Two Florida Cities Rank in the Top 25 for ENERGYSTAR

The ENERGY STAR Program, operating out of the US Department of Energy, just released their top 25 cities for energy efficient buildings for 2018 with two major Florida cities claiming a spot. Miami, a veteran on the list since 2012, came in at number 21 while Tampa ranked at number 16 in its first year. To be recognized on this list, Miami certified 106 buildings in 2017 totaling over 23.7 million sqft. and  Tampa certified 154 buildings totaling about 26.3 million sqft. The top two cities of Los Angeles and Washington, DC both had over 660 buildings certified that covered more than 145 million sqft. This is the first time in the lists’ nine year run that two Florida cities have made the list.

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are verified to be more energy efficient than 75% of similar buildings nationwide and use, on average, 35% less energy than typical buildings.  This has a direct effect of building operations’ budgets and something that Hill York has a proven track record of achieving. Please contact Hill York’s Technical Services Group to get started with an energy efficiency benchmark.


Cothrom Risk & Insurance Services

HYStat smart technology opened Cothrom Risk & Insurance Services eyes to the downtime-prevention power of a system that’s always on the alert for trouble. It also brought the comfort and energy efficiency they were looking for.

Project Name and Location:

Cothrom Risk & Insurance Services
2300 NE 9th Street, Suite 3
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304


Client/Owner Contact:

Jordan Gillespie Partner
(754) 312-5408

Project Status:

Risk & Insurance Services

Project Scope:

As a rising insurance and risk management agency for a wide range of industries, Fort Lauderdale-based Cothrom knows the value of reducing losses and expenses by analyzing data. So when they had the chance to take better control of comfort and operating costs at their office by switching to a data-driven A/C monitoring service, they eagerly made the jump to Hill York’s HYStat.

With the agency in growth mode, HYStat’s smartphone app was an instant highlight. The remote connectivity and feature-rich functionality enabled an expanding team of partners who were working different schedules to easily view and change settings and manage office comfort levels outside of normal business hours.

As Hill York’s team of analysts monitored performance from a network operations center, Cothrom also saw the kind of data-driven communication they emphasize in serving their own clients. The upgrade to HYStat shed light on specific adjustments to enhance staff comfort, stabilize system performance, and generate cost reductions and efficiency gains. After the first full year under the HYStat program, Cothrom received a summary showing high marks for equipment performance despite its physical condition. The report did point out that a unit as old as theirs is vulnerable to breakdown.

“Giving Cothrom a data-based method to evaluate risks, make informed decisions and get a higher return on investment was something that closely mirrored their own service model,” said Hill York Senior Analyst Chris Hamilton. “That’s the heart of HYStat’s appeal – true predictive maintenance that contains costs, facilitates capital budgeting, and keeps unpleasant surprises from clouding an otherwise positive business outlook.”

Fatefully, it was a rapidly unfolding situation that prodded Cothrom’s management to fully embrace the technology. A small refrigerant leak in an outside air conditioning unit quickly grew, causing the system to freeze up during a hot spring day. The HYStat thermostat and sensors feeding live data to Hill York’s analysts detected a decline in cooling efficiency 24 hours before the leak became critical. An automated alert was issued and a call was made to Cothrom communicating the danger signs.

“Unfortunately, we put off service thinking we could just clean up the closet and it would all be fine,” acknowledged Jordan Gillespie, a partner at Cothrom. “The result was a broken unit and two days of downtime that created a very uncomfortable 82-degree office.”

Using HYStat’s remote capabilities before traveling to the site, a Hill York technician diagnosed the problem within 15 minutes of arriving and confirmed the need to replace the older unit.

“Our take-away from that experience was to believe in the analytical power of the technology to catch problems early and avoid unnecessary downtime,” observed Gillespie. “That’s why we invested in HYStat in the first place – data-rich remote monitoring backed by the professionalism of the Hill York team.”

