Sisters of Mercy – Champions of Environmental StewardshipJason Siddall
It’s an unfortunate truth that phrases such as “saving the planet” and “caring for the environment” have become so overused that they are almost a cliché. Yet never before in mankind’s history has there been more of a need to take care of our environment in every way we can.
Environmental stewardship is two sides of the same coin: protection of our natural environment and conservation through sustainable practices.
It’s no secret that the greedy juggernaut of “economic growth” is a tough vehicle to harness, aside from the fact that we are all somehow complicit in its wanton destruction of our planet. This means that each one of us can – and should – protect and conserve our resources, even if it’s in a small way.
Fingers are often pointed at large corporate entities, commercial buildings and industry when it comes to pollution and the careless use of natural fuels. However, the good news is that even these large organisations are starting on a path of environmental responsibility.
The South Central Community Sisters of Mercy HQ
A historic collection of buildings in Belmont, North Carolina serves as the headquarters for the Sisters of Mercy movement and provides residential, administrative, religious, and educational facilities for between 400 – 500 people at any given time.
The community recognised the need to upgrade their heating and cooling system to an integrated HVAC system encompassing these 10 buildings. In keeping with their “green” mandate and their desire for sound environmental stewardship, they chose to work with a company who could provide an efficient system which would satisfy their requirements under challenging circumstances.
Gene Pettit, Director of Engineering Services for the South Central Community, said, “We selected Carrier equipment because we knew it was the most efficient and reliable. We had challenging time constraints, but project manager Bill Miller at Carrier has a reputation for making things work, and he did.”
The project was tricky. With 10 buildings, each with their own unique environmental requirements, and spread over 220 000 square feet of space, the Carrier team had their work cut out. Additional consideration had to be given to the fact that the HVAC solution needed to be sympathetic to the historical aesthetics of the buildings themselves.
To marry these requirements (and more!) Carrier assisted with the design and installation of a central energy plant which would effectively serve the entire campus.
The i-Vu® Open Control System was chosen to work with a web-based interface, managing two high-efficiency Carrier 23XRV Evergreen® chillers and multiple variable frequency drives. In addition to this load was the requirement to include the management of other HVAC equipment from various manufacturers including two cooling towers, five boilers, multiple chilled water pumps and hot water pumps, rooftop units, fan coil units, air handlers, and a generator.
No small feat, we’re sure you’ll agree.
The i-Vu® Open Control System
The success of any project as complex as this one is a delicate dance between efficiency and cost, always wanting the best solution in terms of the initial spend while accommodating long-term feasibility.
One of the key features of the i-Vu® Open Control System is the ease of access and clean management dashboard. The intuitive interface makes managing the whole campus or a single room as easy as pressing a button.
Advanced reporting options allow users to check energy efficiency and adjust from anywhere in the world – as long as they have an internet connection.
What was the result of this project? Did the Sisters of Mercy campus achieve their aim?
A Win For the Environment
After the first full year of operation, this seamless installation has shown a $115,000 decline in natural gas costs for the campus. This massive drop translates to lower greenhouse gas emissions and a significantly smaller carbon footprint.
Indeed, this result is clearly a win for the South Central Community’s green mandate to use the Earth’s natural fossil fuel resources wisely and effectively. (Read the full case study here)
High quality, efficient HVAC systems are a functional necessity for businesses today. Nevertheless, companies need to consider their own responsibility toward the environment by making use of the most energy efficient options available to them.
If you would like to know more about the best Carrier system for your project, we’d like to encourage you to contact our professional team who can guide you on the very best solution.