Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012 - (Page 25)
Don’t let exhaust fans blow your money.
By Michael Chang
Stop, hey, what’s that sound … Everybody look what’s going down. ~ Buffalo Springfield f you manage a large parking garage, “that sound” is your garage exhaust fan and “what’s going down” is up to $200,000 per year. Depending on your business model, this money is being drained from your owners or tenants whose businesses and families have to earn $277,000 to $2,000,000 per year just to move air in and out of the parking garage. Now, don’t get me wrong. Fans and mechanical ventilation are necessary in parking garages. In fact, they are required by law to ensure healthy air quality conditions and prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide (CO). All facilities must exercise due diligence to assure a safe breathing environment for staff and tenants.
The parking garage ventilation system will save Nauru Tower close to $300,000 in energy costs per year,” according to Nauru resident manager Don Higgins. Photo courtesy of Nauru Tower and Hawaii Energy. Inset: Sample carbon monoxide gas detection system from Clear Blue Energy Corp.
The system can dramatically minimize the amount of time exhaust fans run. On average, the runtimes of exhaust fans can be reduced by 83 percent or more.
• Lower fan usage: Fans run continuously, causing significant wear, frequent equipment replacement and shortening fan motor life. • Reducedm aintenance: Without a carbon monoxide monitoring system, the frequency of maintenance is higher for fan belt and lubrication services. Exhaust fans are sneaky as they hide out in the dark corners of the garage and they use their 3 to 10 horsepower motors every moment of everyday running up to 8,760 hours per year and costing just shy of $2,000 per horsepower per year. Energy-efficient systems such as carbon monoxide monitoring reduce
Mechanical ventilation for parking garages shall require a minimum of one and five tenths cfm per square foot … over the entire floor area requiring ventilation ... ~ Hawaii Administrative Rules § 11-39-13(2) Energy Savings: Meeting the required amount of fresh air in parking structures can become very expensive. Installing a carbon monoxide monitoring system can result in the following benefits: • Minimized utility bills: The electrical energy required to run the exhaust fans 24 hours a day is exceptionally high, causing large utility bills.
CO threshold level is governed by the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division. The permissible exposure level is 50 parts per million. CO, in particular, presents a special threat because it is poisonous, lighter than air, colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-irritating. In parking structures, CO is one of the most abundant airborne contaminants and poses significant safety concerns. The CO levels must be controlled or else concentrations approach unsafe levels. To be up to code, many facilities operate constantly—24 hours a day 7 days a week. There are no shortcuts in keeping your building up to code, but there are better, smarter systems. Let’s take for example, a carbon monoxide monitoring system with sensors. The system can determine the concentration of carbon monoxide levels and activate exhaust fans only when they are needed to keep the air safe to breathe.
The effects of carbon monoxide on people can vary significantly based on overall state of health, sex, age and weight.
Examples of local buildings with 80 percent or higher energy savings. Nauru Tower AOAO Annual savings: $283,848 10-year savings: $2,338,030 Payback period with Hawaii Energy incentives: Approximately 3 months Hawaii Prince Hotel Annual savings: $182,901 Payback period with Hawaii Energy incentives: 0 months (Hawaii Energy’s incentive paid 100% of the total project costs)
Queen Emma Gardens AOAO Annual savings: $134,948 Payback period with Hawaii Energy incentives: Less than 4 months Ward Entertainment Parking Garage Annual savings: $71,980 Payback period with Hawaii Energy incentives: Approximately 5.5 months Wailana AOAO Annual savings: $26,324 Payback period with Hawaii Energy incentives: Approximately 4.5 months
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012
New Digs in Kalihi
The Making of an RM
Just Plug In
Air It Out
Short On Cash?
Movers & Shakers
On Site: Finding Balance
Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012