According to the Department of Energy, buildings account for:

  • 65% of total U.S. electricity consumption
  • 36% of total U.S. primary energy use
  • 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions
  • 12% of potable water in the U.S.

Since 1992, we have been at work:

  • reducing buildings’ energy needs
  • designing renewable energy systems
  • increasing the quality and safety of the interior environment
  • weaning buildings from fossil fuels
  • reducing building water usage
  • making smarter buildings

salvation army hqComplete Energy Services

Salvation Army HQ
The 200,000 SF Territorial Headquarters facility was built in 1970, at a time when energy costs were very low. The mechanical systems were designed for comfort, not efficiency. The Salvation Army commissioned Weber Consultants to study where their energy goes and how to use it more effectively. Recommended alternatives cut the annual $325,000 energy bill by almost 50%. Substantial fuel savings and pollutant reductions were attained with higher efficiency boilers, enhanced automatic and computerized controls, and occupancy controlled lighting.

Many of the recommendations of the 200 page report were subsequently designed and engineered by WCL including a new 4 million BTUH high-efficiency central boiler plant, new variable speed domestic water booster pumps, new data center A/C with economizers, and a new direct digital control system to replace the old pneumatic system.

WCL also helped negotiate new gas and electric utility contracts to further reduce the THQs energy costs.

Johnson FoundationSustainability

The Johnson Foundation
Since 1998, the Johnson Foundation, with the help of Weber Consultants, has renovated the Wingspread Conference Center to dramatically decrease energy and water consumption. A new 16 KW photovoltaic system went online in Spring of 2007. A 2006 energy conservation study pinpointed lighting, controls, and boilers for recommended upgrades.

Following the recommendations of the report, we redesigned a mechanical system upgrade including state-of-the-art variable volume air and water flow systems, air-to-air heat exchangers, and environmentally-friendly geothermal open-loop cooling. New 96% efficient boilers were installed in 2007, which will substantially reduce CO2 emissions and gas consumption.

A new 30 ton geothermal heat pump system is currently under design and will go online in late 2009. An Earth Coupled Analysis computer program was used to model the output of the vertical and horizontal geothermal fields.

Energy ModelingEnergy Modeling

The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters
The US Department of Energy’s DOE 2.1 and Energy Plus computer programs are powerful modeling tools that can analyze enormous amounts of building and weather data to determine the most economical mechanical and lighting systems from a number of alternatives. The mathematical model to the left was used to determine the best retrofits for an existing three building complex. It estimated the buildings’ actual energy consumption to within 3%.

In addition to these programs, Weber Consultants makes extensive use of other computer modeling and design programs such as Energy Plus, Energy 10, F-chart, and BLCC-5 to ensure optimized designs. Many government agencies, as well as the LEEDTM process, require the use of energy models and life cycle costing as part of the design process.

johnson foundation guest hosueLEED Certification

The Guest House at the Johnson Foundation
Built in 2000, the Guest House has been a home to conference attendees of the Johnson Foundation. Part of a comprehensive energy study performed by Weber Consultants in 2006, we recommended that the building would be a good candidate for LEED certification, given the Foundation’s interest in conservation and sustainability. In 2007 we began the process of achieving LEED Gold Certification for the building and expect to be substantially complete in 2009.

This new 16 KW photovoltaic system went online in the Spring of 2007.

Sebert Landscaping CoLEED Certification

Sebert Landscaping Company
This 12,000 SF two story facility in Bartlett, Illinois, is scheduled for LEED Silver certification. WCL is the engineer of record and LEED project administrator for the design which will include occupancy controlled lighting, very high efficiency air-cooled air conditioning, condensing furnaces, energy recovery ventilators, economizers, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, and innovative storm water control.

Extensive DOE2.1 energy simulations modeled everything. Alternate mechanical systems included 25-ton ground source heat pumps, water-source heat pumps, high efficiency chillers, and high efficiency split systems. Several different types of vision and day lighting glass were modeled, as were various lengths of the overhangs and light shelves.

F-Chart simulations modeled the solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, and Elite’s Earth Coupled Analysis program was used to estimate the size of the geothermal field.

Energy costs for the proposed design are approximately 40% less than a similar structure built to the current Code.

Salvation Army Training CenterEnergy Audits and Studies

The Salvation Army College for Officer Training
The above model of the five-building campus on Chicago’s north side has been training officers since the 1920s. Comprising over 205,000 square feet, the campus provides student housing, staff housing, administration facilities, dining, recreation, chapels, and classrooms. Weber Consultants was commissioned to study the operation and maintenance of the energy consuming systems of the campus, identify energy conservation investment opportunities, and make recommendations for implementation of them. Our 200 page energy report detailed 38 energy conservation opportunities that in total would save 60% on their $290,000 annual energy bill.

Recommendations that have been implemented include the installation of super-high efficiency boilers, a new 300 ton chiller plant and cooling tower, and the retrofit of the old control system to a new web-based direct digital system. WCL designed these systems in 2008 and installation was completed in 2009.

The image above shows the DOE2.1 energy model used to determine the numerous energy conservation opportunities recommended in the energy report. It was also used to determine the heating and cooling loads for the new boiler and chilled water plants.

205 W WackerEnergy Star

205 West Wacker Drive Building
205 West Wacker Drive, formerly known as the Engineering Building, is a 25-story high-rise office building containing approximately 325,000 square feet, and includes a 60-car indoor valet parking garage and two basement levels.. 205 West Wacker is one of the last buildings designed by the architectural firm of P.H. Burnham. Weber Consultants was commissioned to study the operation and maintenance of the energy consuming systems of the 205 West Wacker Building, identify energy conservation investment opportunities, and make recommendations for implementation of them.

We also studied the energy consumption relative to other buildings in the EPA’s Energy Star Program and were able to obtain an Energy Star Rating of 90 for the building. The energy model DOE 2.1 was used to simulate the operation of the building ( the model is shown above ) and first year savings of recommended energy conservation opportunities totaled $12,000.