In providing greater insight into their indoor climate and costs, HYStat supplies a power that’s putting Cothrom on very familiar ground: Being in control and able to analyze risks to make smart business decisions now and over the long term.


Hill York’s HYStat Monitoring Helps ANF Group, Inc. Enjoy Surprise-Free A/C

ANF-Group-ArticleAs one of South Florida’s leading general contracting and construction management companies, ANF Group, Inc., has more pressing things to think about than their own air conditioning system. So when Hill York told this longtime industry partner about the benefits of HYStat smart technology monitoring, ANF saw a chance to put their cooling system on cruise control.

Now, a year after the install, the promise of predictive, data-based A/C monitoring has more than lived up to its potential. The  installation of four HYStat thermostats on the rooftop package units of ANF Group’s Davie headquarters has stabilized performance, maximized energy management, and taken surprises out of the equation.

“From an information and communication point of view, HYStat has empowered us to stay a step ahead of cooling system issues and basic preventative maintenance,” said ANF Group, Inc. Contract Administrator Viki Moore. “With real-time data notifications from both the program and our contacts at Hill York, we’re never left in the dark about system performance, utility costs, or even when it’s time to change the filters.”

According to Hill York Senior Analyst Chris Hamilton, ANF Group, Inc’s monitoring and service upgrade to HYStat from a traditional maintenance contract has been a study in data-driven peace of mind.

“ANF’s rooftop systems are seven years old – more than halfway through the normal lifecycle,” he observed. “It’s reassuring to see that the key data confirms the equipment performance, runtime, and physical condition are all on track and going strong. If anything  changes down the line, they’ll be able to plan smart maintenance and capital decisions with the data provided.” Until then, ANF Group, Inc. is happy to enjoy the surprise-free comfort and control that HYStat’s analytical power makes possible. After all, when you’re out building some of South Florida’s most prominent education and healthcare facilities, it’s nice to know you have the perfect climate for cooling off back at the office.


Mobility and Collaboration Tools “Make Life More Comfortable” for Hill York

Case Study by Onix

Hill York Air Conditioning Services & Energy Solutions, a full-service HVAC contractor specializing in commercial air conditioning and energy solutions, provides energy efficient services for the installation, maintenance and repair of a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, Hill York serves the state of Florida with the vision of “Making Life More Comfortable”.

Background: Pioneering HVAC Company Looks to Streamline Technology for Workers Across the State

Since designing and installing the first air conditioning systems in Miami Beach hotels after World War II, Hill York has led Florida facilities such as hospitals, colleges, government buildings, performing arts venues and fitness clubs to new levels of indoor comfort and energy efficiency. Hill York relieves building owners of maintenance chores by using smart technology and remote monitoring.

Today, the company has more than 200 employees in four office locations with an additional 120 field technicians serving customers statewide. Michael Harris, who joined Hill York as Vice President of Information Technology in 2016, saw an opportunity to elevate the company’s technology. He also knew that the ownership was ready to make changes.

The Challenge: Unacceptable Service Disruptions and Outages

Hill York’s existing email setup was subject to disruptions and outages, as was the company’s hosted server. In a service industry where timeliness and responsiveness are key, Hill York needed a more dependable solution.

The company researched both Office 365 and Google G Suite, considering several factors:

  • Some employees use a desktop computer while others work entirely remotely, depending solely on mobile solutions. Therefore the solution needed to work well across various devices including phones, laptops and tablets. Mr. Harris and the team sought a complete solution. They needed the standard office tools like documents and spreadsheets, but also wanted to improve their collaboration by leveraging calendar sharing, text / chat options and video calls.
  • Though cost was not a deciding factor, it was considered during the decision process.
    The team determined that Google was the better choice. Hill York went live with G Suite — and quickly saw improvements across the organization.

