Many of the mechanical and electrical systems in Montgomery County’s government buildings needed major updating and repair. County commissioners and the public works department sought creative financing through state-funding opportunities for the upgrade.
The project aimed to reduce annual energy and operation expenditures, upgrade aging mechanical infrastructure, use an innovative approach to update facilities with minimal tax implications, create a centralized cooling system for the downtown campus facilities, and allow for future central plant expansion. The energy-conservation program implemented by the county, in partnership with Siemens Building Technologies Inc., will provide more than $8.3 million over the initial 10-year performance guarantee.
Special Design Feature
Underground wells provide the source for the new chilled-water plant, allowing water to pass through the chillers without the need for chemical treatment. Consequently, the system can discharge used water directly into the storm-drainage system, minimizing the county’s water-usage cost.
The conceptual design was based upon a central chiller plant relying on wells rather than cooling towers as the source for condenser water. From an engineering standpoint, the challenge was whether the wells would produce enough water to satisfy the GPM requirements for the plant. Site testing and a geological analysis proved that the wells could produce the required water flow.