Energy make-over for Bermuda ocean research centre

left to right: Harry Barnes, Scientific Support Manager at BIOS, Craig Stevenson from Air Care and Alison Soares, Air Care’s Facilities Consultant

A leading ocean research centre is to get an energy make-over that will save it $100,000 a year in costs – helping it to further invest in research and other projects.

The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (www.bios.edu) has signed a 15-year performance contract with Air Care (www.aircare.bm) to overhaul its air conditioning and lighting systems.

“Due to scheduling requirements for BIOS, we anticipate it will be a nine month project to execute each aspect of the air conditioning and lighting systems from design to completion, and the total project cost will be in the region of $1.2M,” said Craig Stevenson, Air Care’s Manager, business development and sales.

“What makes this attractive for BIOS is that the project costs will be funded by Air Care in their entirety, and the performance contract stipulates the minimum guaranteed annual savings which will be used to settle the initial project investment over 15 year the term

“In other words, we will loan the $1.2million and we will pay ourselves back from the savings,” said Mr. Stevenson.

BIOS initially requested a price for a new chiller for one building, but the recommendation was take a holistic view of the facility instead of a short term view, and recommended the idea of an Air Care funded performance contract instead of paying to replace one item, and then still having the remaining infrastructure in need of replacement.

The work will involve installing a new state of the art, Daikin VRV IV air conditioning system as well as replacing all the lights with energy saving LED lights, as part of phase one, with phase two including other technologies including photovoltaic or ‘PV’. 

Mr. Stevenson added: “It is a pleasure to be helping such an outstanding centre in a way that helps them meet their operational needs but which is also very affordable, something critically important for something like BIOS.”

According Harry Barnes, the Scientific Support Manager at BIOS, the centre’s buildings use a wide assortment of AC systems, central building-wide systems, splits, mini-splits and window units and most of the systems are at, or approaching, the end of their useful lives.

“BIOS has over 110,000 square feet of building space located in 24 buildings, that range in age from 100-plus years to just over ten years, and mechanical systems have been added and changed in a piecemeal way to meet the needs at the time,” said Barnes.

“With several of the larger air-conditioning systems requiring imminent replacement and many of the smaller systems nearing the end of their useful lives, this was seen as a perfect opportunity to break the cycle of piecemeal replacements and implement a campus-wide solution that would take advantage of the latest and most efficient technology.”

Barnes added: “With less of our operational costs going to energy use, we can redirect moneys towards more scientific research and advancing the mission of BIOS.

“In addition to lowered energy costs, an energy efficient air conditioning system reflects BIOS’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices.

“In the long term, with our occupancy levels and electrical costs both predicted to rise, potential cost savings could be vast when compared to keeping older technology.

“As a scientific research organization, it is vital that our equipment and facility be housed in a reliable, temperature controlled environment, but as a not-for-profit organization, it can be especially challenging to meet rising energy costs.

“We are grateful to Air Care for this innovative opportunity to allow substantial facilities improvements without additional costs up front.

ENDS

For more information contact Jeremy Deacon, Deep Blue Communications, email jdeacon@northrock.bm or call 534 2205

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