In the early spring of 2009, Facilities Maintenance Operations (FMO) and the Office for Sustainability (OFS) joined forces to create a new Building Energy Auditing Service. This new service is expected to generate tremendous financial savings and assist the University in meeting its Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHG) goals.

Although not quite as glamorous as renewable energy projects, audits aim at a potentially much bigger target for resource conservation: existing building operations.

And since recommendations for improvement can range from simply changes like shutting down equipment that is not being used, to more complex adjustments of building automation systems or even mechanical equipment upgrades, early involvement of the building management staff is critical.

According to FMO Associate Director, Tony Ragucci, “Energy Auditing requires a systematic review of not just the primary building systems, but the current and planned occupancy activities as well as the recent renovation history and planned capital investment schedules. This holistic review results in the most realistic and sensible energy saving recommendations.”

The process meets or exceeds all requirements of the comprehensive ASHRAE Level II1 audit standard. Each energy saving recommendation is supported with complete financial payback analysis and projected GHG reductions.

The auditing team (Team) is comprised of technical staff from FMO including Kevin Sheehan, supervisor of technical services, John Ritz, an electrical technician, and Greg Kousidis, a building automation controls specialist. Kevin Bright of the Office for Sustainability performs critical energy analysis and report writing and Tony Ragucci manages the overall program. The Team completed their initial energy audit in the early spring at the Harvard Divinity School’s Andover Library.

The final report identified twenty-one (21) low-cost and capital energy conservation recommendations ranged from the addition of simple insulation to air handling unit upgrades. Cumulatively, these investment measures would save the Library over $41,000 annually in utilities with a simple payback period of less than one year.

Following the success of the pilot audit, the Team was awarded the opportunity to audit the entire Divinity School campus (total 6 buildings). The audits for several of these buildings have now been completed with final reports expected in October.