The Solution: G Suite Meets a Variety of Needs

Mr. Harris reports that for field technicians, the transition was needed. “They use Gmail and Drive. They use Google Photos to upload job pictures to Drive. In the past, pictures would be taken and emailed. This became a problem when sending several photos or needing to access the photos weeks later. Additionally, we use Google MDM (Mobile Device Management) to publish and manage apps on their phones. The techs have everything they need to do their job.” He added, “All data is backed up because it’s a company phone. Replacement phones are quick to deploy; all of their data is right there in the cloud. We only have to sign them into the new phone and they have everything they need.”

In the offices, the team is putting the collaboration tools to good use. The billing department generates a Google Sheet with past due balances. Sharing this information with account managers gives everyone an accurate financial status when speaking with customers. Mr. Harris noted that employees like that history is visible in Chat, and that Cloud Search is so powerful for both Drive and Gmail. He also noted that, “Hangouts and Chat are proving to be very popular. Our team has really discovered Forms recently and have begun using them to streamline several internal processes.”

The company now has an intranet built with Google Sites housing training information, an employee recognition board, a shared events calendar, forms and more. “It’s the one stop for everything Hill Yorkers need,” said Cristina Crenshaw, brand manager for Hill York. Mrs. Crenshaw gave another Sites example, “When Hurricane Matthew was heading for Florida in the fall of 2016, we were able to build a site in a day — without having any programming experience. This site was a way for employees to get updates about company operations, employee availability, storm status from various weather and government agency news feeds and other relevant info.”

Hill York has an IT team of four people; Mr. Harris notes that moving to G Suite has helped them become comfortable with the cloud. They have one Google admin and one help desk manager that can quickly rectify needs such as restoring information deleted by accident, or wiping a Hill York-registered mobile phone remotely when lost. Additionally, he was able to cite some impressive cost savings realized as a result of going Google:

  • Saving $180,000 in licensing over four years since the company qualified for Google’s Enterprise Agreement promotion
  • Offsetting the running cost of cloud-based servers that were supporting email at about $16,000 a year for four years
  • Licensing servers, regaining another $10,000
  • Avoiding the need for an OCR and indexing application costing $24,000 a year, instead using Google Drive
  • Transitioning to Drive storage by turning off a file server to save $12,000 a year
  • Terminating the purchase of AirWatch for 260 phones for about $120,000 over four years by instead using MDM from Google
  • Moving to an integrated fax solution, sending and receiving faxes by email. Eliminating fax machines and their phone lines will save $24,000 over four years.

Conclusion: Increasing Adoption and Implementing New Uses for Google Cloud

“Our industry is slow to adopt new technology; users can be uncomfortable with it. While adoption varies across the company, some users have very successfully adapted and are much more productive,” said Mr. Harris.

When analyzing Onix’s role in the G Suite migration, Mr. Harris commented, “They’re very knowledgable and kept us organized on the project management side. They made solid recommendations on how to deploy and manage the environment. Onix validated our change management approach. The technical team was excellent and quickly resolved any issues.”

As an example of the success of the deployment process, Mr. Harris explained, “We wanted a single sign-on solution designed for iOS devices. Google says that doesn’t exist and can’t happen. But Hill York and Onix implemented it along with Google MDM features and a device management policy application.” Due to great teamwork and project team communication, the timeline was accelerated; the project was completed ahead of schedule.

He concluded, “We’re not as deep into the Google platform as we will be in another year. Next on the radar at Hill York is Google App Engine and Cloud SQL.” With Onix, Hill York is starting work on a client portal. “Onix is great at teaching us to fish. We want to learn how to do things ourselves and Onix has been very receptive to that. We’re learning something new all the time and making the Google platform work for us.” Up next for Hill York are transformation workshops to expand the G Suite experience and brainstorming new ways to work even more effectively.

Onix Case Study

Thermostat Wars: What’s Best For Your Business?

The lowest hanging fruit for potential energy and dollar savings in a home or office is your thermostat. On average, 10% in energy savings can be saved by dialing back an AC system’s temperatures by around 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day. Doing this setback manually can be a hassle so there are different styles of thermostats to make it as easy as possible to realize savings; we look at programmable, connected, and smart thermostat’s below.

