From 2011 through 2018, Cx Associates worked as the energy consultant with National Life in Montpelier, VT – the largest office building complex in the State of Vermont, measuring approximately 500,000 square feet. Our work began with a retrocommissioning study that identified building performance improvement opportunities to reduce annual electrical consumption by 18% and cut biomass fuel use by about 425 tons of wood chips per year. In addition to the resulting 770,000 kWh of annual energy savings realized by these projects, the firm is also saving 69% of their chiller operating costs from the chiller plant control sequences that Cx Associates developed in 2014. Through continuous engagement in identifying, developing, supporting implementation, and commissioning energy efficiency projects, we have helped the already Energy Star Rated facility save over 5,580 MWh and 51 million BTUs of fuel.
Cx Associates commissioned Unilever’s 36,600 SF Seventh Generation headquarters facility in Burlington, VT, which contains offices and labs. Commissioned systems included the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), domestic hot water, and lighting and lighting controls. The commissioning process included Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) facilitation and two design reviews, along with full construction phase commissioning. The owner is pursuing LEED Gold certification (v4 ID+C Commercial Interiors) for this building.
Cx Associates commissioned energy efficiency improvements at Burlington International Airport including the upgraded central chilled water system, replacement of two inefficient constant volume dual duct air distribution systems with a VAV system, extensive controls system programming upgrades, and lighting efficiency upgrades. CxA conducted design review for the central cooling plant and air system and heating plant upgrades. Many of our design review comments had a positive impact on system performance, especially part load operational efficiency. We estimate that our design review of the chiller plant controls alone saved the airport 150,000 kWh/year (20% of full load), worth $19,000/year. In addition, CxA worked with BTV to implement Building Performance Metrics and Monitoring to enable the building operators to maintain system performance over time.
Cx Associates provided peer-level design and construction phase commissioning of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems for the YMCA's new, state-of-the-art facility in Burlington, VT. The building is made up of a gymnasium, natatorium, studios, fitness areas, childcare spaces, and offices, and uses water source heat pumps for heating and cooling with rooftop units (RTUs) and an HRV for ventilation. Our work focused on efficiency, first-cost and maintenance cost savings, and ensuring occupants would be comfortable in their spaces. For example, we found a lighting controller that required a fifteen minute wait time before the lights could be re-enabled after shut-down, a potential safety hazard. We worked with the design team and the contractors to find solutions to this and many other issues.
CxA’s commissioning of the multi-purpose, year-round Stowe Arena began during the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage and continued through bidding, design, construction, and occupancy. The RFP development and bidding services helped to ensure that energy efficient design concepts were included in the project proposals from the very beginning. During the design phase, CxA identified many opportunities to improve building performance, such as variable speed control for the desiccant dehumidification system, and optimal hot water supply temperature for boiler efficiency and heat recovery. CxA’s functional performance testing of the installed systems revealed additional opportunities to improve energy efficiency, such as reduced ventilation air pre-heating and adjustments to lighting control settings to more effectively switch off lighting when spaces are unoccupied.
Cx Associates was retained by the Town of Shelburne, VT to provide design and construction phase commissioning for the town’s 16,000 SF new Pierson Library and renovated Historic Town Center project. Commissioned systems included the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), domestic hot water, and lighting and lighting controls. Designed with sustainability and high-performance in mind, the building incorporates many energy efficiency features such as a roof rainwater collection, passive daylighting, and energy-efficient HVAC equipment. Designed for net-zero energy use, the new library and town center was awarded the 2020 Efficiency Vermont Best of the Best Honor Award – Large Commercial, as well as the 2020 People’s Choice Award at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design Conference.
Cx Associates provided engineering analysis for two projects as part of a census evaluation of the largest projects completed in the evaluation period for NYSERDA. The evaluation included on‐site M&V, delivery of engineering and attribution surveys by engineering staff and completion of rigorous verification of over 6,500 MWh of savings claimed on the two projects to determine the measure level and project specific gross and net savings realization rates with an enhanced degree of rigor.
From 2015-2017, Cx Associates was part of a team that provided consulting services to the Maine Public Utility Commission to conduct an evaluation of Efficiency Maine Trust programs. This included a thorough review of the Trust's programs, program design/ modification, efficiency measure cost-effectiveness screening, development of the Triennial Plan and a Best Practices memo, as well as an overview of the Trust in general.
