William B. Travis Building

The William B. Travis Building is located at 309 S. 4th Street, Richmond Texas. Currently the building is used by various Fort Bend County departments/offices. The facility, built in 1989, consists of eight-floors above grade including a penthouse and totaling 110,192 sq. ft. th Main administrative areas and office suites are used by the Fort Bend County Commissioners, clerks and judges. These areas consist of multiple closed offices and open office spaces where cubicles are used for employees to perform day-to-day tasks. In addition to offices, there are courtrooms on multiple floors used at various times of the day. The William B. Travis Building was recipient of an energy audit and five Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs):

  • Installation of lighting occupancy sensors. Ideally suited for small applications that are considered intermittently occupied. Many of the corridors, restrooms, conference rooms, courtrooms, enclosed offices, and open spaces within the William B. Travis building did not use occupancy sensors. This installation will result in an annual energy savings of 34,902-kWh and an annual cost savings of $3,594.92.
  • Air Handling Unit (AHU) Economizers. The most popular ECM for AHUs, the economizers use outdoor air for a first stage of free cooling when the outdoor air meets certain target conditions. This eliminates the need for mechanical cooling, which reduces energy usage. (NOT IMPLEMENTED DUE TO GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION)
  • Variable Fan Drives (VFD) of Cooling Tower Fans. The installation of a VFD on the cooling tower fans reduction is similar to the VFD installation on the AHUs. 20 percent decrease in speed equates to nearly a 50 percent reduction in power.
  • Condenser Water Temperature Reset. Used in parallel with the VFD to reduce power consumption, the performance of the cooling tower is increased. A lower condenser water temperature results in a higher efficiency chiller; however, it will also reduce the capacity of the chiller.
  • Premium-Efficiency Motors for Cold and Hot Water System. The installed 15-Hp NEMA Premium-Efficiency hot water motors replacements have 92.4% full load efficiency. Much better than the 87.5% full load efficiency of the two old 10-Hp pumps.

Annual Energy Cost (US Dollars)

Architect for Life used the DOE recommended software Portfolio Manager to track the utility costs. Upon starting as Energy Efficiency Program Manager, the William B. Travis building had an Energy Star rating of 33. As Architect for life coordinated with various contractors and county personnel to implement the selected ECMs (see video), it was believed that vast improvement could be documented.

The continued utility cost tracking within Portfolio Manger produced an Energy Star rating of 86 after the retrofit work was completed. The coordinated efforts resulted in a 95% increase in the overall Energy Star rating for the Travis building.
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Total Energy Cost per Sq. Ft. (US Dollars)

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Architect for Life oversees chiller replacement