Programmable Thermostats

The most common thermostats are programmable. These have the ability to set a simple temperature schedule for a home or business based upon the day and time. This allows for a set temperature during business hours and a temperature setback during vacant hours. One of the issues of a programmable thermostat is their complexity. Knowing this, reading the manual and completing a proper set up are required to ensure energy and dollar savings.

Connected Thermostats

Newer to the scene are connected thermostats. These thermostats have all the features of a programmable thermostat with the ability to connect to the internet. Connected thermostats usually come with smartphone applications or a web portals to adjust temperatures and set schedules in real time, essentially solving any usability issues. The positioning of connected thermostats in the marketplace is as a bridge from programmable to smart thermostat’s.  This can benefit them as they offer ease of use but lack many of the new features consumers want such as learning algorithms, alerting, and enterprise solutions.

Smart Thermostats

In addition to having all the abilities of connected thermostats, smart thermostats feature additional sensors and built-in algorithms to manage runtime, energy use, and personal comfort. Common sensors on smart thermostats include: ambient temperature from multiple spaces, humidity, sunlight, outside weather, and occupancy. True value of the sensors is realized through the algorithms embedded in the thermostat firmware that learns habits, comfort levels, and schedules to keep a space comfortable while minimizing the HVAC runtime. Smart thermostats have higher upfront costs and are designed for residential applications.


If you are a business owner looking for the best thermostat, turn to the connected thermostat from Hill York; HYStat. We monitor your systems 24/7 and apply our own algorithms to the data from the multitude of sensors installed to prevent condensate overflows and system downtime. In addition, we have a proven track record of energy savings after installation. Whether you want to have a thermostat that brings peace of mind or a thermostat that puts you in charge of saving money on maintenance and energy, HYStat is the best thermostat for your business.

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.


March 15 | Energy Solutions Group Captures Clients Over $6 Million In Savings

Facility Efficiency Projects Answer Call For Energy and Cost Reductions

Implementing cost-saving energy conservation programs is a challenge that’s become a high priority for Florida’s building owners. For Hill York, the state’s leading commercial air conditioning company, the growing need for comprehensive services prompted the launch six years ago of their Energy Solutions Group.

With $1.8 million in energy savings earned for clients in 2014 and over $6 million since 2008, Hill York’s all-out commitment to boost efficiency and reduce utility costs is bagging notable benefits. Out of 30 completed energy projects, they’ve realized a remarkable 102% of projected savings. Such success is hardly by chance. Their meticulously-developed system is driven by technical expertise and client collaboration and anchored by a third party validated process endorsed by agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Improving energy efficiency is a highly technical, multi-faceted enterprise,” said Rob Pulsifer, Hill York’s vice president of energy solutions. “We have a team of Certified Energy Managers, LEED Accredited Professionals, Certified Demand Side Management Professionals, and Energy Engineering Specialists that partner with clients to determine the best course of action on a case by case basis.”

Employing a co-authored approach that addresses specific issues and objectives, Hill York’s energy programs are strategically designed to be self-funding through sustained efficiency gains and cost savings. Specialized offerings include energy management systems, chiller plant optimization, and energy service agreements, with the programs typically producing energy reductions ranging from 20 to 40 percent and some results as high as 60 percent. Among the client success stories:

  • Hill York designed and built a Central Energy Plant for Nova Southeastern University that is recognized as one of the largest energy storage systems in the United States. It’s on track to save NSU over $17.3 million over the life of the system.
  • ICORR Properties International’s partnership with Hill York earned the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification for superior efficiency at One Sarasota Tower. The office building’s overall energy consumption dropped by an annual average of 34%.
  • Hill York spearheaded six energy conservation measures at the City of Port St. Lucie’s main municipal complex. The program is projected to save the city in excess of $154,000 a year.
  • A major infrastructure improvement project at Leesburg Regional Medical Center was conducted by Hill York to increase energy efficiency and facility comfort. In the two years since its completion, it has reduced operating expenses by over $175,000 a year.