Under contract to Efficiency Vermont, Cx Associates worked with the Vermont Forward Capacity Market (FCM) participants and regulators to design and develop the Vermont FCM Measurement & Verification (M&V) implementation plan. Since 2009, Cx Associates has provided independent measurement and verification of Vermont's FCM peak demand reduction claims for over 100 utility C&I projects, as well as annual energy savings evaluation. Our staff performs on‐site metering, utility bill analyses, building automation system trend analyses, and engineering analyses using these data to verify peak demand reduction claims for Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department in compliance with IPMVP and ISO New England standards.
In 2019, Cx Associates assisted VTARNG with an energy assessment of three facilities: Regional Training Institute, the Jericho Readiness Center, and the Green Mountain Armory. This work utilized Efficiency Vermont’s Retrocommissioning (RCx) program. Using ASHRAE Level I Energy Audits, we assessed the energy consumption, water consumption, and mechanical and electrical system infrastructure to identify low-cost operating and controls measures for inclusion in VTARNG’s developing Installation Energy and Water Plans (IEWP). We recommended a list of infrastructure investments and capital improvements vital to meeting the IEWP mission goals regarding effective operation, mitigation of risks, lowering operating costs, and reducing energy and water consumption. For example, the measures identified for the Jericho Readiness Center would save VTARNG approximately 45,713 kW/yr.
Cx Associates conducted an extensive retrocommissioning study for the Vermont Army National Guard’s Combined Services Maintenance Shop (CSMS) and Regional Technical Institute (RTI) located at Camp Johnson in Colchester, VT and at the Mountain Warfare School (MWS) in Jericho, Vermont. We identified energy savings opportunities that were estimated to generate $96,000 in energy savings per year.
Cx Associates provided design, construction and occupancy phase commissioning services to VTANG’s new LEED Gold Certified Security Forces Building. We commissioned mechanical and electrical systems, including ground source heat pumps and solar PV. Our commissioning engineers found several issues during construction phase, such as sensors installed too high and poorly programmed controls sequences. We estimate that the resolution of these issues saved the facility $7,000/yr. in energy and maintenance costs.
From 2016-2018, Cx Associates provided construction and post-occupancy commissioning services for a new Flight Simulator Building (Building 120) for the Vermont Air National Guard in South Burlington, VT. For this project, Cx Associates focused on the HVAC systems and identified issues pertaining to the duct access doors, a broken damper shaft, improperly aligned air vents, damaged heating coil fins, and a number of other systems.
Cx Associates provided lead commissioning services for a LEED Gold certified renovation and expansion of VTANG’s Fire-Crash-Rescue facility in South Burlington, VT. Our commissioning work with this high-performance building included mechanical and electrical systems, air and water source heat pumps, a geoexchange wellfield, and a 27.63kW PV array on the roof of the station. We developed and coordinated a Measurement and Verification Plan in compliance with LEED-NC 2.2 credit EA C5 to monitor all energy consuming systems through a DDC Base Meter Monitoring System (BMMS).
Cx Associates provided construction phase commissioning services for this new construction project in Burlington, VT, which features office space and 20 residential apartments. The project utilized high efficiency water source heat pumps to offset their heat/cooling rejection in the swing seasons, thereby minimizing the energy input from the central plant during those times. We identified approximately 100 issues during project construction; for example, we found that no automatic controls were installed on exterior lights and no emergency shutoff switches were installed for the gas-fired boilers. We recommended changes that saved the client energy, first costs, and long-term maintenance costs.
Cx Associates provided design, construction, and occupancy phase commissioning for Housing Vermont and Downstreet Housing & Community Development’s new 30-unit multifamily building in Montpelier, VT. Our clients' commitment to providing affordable housing to Vermonters means they needed a commissioning provider who would ensure the new building operated efficiently and with low maintenance costs.
