Trane Building Services Helped the Virginia Department of Forestry Dramatically Improve Energy Use
The Virginia Department of Forestry is entrusted with some of the most precious natural resources in the state. Every day,
the people of the Department of Forestry work to protect 15.8 million acres of forest land from fire, insects and disease. They manage 17
state forests and other state lands totaling 47,899 acres for timber, recreation, water, research, wildlife and biodiversity. Located in
the Fontaine Research Park in Charlottesville, the 100,000-square-foot building is also home to several other state offices. Clearly,
such an organization wants to make sure its own home is environmentally responsible. When Facilities Manager Gerald Shifflett decided to
reduce energy costs, he called on Trane Building Services to develop energy-saving strategies.
Efficiencies were gained by tailoring the Tracer Summit™ system to match building and room occupancy schedules. Occupancy
sensors were installed for lighting control in all restrooms and meeting rooms and temperature set points were adjusted for both cooling
and for heating.
The chiller plant was rescheduled to run at night to take advantage of off-peak energy rates, creating ice at night to be
used for daytime air conditioning. Nighttime ice generation is also more efficient due to lower condensing temperatures, allowing chillers
to operate more efficiently.
When the building opened in 1994, annual energy costs were about $1.25 per square foot. As a result of utilizing Trane’s
Building Services and implementing operating improvements, annual energy costs at the Virginia Department of Forestry are now only $0.78
per square foot. It is the only Virginia State office building to earn the USEPA’s Energy Star Label for Buildings.
The state office building, which is located in the Fontaine Research Park in Charlottesville, serves as the central office for the Virginia Department of Forestry and also houses the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Mineral Mining and Mineral Resources divisions. Also located in the building are satellite offices for the Departments of State Police, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Consumer Services.