Project Profile: CPACE at Work

Oct 6, 2021DMA Engineering

Project Profile: C-PACE at Work: 860 Potomac in Aurora, CO

The property, a 113,568-square-foot medical office building erected in 1992, received new packaged rooftop units and a new building energy management system under the C-PACE program. These improvements are projected to reduce the building’s operation and maintenance costs by over 35% annually.

C-PACE enables building owners to improve asset quality and reduce operating expenses with no upfront costs,” said Joel Poppert, Senior Vice President of Lever Energy Capital. “So it’s perfect for property owners who want to modernize their building and preserve capital at the same time.

Our Process

DMA Engineering performed a site energy audit to collect data on building systems including lighting, plumbing, air-conditioning, controls, envelope, and plug loads. During the audit, potential energy efficiency measures (EEMs) were identified for further evaluation. Historical utility bills were gathered to provide information on historic energy usage and utility rates..

Once data collection was complete, a baseline energy model was developed using EnergyPlus energy modeling software. The baseline model was created using information gathered in the field and adjusted to reflect the utility data provided by the client.

The list of potential EEMs were then modeled using a similar modeling process to estimate energy and cost savings. The potential EEMs include lighting, envelope, space conditioning, controls, water conservation, and renewable energy opportunities. It is believed that the EEMs proposed in this report will reduce energy costs by up to 45 percent.

Final Project Scope

The following EEMs were included in the final project scope based on economic and practical feasibility.

EEM 1:  HVAC System Upgrade

Replace the 3 roof top units with 2 roof top units with new, more efficient models.  The new models will have an EER of 10.3 which will greatly reduce the cooling loads of the building.  The new units will have higher efficiency fans using variable frequency drives reducing fan energy usage. These units will use sophisticated economizer controls further reducing the cooling energy used.  The roof top units will be equipped with heating burners warming the supply air temperature reducing the energy consumption for reheat.  The roof top units will have a reduction in capacity as the change of use has resulted in a lower cooling load.

EEM 2: Controls System

Install a Building Automation System (BAS) that will more accurately control the HVAC equipment throughout the building. The following list summarizes the controls capabilities of the new BAS system.

  • Unoccupied and nighttime temperature setbacks for the RTUs and VAV boxes.
  • Monitor economizer controls that are installed as part of the RTU replacement, described in EEM 1.
  • Demand limiting of 50% of the VAV boxes reheat.
  • Main air supply temperature to reset on outside air temperature.


CLICK HERE to see the Lever Energy Capital Case Study

About Colorado C-PACE

The Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program facilitates financing for energy and water improvements, including new heating/cooling systems, lighting, water pumps, insulation, and renewable energy projects for commercial properties. C-PACE offers long-term financing that covers 100 percent of the project cost and is repaid over a period of up to 20 years. The payments are structured as a regular line item on the property tax bill. When a property is sold, the C-PACE assessment can stay with the property and transfer to the new owner, who enjoys the ongoing utility cost savings associated with the project.


How C-PACE Can Help You

Building owners are empowered to modernize building energy infrastructure, lower energy costs, increase building comfort and asset value – with no upfront costs while enjoying positive cash flow. C-PACE projects also advance public policy goals to create local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy deployment.

Tenants have a lot of options when it comes to choosing commercial property in our area, so it’s important that our properties are comfortable and efficient,” said Patricia Watson of North Star Commercial Partners, the owner of 860 Potomac. “The Colorado C-PACE program gave my company an economically attractive way to make the upgrades we needed without sacrificing working capital. I’m already looking into using the program on other buildings in my portfolio.


Every Front Range building can save energy, every building deserves quality engineering and every design team should have
a qualified
Energy/Mechanical/Plumbing engineer.

Contact us to learn more about how the engineers at DMA can supercharge your building!

First Published on: Jul 11, 2018