“We’ve been crafting our business model and perfecting our energy services for six years now,” observed Pulsifer, who noted that Hill York’s energy-related projects have swelled from one in 2008 to 35 in 2014. “As we plan and carry out the most results-minded programs in the industry, seeing many of our clients achieve record efficiency and savings is an exciting signal for us to keep forging forward.”

More energy-conscious building owners will no doubt follow Hill York’s lead as they create sustainable futures for facilities, communities and the environment.

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 ventilations systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida.

Download: March 15 | Hill York Helps Energy Grant Hopefuls Win Funding, Retrofit Facilities | Press Release PDF

August 2013 | Nova Southeastern University’s Central Energy Plant Projected to Save Over $17.3 Million


Earlier this year, the International District Energy Association (IDEA) invited Hill York and Nova Southeastern University (NSU) to present on the university’s Central Energy Plant. The plant is a terrific success story because of the foresight in planning for efficiency and the savings which are projected to be 17.3 million dollars over the life of the system.

In 2008, NSU teamed up with Hill York and C. Davis Electric to create a Central Energy Plant that could sustain the university and provide for future expansion cooling while reducing run cost. The plant was built to provide chilled water to cool the campus. To reduce peak electric demand and operating costs, 19,800 ton-hours of ice storage capacity was installed. When completed, the plant will have a total of 72,200 ton-hours of ice storage capacity. The major HVAC equipment is monitored by utiliVisor, one of the tools used to fine-tune the plant to run at peak efficiency, further reducing energy usage and running costs. The chillers take advantage of off-peak utility pricing to avoid the high cost of electricity during peak hours. At full build out, the NSU chiller plant is projected to earn three million dollars in FPL rebates.

As the installation and mechanical contractor on record for the facility, Hill York was not only instrumental in the design and construction of NSU’s Central Energy Plant but also maintains its daily operations. This Central Energy Plant is recognized as one of the largest thermal energy storage systems in the United States.

During the International District Energy Association’s (IDEA) 104th Annual Conference and Trade Show, Hill York and NSU provided attendees with an exclusive tour of the Central Energy Plant. Held on June 5, 2013, this conference focused on highly efficient and clean district energy technologies deployed on an urban scale to deliver robust and reliable energy services.

Hill York’s President & CEO, Chip Lafferty, along with Rob Pulsifer, Hill York’s Director of Energy Services, Dr. George Hanbury, President and CEO of NSU, Pete J. Witschen, NSU’s Vice President for Facilities Management, and Al Smith, NSU’s Director of Physical Plant were honored to host worldwide industry leaders at NSU’s Central Energy Plant to promote its energy efficient features.

NSU is the largest independent institution of higher education in the Southeastern U.S. Located on a 300-acre campus in Fort Lauderdale, this university is home to more than 26,000 students.

NSU Cooling TowersHY NSU PlantNSU Hill York Ice Storage

Some key factors contributing to the innovative design and operation of the plant are as follows:

Ice Storage Facilities

  • 19,800 ton hours of ice storage, 79,200 ton hours at full build-out
  • 30 sets of coils per ice tank, five sets of coils per stack, six stacks total

HVAC Equipment

  • Two York Compound YK Chillers (2,300 tons each)
  • Two 2-cell CCS Cooling Towers
  • Two Tranter Cross-flow Plate Frame Heat Exchangers
  • 30 BAC Ice Coils
  • Six Bell & Gossett Pumps: two 200 hp, two 150 hp, two 100 hp

Pipe –O.D. Galvanized Steel Pipe

  • 65,000 feet of pipe per stack
  • 390,000 feet or 73.86 miles of pipe total per ice tank
  • Capable of cooling 5,000,000 square feet of NSU’s campus
  • 32.5 degree chilled water leaving the plant