Cx Associates provided mechanical and electrical commissioning for this new county nursing home in Boscawen, NH. This multi-residential health care facility includes over 300 beds, kitchen, laundry, offices and ancillary spaces. The owner required commissioning as a mandatory component of the project to ensure that all systems were complete and functioning properly upon occupancy, and that adequate documentation and training were provided to facilities staff. The facility design included energy efficient measures such as radiant floor heating, geothermal heat pumps, and energy recovery ventilators.
Cx Associates performed ASHRAE level 1 and level 2 energy audits, including metering, energy analysis, and Energy Star Portfolio benchmarking, of the Grand Way Commons building in in South Burlington, VT. Grand Way Commons is a four-story senior housing building that was built in two phases, with completion dates of 2005 and 2011. This 97,000 square foot building is primarily for senior housing with office space and a senior care facility.
Cx Associates collaborated with Mount Mansfield Company to meet Stowe Mountain’s goal of stabilizing and automating the Spruce Camp plant operation. During this project, we investigated the 10,600 MBH boiler and its associated equipment, including primary and secondary loops, loop pumps, and heat exchangers. We compiled data from field visits and trend data analysis to demonstrate the boiler's inefficiencies and generate solutions, and we identified and supported the implementation of changes that successfully met the project goals.
Cx Associates performed an RCx study for Jay Peak Resort’s two-story Clubhouse which includes functional space types such as a kitchen, bar and dining area, pro shop, golf cart storage, and overnight suites. This is a year-round building with varying levels of occupancy. Our review included the mechanical, domestic hot water, controls, and lighting systems and resulted in recommendations that would focus on the building automation system and fan coil units.
Cx Associates completed construction and occupancy phase commissioning of a full renovation for the three-story, 60-plus-room Bread Loaf Inn. The renovation included winterizing the building with new mechanical equipment, an improved shell, and a commercial-grade kitchen. Our work uncovered a number of issues while the contractors were still onsite, resulting in minimized corrective costs and impact on the people and building systems.
Cx Associates provided commissioning services for the construction of the Spruce Peak Adventure Center at Stowe Mountain Resort. We completed an in-depth review of the HVAC controls design and contractor’s scope work to identify and close existing gaps, resulting in a final, clear, agreed-to path forward for implementation of a complex controls package. As a result of our successful work on this project, we have been retained for several problem-solving projects with Stowe Mountain Resort.
Cx Associates provided commissioning services for this new waterfront boutique hotel which holds 126 guest rooms. Our early involvement in the project allowed us to identify design improvements that resulted in improved building performance and energy cost savings such as $10,000 first cost savings from a lower cost roof to air handling unit, 63,000 kWh and $8,000/year from variable speed pump installations, and 1,750 CCF and $2,500/year from separating the domestic hot water from the heat pump loop heating.
Cx Associates continued working with Hotel Vermont after occupancy to develop and test a new sequence of operations for the existing energy recovery unit (ERU) to reduce energy use and improve occupant comfort; this work was a direct result of observations made during the commissioning process.
Cx Associates provided Construction and Occupancy Phase Commissioning services for the Rutland Housing Authority (RHA) and Housing Vermont’s multifamily building in Rutland, VT. Working as the independent commissioning agent, we delivered a quality assurance process to help ensure the project meets the High Performance Track of the Efficiency Vermont Multifamily Energy Standards for New Construction. In order to meet this goal, our services for the project included construction verification, functional performance testing, maintaining a commissioning issues log to work through identified issues with the project team, training support for O&M staff, and a review of the systems manual. Ten months after building occupancy, we performed a follow-up visit to ensure that the systems were continuing to operate as designed and installed.
Cx Associates is an Evaluation Administrator for the C&I Programs (gas and electric) delivered in the State of Connecticut. We undertake study planning, write evaluation RFPs, review proposals and select contractors, and oversee the implementation of C&I program evaluations ranging from large program impact and process evaluations to smaller demand management pilot studies. This work gives us a view into M&V practices, enabling Cx Associates to collaborate with others in our market to push for continuous improvement of EM&V practices.
Working under contract with Optimal Energy, Cx Associates’ Principal Emeritus Jennifer Chiodo continues to play a significant role as a consultant to the MA EEAC on evaluation and program development and delivery across several utilities serving Massachusetts’ commercial, industrial, institutional and multifamily customers. Jennifer led a collaborative effort to identify retrocommissioning program features that qualify as best practices, with the goal of achieving higher levels of participation and savings through such programs in Massachusetts. Recently Jennifer’s efforts resulted in market research on the potential for a new systems-based energy efficiency program design.
