Olin Library Transformation: Commissioning (Cx) and Retro-Cx




St. Louis, Missouri

We provided commissioning (Cx) and Retro-Cx services as part of a major renovation of the Washington University Olin Library. The renovation included the first, second, and third floors with levels A and B below. A four-story glass tower, the Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration, rises within the atrium of Whispers Café, which was expanded. The tower features display areas along its perimeter for special collections and other rare materials. Concurrently, a Retro-Cx effort was launched to improve the overall energy efficiency of the facility.

The Cx effort focused on the mechanical systems, with special emphasis on the environmental controls for the special collections area. Systems include special humidification and dehumidification equipment, as well as tie-ins to existing primary heating and cooling plants, new air handlers, and a variety of new and modified terminal equipment. Ten Retro-Cx Measures were identified that will provide energy savings and improve operations at the library facility.

Primary energy saving measures included optimizing the existing HVAC energy recovery and the system serving the lower levels, hot deck air handling unit optimization, and providing a means for the dual duct air handling units to operate in an outdoor air economizer mode. 

Additional operational improvement measures included re-commissioning of all dual duct air terminal units, fixing heating and cooling issues in the first floor north conference rooms, the replacement of all CFL canister downlights with LED lamps, addressing building envelope issues on the first floor, and extending cooling and dehumidification from the rare books HVAC system. 

These measures are expected to save Washington University over $50,000 per year and simple payback of 5 years.

Photography from Washington University in St. Louis.

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