Our community has a new building! The Grand Opening was celebrated, December 18th, 2018. Robert Friberg, our general manager, spoke about the need for the new facility, and how it will make our public power company more practical for not only the staff and crew, but also our community. Jeff Forbes, our Energy Representative added what we implemented in the building to make your new facility, truly, A Building for Tomorrow.
The new building is designed to use the least amount of energy possible while keeping in mind our harsh northern climate. The 9,285 sq ft facility provides Florence Utilities with the proper space to conduct business. The two-story building contains office space, conference rooms, employee break rooms, storage space, meter testing laboratories, a server room, and an infrastructure control center. The lower level is roughly half the size of the upper and was built into the existing hillside, allowing both the North and West walls to be below grade providing better insulation. The second floor is directly over the top of the first, with the additional square footage being slab on grade.
The vast majority of the energy conservation is from the wall and roof insulation. Using current insulation technologies, the wall and roof R-values are 24 and 40 respectively. This, combined with the building layout, is the best way to protect against Northern Wisconsin's frigid winters.
The heating system is comprised of an air handling unit installed in the lower level mechanical room which provides the building with fresh air while heating and cooling to maintain a specific supply air temperature. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) provides efficient and cost-effective ventilation to the space. Individual zones within the building are served by variable air valve (VAV) boxes; equipped with a fully modulating air damper and a water heating coil to always provide the proper airflow at the appropriate temperature. This maximizes comfort while minimizing energy usage. The highly-efficient condensing boiler provides these VAV boxes with the necessary hot water as well as heats the domestic water needed for hand washing and food preparation.
The LED lighting greatly reduces the electrical load in the building, which often operates with half the wattage of traditional florescent lights. Additionally, occupancy sensors, photocells, and daylight harvesting allow for interior and exterior fixtures to be dimmed or completely turned off when not in use.
Lastly, all of these technologies are controlled and monitored by a web and graphics-based building management system. This allows for easy setpoint adjustment, data trending, alarming, and numerous other strategies that maximize the performance of equipment and provide maximum energy savings. Follow the link to see the building's projected annual energy consumption.