Cx Associates served as project manager, evaluation study designer, primary researcher, and M&V provider for the C&I New Construction Program for NYSERDA. During this $3.7M project, we contributed actionable findings that helped the study evolve in innovated ways. We developed a detailed matrix to identify baselines for a variety of control strategies, comparison strategies to identify overall performance metrics, detailed reporting to address control programming issues, and pre-modeling reviews.
Cx Associates has led the measurement and verification of energy efficiency demand management projects for Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd) since 2016. ConEd powers New York City and Westchester County, and our work on this project ensures that the energy savings needed for grid reliability are being achieved and maintained. These projects include HVAC technologies and upgrades, battery storage, fuel cells, lighting controls and retrofits, and Building Automation System demand response enablement and optimization. We provide recommendations on program methodology and content, review M&V guidelines intended for customer consumption, and perform desk reviews, among other responsibilities.
Cx Associates was brought in to assist with identifying opportunities to improve thermal and humidity control in key manufacturing areas and to help VPT reduce energy use. Cx undertook testing, including measurement and verification, of existing systems and conditions, identified design solutions and oversaw their implementation.
After providing commissioning services for ECHO, Vermont’s first LEED certified building, in 2003, Cx Associates provided retrocommissioning (RCx) services for ECHO in 2014. We provided services to help ECHO achieve their goals to improve the performance of their pumping and air systems. In addition to reducing the operations staff-time required to maintain the building, the measures we identified included savings of 64,150 kWh annually across a couple of upgrades and improvements.
Cx Associates provided construction phase commissioning services for a Systems Building Renovation for Green Mountain Power (GMP), which included the HVAC and power systems. This project included relocation of the existing data center to the main office facility with extensive commissioning of the installation. In addition, we provided in-depth assistance with the rooftop controls unit and BAS integration. Our focused support helped GMP resolve building performance issues.
Cx Associates managed and conducted a full commissioning quality assurance and validation process for the new Vermont Hard Cider bottling facility. During our rigorous validation process, we uncovered several significant construction issues that, had they not been corrected, may have resulted in significant equipment failure and waste. Cx Associates identified dozens of opportunities to both increase operational effectiveness of the facility as well as energy efficiency.
Cx Associates completed retrocommissioning studies at Browns River Middle, Jericho Elementary, Mount Mansfield High, and Smilie Elementary schools. For these schools, we used historical energy data to benchmark each building in Energy Star Portfolio Manager and develop the sites’ Energy Usage Index (EUI). The implemented energy saving measures included adjustments to ventilation to match occupancy, modification of piping to segregate boilers and reduce losses through the standby boiler, hot water piping modifications to allow variable speed pump operation, and numerous mechanical modifications to ensure optimized operation and decreased maintenance costs.
Cx Associates calculated the EUI and Energy Star scores for this four-story building and identified that it is operating slightly better than the national average. Even so, we identified a number of opportunities to improve the building’s energy efficiency even further. While retrocommissioning was not an option due to operability issues, we were able to provide a report that provided guidance and direction concerning strategies to optimize control sequences to reduce energy use and improve comfort.
Cx Associates identified and quantified over 200 measures and identified annual energy savings opportunities of over $237,000 during the retrocommissioning study we performed for Vermont State College. The goal of the study was to identify low cost opportunities to reduce building HVAC energy use and identify measures that could be applicable across multiple buildings not included in the study. The savings we identified resulted in a payback period of only 1.2 years.
Cx Associates provided commissioning for the renovation of the historic building that is used as Middlebury College’s president’s residence. The building has been recognized for its energy efficiency, winning Efficiency Vermont’s top award for a major renovation of a commercial building. As a result of our early involvement in the project, we were able to identify an opportunity for the engineer to modify sequences and piping to ensure the heating boiler was not damaged by missing logic. Our follow up on the issue resolved a lack of communication that could have resulted in a voided boiler warranty.
