MINNEAPOLIS - With mounting concern regarding the constant rise in energy costs, the Sabes Jewish Community Center (Sabes JCC) in Minneapolis teamed with NewMech Facility Solutions to take a progressive cost saving approach in restructuring energy consumption while streamlining internal heating and cooling needs for facility operations.

The Sabes JCC was built in 1968 and operates with its original 38-year-old central heating and cooling equipment. With a 100,000-square-foot addition in 2002/3, the Sabes JCC has mounting energy consumption challenges including: 1) controlling room temperatures throughout its facility, 2) providing appropriate ventilation to all areas of its building, 3) maintaining appropriate moisture and air quality for the inside pool and athletic areas, and 4) finding a means to reduce energy consumption and costs to operate the facility.

"The Sabes JCC has outdated, inefficient equipment nearing the end of its useful life cycle," said Stuart Wachs, executive director, Sabes JCC. "We needed an immediate construction plan and modification program put in place before our old system gave out."

The JCC teamed with NewMech Facility Solutions, St. Paul, Minn. NewMech Facility Solutions is an energy solutions group focused on the design of energy efficient retrofits of existing buildings through efficient equipment solutions and energy use redesign. Energy engineers from NewMech conducted a comprehensive energy study in conjunction with Minnesota state directives for energy conservation and Xcel Energy''s energy savings program. Through creative grant writing and ongoing communications with Xcel Energy, NewMech Facility Solutions'' engineers secured significant funding from Xcel Energy to pay for the JCC''s energy study. During the study, equipment testing, air quality assessment, architectural designs, and mechanical efficiencies were linked to historical gas and electric energy bills. The resulting information was assessed to establish affordable systems redesign and an equipment replacement program for the Sabes JCC.

"NewMech Facilities Solutions provided the Sabes JCC with financially sound and realistic plans to implement new energy savings," said Mark Rasmussen, managing director at NewMech Facility Solutions. Suggested construction improvements included: 1) a new high-efficiency heating and cooling plant, 2) pool area ventilation modifications, 3) automated air handling control modifications, 4) total HVAC system integration, and 5) other minor system changes that yield significant energy and cost savings. Improvements are now being implemented at the Sabes JCC.

"By implementing all of the betterments suggested by NewMech Facility Solutions, the Sabes JCC should have annual energy cost savings of over $100,000 per year. Additionally, NewMech Facility Solutions was also able to identify several rebates from Xcel Energy to offset total equipment costs by up to an additional $100,000 for a first year total savings of $200,000," said Rasmussen.

For more information, visit www.nmfsolutions.com.

Publication date: 01/01/2007