Existing Building Energy Retrofit – General Services Administration (GSA)  – San Diego, Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, Tucson


Existing Building Energy Audits/Energy Modeling/Design


Solarc’s energy auditing/energy modeling and design team were part of a project team with Ameresco to perform energy audits on 2,700,000 square feet (sf) of federal buildings and courthouses for the General Services Administration (GSA). The project was split into two phases, energy auditing and analysis, and design.


Energy Audits. The energy analysis phase of work included two in-depth site visits involving deployment and retrieval of data-loggers, digital control review, functional performance testing, and survey of all lighting and HVAC equipment. With the data obtained on the site visit an energy model was created for each building and calibrated to existing conditions and historical energy use. The energy models were used to demonstrate savings associated with a variety of retro-commissioning (ReCx) and energy conservation measures.


Design. The second phase of work performed was design of the capital improvements. Solarc was the prime design consultant for the work and coordinated a multi-disciplinary design team including architects, electrical engineers, and structural engineers. A close working relationship was maintained with Ameresco– the overall contractor for the work –and their sub-contractors including digital controls contractor.  Tasks included:


• Additional site visits

• Development of drawings and specifications

• Submittal review

• Addressing requests for information


Work addressed in the design documents included (1) chiller replacements in four buildings, (2) new boilers/water heaters in one building, (3) new controls in five buildings, (4) pumping system modifications in five buildings, and (4) architectural modifications in two buildings involving new partition walls and entrance doors.


This project is an excellent example of the flexibility, bandwidth, and “turn-key” energy consulting capabilities of Solarc on a major project with a large scope of work and services.


Building  and Task Summary:


  • James A Walsh Courthouse, 77,540 sf, Energy Analysis/Energy Modeling
  • Tucson Federal Building, 147,972 sf, Energy Analysis/Energy Modeling/Design
  • Evo A DeConcini Federal Courthouse, 439,712 sf, Energy Analysis/Energy Modeling
  • Tucson Border Patrol Headquarters, 13,511 sf, Energy Analysis/Energy Modeling
  • Carson City Federal Building, 51,338 sf, Energy Analysis/Energy Modeling
  • Foley Federal Building & Courthouse, 209,208 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Lloyd D George Federal Building & Courthouse, 454,895 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Clifton Young Federal Building, 126,891 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Bruce R Thompson Courthouse, 206,886 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling
  • Jacob Weinberger Courthouse, 73,180 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Edward J Schwartz Federal Building & Courthouse, 895,247 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse, 489,900 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design
  • Phoenix Federal Building,307,800 sf, Energy Analysis/ Energy Modeling/Design


Energy Efficiency Strategies Identified


  • ReCx and controls optimization
  • Digital control retrofits and replacement
  • Refurbishment of existing equipment
  • Addition of new chillers in select buildings
  • Addition of new boilers in select buildings
  • Optimization of pumping and loop configurations