Green building project cuts costs
The town of Shirley, Mass., and ABM Industries collaborated to complete an infrastructure redevelopment project to reduce operating costs and maximize sustainability, cutting energy consumption by 26 percent since 2013.
The project started after Shirley received a Green Communities Grant in 2011 to help it meet a local and state clean energy goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent over five years.
The town and ABM worked together to exceed the goal within two years, funding more than $680,000 in repairs and equipment replacements through guaranteed operating cost reductions, alleviating any need for taxpayer funding.
Shirley targeted a reduction of energy consumption, while increasing building comfort levels at seven public buildings: Town Hall, the Hazen Memorial Library, the Shirley Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Fire Department, the Senior Center and the Shirley War Memorial Building.
The project created a 36 percent savings in utility costs. During a yearlong audit from April 2016 to March 2017, the town expected to spend $118,784 on utilities. The actual expenditures were $76,605 – a savings of $42,179, or about 36 percent.
Each building received energy efficiency improvements, including upgraded building envelopes to stabilize the indoor climate and reduce wasted energy. In the Fire Department, Senior Center and War Memorial Building, heating fuels were upgraded from oil-based to natural gas-based systems to reduce costs and carbon dioxide output, and lowering the town’s overall carbon footprint.
The project also improved safety by upgrading more than 200 street lights to high-efficiency LED lights.
In the project’s final phase, ABM replaced two rooftop units on Town Hall for more energy-efficient units, and replaced three HVAC units at the Shirley Police Department.
The project received overwhelming support from town residents during a special town meeting.
“We firmly believe that the ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude continuously displayed by ABM is a driving force and a reason why we received approval for this project,” said Bryan Dumont, Chairman of the Shirley Energy Committee.
ABM Industries: www.abm.com.