Electric Rooms

  • First Floor: 5,000 kVA oil filled transformers drop the voltage from 13.2 kV to 4.16 kV, C&D Technology battery system, 130 volts DC power supply, redundant charging system for GIS Switchgear Protection relays
  • Second Floor: State of the art 13.2 kV Siemens GIS Switchgear with touch screen operator, NFPA 70E arc flash compliant, gas-encapsulated bus bar technology, power monitoring system

The Benefits of Online Energy Monitoring in Educational Buildings

Hill York Monitoring Systems for NSU

Real-time Web-based Monitoring of Air Conditioning in Schools.  –

Energy costs are the second highest expense our nation’s budget crunched schools have to face. And nowhere is the old adage “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” more applicable than in air conditioning operations. Real-time web-based monitoring of air conditioning in schools can help the environment and deliver great savings, making limited school funds available for other uses.

Unlike schools in other regions, many Florida schools run their air conditioning system year-round to maintain low humidity levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that $2 million could be saved by improving energy efficiency in schools. Many school districts are already taking positive steps in the right direction.

K-12 schools, colleges and universities can save energy through a new, energy efficient approach to air conditioning on campus. By installing web-based, real-time, online energy monitoring technology, schools can accurately monitor and track energy levels 24/7.

Some schools, such as Nova Southeastern University (NSU), have taken the technology one step further by installing chiller plant optimization. This is the marriage of sophisticated energy measurement and verification (M&V) technology with expert engineering analysis to operate the air conditioning system in a highly efficient manner. In NSU’s case, the school designed and built a new central energy plant incorporating advanced chillers and an ice-based thermal energy storage system. This approach to air conditioning allows the school to reduce energy costs by shifting chiller operation from peak to off-peak electric rates. A web-based online energy monitoring system allows school administrators to stay abreast of energy levels and comfort conditions for its 300-acre campus.

Green Air Conditioning Systems

In addition to saving money, sustainable or green air conditioning systems facilitate carbon footprint reduction. Schools that implement a green air conditioning system will experience reduced energy expenses and encourage better student performance. While universities face the challenge of identifying green air conditioning systems to handle a vast campus, many smaller schools have started using energy efficient alternatives to conventional systems.

Here’s how both K-12 schools and higher education facilities can benefit from implementing a green air conditioning system:

•Lower energy costs-Schools spend $75 per student on gas bills and $130 per student on electricity each year. In fact space cooling and ventilation consumes up to 8% of a school’s total energy costs. According to the EPA, schools can save up to 30% in energy costs by taking steps such as installing or retrofitting a green air conditioning system and implementing ENERGY STAR electrical appliances.
•Reduce greenhouse gas emissions-Decreasing fossil fuel consumption can help schools reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel generated from electricity contributes to 40% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, along with an increase in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide—contributing factors to climate change and the generation of smog and acid rain.
•Contribute to economic revival-The EPA estimates that 8 million jobs in the energy efficiency market have been created since 2008.
•Enhanced indoor air quality-Energy recovery ventilation equipment significantly reduces heating, cooling and ventilation loads by nearly 40%. For example, a school district in Colorado implemented and integrated an indoor energy efficiency and indoor air quality management program that generated $900,000 in savings, while at the same time improving the quality of air ventilation.
•Reduce absenteeism-Improved air quality through the use of green air conditioning systems means healthier students and staff.
Choosing a Tampa LEED Certified Contractor

Whether you are starting with new construction or retrofitting your outdated system to accommodate a green air conditioning system, consulting a green Tampa contractor should be your first step.

Any green initiative should be analyzed for the potential to help obtain LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification supports and encourages green building development practices, contributing towards increased environmental and health sustainability.

Look for a LEED certified Tampa company that has LEED APs (Accredited Professionals) on staff, including a LEED Charrette Facilitator. Ask the HVAC consultant about partnerships with other green contractors and consultants that ultimately deliver an efficient and thorough job.

How to Get a 2-Year ROI When Retrofitting a More Efficient HVAC System in Your Florida Convention Center

Retrofitting Air Conditioning & Controls for Large Public Venues.

