Energy Performance

The Different Ways We Optimized Energy Performance at the Swenson Center

  • No heating and cooling in the lobbies and the upstairs hallway.
  • Use night air cooling.
  • Temperature sensors compare indoor and outdoor temperatures.
  • Motorized windows in the lobbies open and exhaust fans activate to draw cool night air into the building while moving the hotter air in the hallway and lobbies out of the building.
  • Computer modeling showed that the hallways and lobbies would only exceed 79˚F on 21 days of the year, near the end of the day.
  • Use ceiling fans in the second floor hallway that can be operated by a local controller mounted on the wall near the fan. The building lighting control system automatically turns all fans off at 10:30 pm.
  • Ceiling-mounted radiant gas heaters in the first floor lobbies that are turned on automatically by the building control system during the normal building operating hours to provide heating in the gathering areas when the weather is cooler.
  • CO2 sensors in the hallways and classrooms ensure that adequate fresh air ventilation is available in the building, and eliminate unnecessary air changes.
  • Each operable window is fitted with a switch which shuts down the heating or cooling when the window is opened. There is a 15 minute delay before the system restarts after the window is closed again.
  • Each office door is fitted with a switch which shuts down the heating and cooling when the door is left open for 30 minutes. When the door is closed the heating and cooling system restarts within a couple of minutes.

Lighting Controls Contribute to the Savings

  • This building is equipped with a centralized LC&D building lighting control system for the classrooms, hallways and lobbies. The system has a "light harvesting" feature which results in certain lights being turned off during the day if there is sufficient light coming in through the windows and skylights.
  • The classrooms have occupancy sensors that turn on the lights automatically when you walk into the room. There are override switches in the classroom to allow you to turn on all the lights, turn off all the lights, and have partial lights on.
  • Each office has its own individual light control system in place of the light switch. The lights automatically turn on when you walk in and will turn off 30 minutes after you leave. If you leave and the lights turn off, but you run back in to get something quickly, the lights will turn off again in a few minutes.