Cx Associates was retained by Champlain College to commission the college’s renovation of Roger H. Perry Hall. Built in 1859 by lawyer and diplomat Edward Phelps, it is one of only 11 houses in the South Willard Street Historic District that predates the Civil War and is an Italianate-style brick home with elements of Greek revival. The college’s plan for the building included energy-efficient climate control systems, including a geothermal pump from Perry Hall's deep wells. The building was renovated to LEED standards which recognize performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Cx Associates provided commissioning services for the renovation of this three-story historic mansion. The systems included in our commissioning were HVAC, domestic hot water, lighting and lighting controls. We identified a number of issues during the commissioning process, including variable refrigerant flow controls that didn’t meet specified sequences of operation, an isolation damper that was not opening properly to allow outside air into the heat recover unit, and water pooling around the roof top units. The identified issues were resolved, removing the potential for future issues.
Cx Associates provided commissioning for the new squash center on Middlebury College’s main campus, which includes nine squash courts, an entrance to the main athletic complex, and seating for hundreds of spectators. Cx Associates was retained to assist in the pursuit of LEED certification for the project. Commissioned systems included HVAC, domestic hot water, and lighting and lighting controls. Our early involvement during the design phase allowed us to develop close relationships with the college and the contractors which helped ensure the controls for the ventilation system and lighting system met the design intent and needs of the college.
Cx Associates provide design and construction phase commissioning for Middlebury College’s new Field House. Our review uncovered several issues that, when corrected, reduced first cost and increased energy efficiency. During the construction phase, we corrected over 50 issues with the rest of the team, each found during commissioning. Correcting these problems improved equipment access and maintainability, improved sequences of operation and other equipment programming, and resulted in improved environmental quality.
Cx Associates provided commissioning during Champlain College’s two-phase dormitory project to build three new residence halls on their campus. Our work ensured that the buildings conformed with the project Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR), Basis of Design (BOD), and contract documents. The project included energy efficient design elements such as heat pump systems connected to a ground source wellfield serving a multi-building district.
Cx Associates was retained by Maine Medical Center to provide an engineering assessment for optimizing the replacement of AHU-44, which is at the end of its expected service life. We recommended an advantageous solution and provided a design narrative for use in pricing. We provided services throughout the replacement, by evaluating hospital spaces and programs, space conditioning and ventilation requirements, performing submittal reviews, and developing the final sequence of operation. To round out the project, we will conduct site work to review the installation and operation.
Cx Associates conducted a retrocommissioning qualification study for the chilled water plant at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. Our review of the facility focused on its chilled water plant, the BAS, as well as pumps and the cooling tower. Our study resulted in four measures we recommended to the owner. These four measures resulted in estimated annual savings of $17,000, which would result in a payback period of just 1.4 years.
Cx Associates worked with Efficiency Vermont to complete a retrocommissioning (RCx) process of nine Air Handling Units (AHU) at Northwestern Medical Center (NMC). The nine AHUs analyzed in this RCx study served several areas of the 200,000 square foot medical building including operating rooms, surgical services, ICU, PCU, laboratories, cafeteria, office spaces, and the emergency department. In addition to the original scope, we identified three further items during the implementation phase of the work that would give additional savings of over $9,000 per year. The final RCx report indicates savings of over $33,700 per year.
We provided design and sequences of operation for an upgrade to Fanny Allen Hospital’s aging Building Automation System (BAS). This upgrade resulted in an increase in the facility’s Energy Star score from 15 to 31. Our team based our design on the not-yet-released ASHRAE Guideline 36 and implemented leading edge efficiency measures in the control of the HVAC systems.
Cx Associates provided commissioning services for Construction and Post-Occupancy phases of this multi-building project. The overall project was comprised of three separate projects: the ICU/Medical-Surgical addition, which included twenty new single occupancy patient rooms; the main entrance and lobby renovation, which included the outpatient clinic addition and contained multiple exam rooms; and a new standalone medical office building.
Cx Associates provided design, construction, and occupancy phase commissioning services for this Compounding Pharmacy and Medical Office Building which houses dedicated dermatology and chemo infusion clinics along with a pharmaceutical lab. Because we were involved since the design review, we were able to work with the owners, designers, and contractors to ensure the compounding pharmacy HVAC system will satisfy the strict code requirements for this type of space.
