Marshall Space Flight Center

Low Cost/No Cost Energy and Water Assessment

Location: Huntsville, Al
Owner: Marshall Space Flight Center

SEA was contracted to perform a low cost / no cost water and energy assessment for NASA MSFC. 20 buildings were selected to be audited, ranging in construction dates from 1943 to 2001. The buildings included machine shops, a medical facility, two fitness/multipurpose facilities, laboratories and test facilities. The facilities are spread across the MSFC campus and encompass a wide range of construction types and functions.

The on-site work took place over approximately two weeks and involved a visual inspection of the buildings and their energy consuming equipment and habits. Public works personnel provided energy consumption data as well as past, present, and future projects at the selected buildings and any ongoing maintenance or retrofits that may be applicable.

The buildings used a variety of heating and cooling methods that include: direct expansion, multi-zone air handlers, campus steam, campus chill water, local boilers/chillers, and but not limited to variable air volume. Domestic water heaters and motors were collected to provide the MSFC public works with an inventory to be used in a campus wide documentation.

Eight energy conservation measures were found to payback in 13 years or less. If all projects are implemented a payback of 6.9 years can be achieved. The eight projects encompassed radiant heaters; de-stratification fans; upgrades to fluorescent systems, HID, and incandescent lighting systems; insulate perimeter slabs; add wall insulation; and add insulation to attic spaces.

107 O&M items, deficiencies, or low cost / no cost items, were observed during the site visit throughout the 20 buildings. These types of items observed generally consume smaller amounts of energy such as water fountains and vending machines or affect energy consuming equipment indirectly such as insulation or filters. These items are easy to neglect if not documented and repaired continuously.

The low cost / no cost audit provides quick feedback on the condition and consumption characteristics of selected buildings. This type of assessment allows for personnel to make quick energy savings corrections through maintenance and tenant behavior. It also provides feedback on any large projects that may be overdue of implementation. Other specific items, such as the motors and water heaters in this project, can be evaluated if presented in the scope.

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