Smart building tech yields 36% savings at American University - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency  -  December 20, 2017

Smart HVAC technology yields 36% savings at AU

Photo of the renovated McKinley Building at American University provided by DCSEU. 

How much can the installation of new energy efficiency technology cut costs at an already LEED Gold-certified building? 

If a recent smart HVAC pilot program at American University is any indication, a lot. 

The Washington, D.C.-based university recently reported that it has reduced energy costs by 36% and lowered carbon emissions by 42% in the first year of operating a new smart technology that uses weather forecast data to control heating ventilation and air conditioning. Implemented for the first time in the U.S. at American University's McKinley Building, the technology developed by German company MeteoViva had proven itself successful in saving energy at locations such as the European Central Bank and BMW's headquarters in Munich, according to a Dec. 14 news release about the project.  

The university's McKinley Building is not only home to the School of Communications, but is also the second-oldest building on campus. Constructed in 1907, the building underwent a major renovation in 2014 resulting in a LEED-Gold certification and, more recently, implemented the MeteoViva technology. 

The project was supported with technical assistance and financial incentives by the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility, according to the release. A longtime partner of American University, DCSEU also verified the project's results. 

Given the results of the pilot, AU is in the process of expanding its use of the technology it to a second building, according to the release. Juan Allen, energy conservation and efficiency manager at AU, said the project brings the university closer to achieving its sustainability goals.

"We are very happy about the energy cost reductions and CO2 savings," he said. 

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