Cx Associates is commissioning this four-phase construction project, including the Congress Street Clinical Building, East Tower Vertical Expansion, Existing Visitor Garage Vertical Expansion, and Central Utility Plant Chiller. We are providing design, construction, and occupancy phase commissioning services for this project as well as occupancy phase monitoring-based commissioning. In addition, we worked with Maine Medical Center to develop an in-depth facilities Owner’s Project Requirements document that they are now using to inform other projects.
Cx Associates led the development of the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR), and then provided commissioning services for Design, Construction, and Post-Occupancy phases of the project. Our design reviews resulted in over $220,000 in first cost savings and we identified and suggested solutions for over 200 issues during construction.
Currently we are providing measurement and verification services in compliance with LEED 2009-NC Version 3.0 – EAC 5 for Measurement and Verification. This work includes commissioning metering devices, building a public-facing web page that charts the Energy Use Intensity of the building, writing and executing a measurement and verification plan, and developing an energy model to measure actual building energy performance in comparison to baseline.
Cx Associates supported the project by acting as commissioning agents as well as performing project engineering of the control sequences. Our work also included developing specifications and sequences of operation, verifying performance of the new equipment in the field, and estimating the energy savings for use by the local utility to facilitate a significant rebate for the project. Cx Associates completed a comprehensive and highly successful upgrade to UVMMC’s McClure HVAC system that resulted in energy savings of over $100,000/year for the facility. This project also increased the effectiveness of the building operations team by giving them the tools they need to efficiently operate this complex system. In addition, the system will experience significantly less downtime for repairs and maintenance costs in the future.
The University of Vermont (UVM) Davis Center was the first student center to receive LEED Gold certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. This cutting-edge, 186,000 square-foot building features a 19,000 square-foot green roof, built-in compost storage coolers, waterless urinals, and an energy efficient HVAC system. It diverts more than 60 percent of its waste from the landfill. In 2010, the Davis Center received the Innovative Achievement Award, sponsored by American Campus Communities. The Davis Center represents UVM's commitment to the environment and green building practices.
Turning LEED Silver Into LEED Gold
In 2011, Cx Associates began working with Hypertherm, a world leading plasma and laser cutting equipment manufacturer located in New Hampshire. We provided LEED consultation; building envelope, HVAC, and electrical commissioning; and measurement and verification (M&V) planning and implementation services for this $35 million, 160,000 square foot LEED project.
Cx Associates served as both the Commissioning Authority (CxA) and LEED Consultant for the new Academic Facility at the CCV campus in Winooski, VT. The building recently received a Vermont Green Building Network Going Green Award because its energy use is proven to be less than half of the regional average for commercial buildings on an annualized per square foot basis. This 65,000 square foot facility uses only 48,000 BTU/SF/YR while serving over 2,000 students throughout the year.
Retrocommissioning Your Building for Big Savings
Cx Associates worked with the owner of the Howard Opera House building in Burlington, Vermont, and the Burlington Electric Department (BED), to address issues related to the building's aging HVAC infrastructure. The four-story building in downtown Burlington was built in 1879. Over the years, it has housed a department store, an opera house in the upper floors, and various other commercial and office spaces.
Description of Project: A variable speed drive was installed on an existing constant speed 10 HP milk vacuum pump. Since the maximum capacity of the vacuum pump was not needed for the operation of the milking facilities, the VFD allowed the vacuum pump to run at a fraction of its maximum load thereby saving energy. Demand savings for the measure was claimed during ISO winter performance hours.
Fletcher Allen Health Care dedicated its new Radiation Oncology Suite on August 21, 2010. The $19 million, 23,000-square-foot facility embeds state of the art technology — two new linear accelerators with up to 18 million electron volts of potential — in a soothing, patient-centered environment. It also pursues LEED Silver certification. Built into a hillside to reduce the need for heating and cooling year-round, the Radiation Oncology Suite features a "green" roof with a vegetable garden and plantings to reduce heat build-up and storm water run-off. Natural light filtered through skylights saves on energy costs and provides patients with a sense of connection to the outdoors. The project includes efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems that reduce energy consumption by 20%, as well as water efficient plumbing fixtures.