Florida sports, entertainment and convention facilities face unique air conditioning challenges due to their large spaces, high ceilings and high outdoor humidity levels. Indoor air quality is a primary concern for convention center administrators because outdated air conditioning systems can become a breeding ground for contaminants. Building operators also have to contend with the high energy cost associated with maintaining an antiquated and inefficient HVAC system.

In order to reduce expenses and improve indoor air quality, more and more Florida venue administrators are retrofitting greener, more efficient air conditioning systems in their buildings. Investing in a green air conditioning system can transform a Florida sporting or entertainment arena into an energy efficient building, and reduce long term operational costs.

According to Larry Clark, LEED AP, and sr. energy solutions consultant at Hill York, facility managers who implement an HVAC optimization solution can often expect a return on investment of less than 2 years. Clark explains this in an example of an institutional building considering the installation of a building oversight management system. The process uses a combination of a web-enabled advanced energy monitoring capability with to the real-time management of energy use.

To arrive at an ROI of less than 2 years, Clark used a Capital Recovery Factor-based cost-to-benefit ratio model. He broke down the project cost ($147,000), the building occupancy within the next 10 years, internal cost of money (6.5%), current cost of energy ($.11/kWh) and expected savings ($1,463,173 kWh/yr). He then analyzed the cost to save 1kWh to arrive at the total savings. From his findings, Clark concluded that the project investment of $.13 avoided $1.00 of energy costs. As illustrated by this model, the cost of not implementing the solution could be as much as $385/day for the next 10 years, or $1.4 million in avoidable energy costs.

As the manager of a large entertainment venue in Florida, these are savings you definitely want available to you for better purposes.

There are now wireless indoor air quality and energy monitoring technologies available that require no modifications to the building’s infrastructure.

Implementing this state-of-the-art technology may not only protect your investment but can also improve the indoor air quality of your Florida arenas and convention centers.

The Benefits of Green Air Conditioning Systems

As a manager of a large venue, not investing in a green air conditioning system can cost a significant amount. With energy prices rising, entertainment and sporting venue administrators must get smart with green initiatives.

However, building engineers and administrators know that proposing a new air conditioning system has several challenges and roadblocks—no matter the evidence of eventual cost savings. Initial, upfront costs are what typically deter most facility managers from implementing a more efficient green air conditioning system. Often, managers don’t want to replace or fix what isn’t clearly broken.

One solution to initial cost outlay is to present a shared energy savings financing plan. Shared energy savings financing is when financing is offered for green projects demonstrated through increased energy efficiencies. Financing options include commercial leases that can pay out from energy savings, third party ESCO financing and customized financial plans using several models.

Plus installing a green air conditioning system positions your venue to qualify for LEED credits, saving you even more money in the long run.

Choosing an Orlando, Florida LEED Certified Contractor

Having a LEED certified contractor is vital to ensuring that your project qualifies for certification. Whether you are implementing environmentally-friendly countertops in your restrooms or a green air conditioning system, any green driven project may qualify for Florida LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification supports and encourages green building development practices which contributes towards increased environmental and health sustainability.

When a building becomes LEED certified, money saving credits are offered, adding significantly to your return on investment.

Before you pursue certification, select a LEED certified Orlando company to ensure you will earn credits. Because specific rules must be followed in order to ensure your retrofit or new construction project, only a LEED certified Orlando contractor can ensure the job is done to specifications.

When interviewing Florida contractors, look for a LEED certified Orlando company that has accredited professionals on staff, including a Charrette Facilitator. Inquire about partnerships with other Florida LEED contractors and consultants, that ultimately contributes toward a more efficient and complete job.

Another money saving consideration is to ask your contractor about energy services agreements and individual building energy assessments. Qualified Florida LEED contractors will utilize BuildingAdvice energy benchmarking and ENERGY STAR rating systems to design the most appropriate green air conditioning system for your entertainment or sporting venue.