities as a safety-conscious provider of value-added services,” said Aquilo.

For pre-fabrication roll-grooving on Hill York’s commercial construction projects, working faster while eliminating risk is a task that’s gone from “mission impossible” to “mission accomplished”.

Since 1919, Victaulic (www.victaulic.com) has been the originator and world’s leading producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions. Used in the most demanding markets, Victaulic’s innovative piping technologies and services put people to work faster while increasing safety, ensuring reliability and maximizing efficiency. The company’s products have been used in many of the world’s most prestigious landmarks, global environmental projects, infrastructure development, and mission critical services.

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides system maintenance, service, repairs, energy solutions and installation for a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. The company has served the state of Florida since 1936. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

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