Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

Summary

The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation was established in 1922 to bring a voice to agricultural issues. The private, non-profit, non-governmental agency is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farmers, ranchers and rural residents. The federation is made up of volunteer leaders at the local, parish and statewide levels, with each parish having its own president and board members.

Challenge

The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation’s 76,000 sq ft headquarters building was aging, with its mechanical equipment reaching the end of its useful life. In the midst of an economic downturn, the Farm Bureau sought to develop an energy conservation strategy that would reduce electricity and gas consumption, while improving the reliability of its systems and the work environment for its staff.

Solution

Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation facilities managers were open to the air quality and energy management ideas presented by Trane. With in-depth knowledge and expertise in energy-efficient HVAC systems, Trane was uniquely qualified to provide strategic turnkey solutions to help the Louisiana Farm Bureau reach their long-term goals.

Using Trane Trace™ 700 software, an energy and economic analysis was conducted to select the best energy conservation measures (ECMs) for the Farm Bureau. The energy savings and return on investment were analyzed for each ECM option. The selected ECMs were then prioritized and scheduled over a three-year period to ease budgetary impact.

Improving energy efficiency
The Farm Bureau began by replacing its outdated boiler and air handling units. Six Trane Performance Climate Changer™ air handlers were installed in the building, with plans to install another four within the next two years.

Performance Climate Changer air handlers combine
engineering excellence with the latest in manufacturing technology to provide an energy efficient air handler with superior performance and the lowest installed cost in the industry. With component flexibility, integrated control options, and the highest quality and reliability, the Performance Climate Changer is the optimal system to clean, filter, dehumidify, heat, and cool the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation offices, while balancing energy consumption, air quality goals, acoustical needs, first costs, and life cycle costs.

Optimizing system performance
Trane controls were installed to achieve chiller and cooling tower optimization, further reducing energy costs and improving efficiency. Trane direct digital controls (DDC) displaced the chiller and boiler plant pneumatic control system and a Trane TR200™ Series variable frequency drive (VFD) was installed on the cooling tower.

A Trane Tracer Summit® building automation system (BAS) replaced the building’s outdated energy management system. The BAS enables facility managers to perform daily tasks such as troubleshooting, scheduling, alarm management and data analysis online. The Farm Bureau uses the BAS to control energy consumption by creating optimal setpoints and programming system run times based on office occupancy.

Upgrading lighting fixtures
To reduce energy consumption, a complete lighting upgrade was conducted throughout the facilities. Over 2,000 interior and exterior lights were retrofitted or replaced, changing from T12 to more efficient T8 or T5 lighting fixtures with electronic ballasts.

Reducing maintenance costs
Under a Trane Select Service Agreement, factory authorized technicians perform periodic maintenance needed to keep the Farm Bureau’s systems running at optimal performance. The service agreement saves time and money, with facilities managers no longer having to manage routine maintenance or pay for expensive ad hoc service calls. 

A Trane Tracer Summit® building automation system (BAS) replaced the building’s outdated energy management system. The BAS enables facility managers to perform daily tasks such as troubleshooting, scheduling, alarm management and data analysis online. The Farm Bureau uses the BAS to control energy consumption by creating optimal setpoints and programming system run times based on office occupancy.

Upgrading lighting fixtures
To reduce energy consumption, a complete lighting upgrade was conducted throughout the facilities. Over 2,000 interior and exterior lights were retrofitted or replaced, changing from T12 to more efficient T8 or T5 lighting fixtures with electronic ballasts.

Reducing maintenance costs
Under a Trane Select Service Agreement, factory authorized technicians perform periodic maintenance needed to keep the Farm Bureau’s systems running at optimal performance. The service agreement saves time and money, with facilities managers no longer having to manage routine maintenance or pay for expensive ad hoc service calls.

Results

With the replacement of six air handlers, a complete lighting upgrade, and the ability to manage its HVAC systems online, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation’s energy costs have dropped significantly, with recent bills showing a reduction of more than $8,250 a month in electricity, as well as a dramatic reduction in gas usage. With replacement of the four remaining air handling units over the next two years, facilities managers expect to see an electricity savings of $100,000 to $120,000 per year. “Trane is taking care of everything and being proactive, instead of reactive,” said Harvey Bankston, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation associate facilities manager and building superintendent. “There was an issue with the equipment one day. I called Trane. They made the repair, and in just a few hours we were back online.” “The payoff on the energy conservation measures will be much faster than projected,” said Wendell Miley, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation facilities and safety manager. “The lighting will pay off in just three years and we anticipate the other project elements within ten years. We’re saving a bunch on energy and everybody’s happy.”

About Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation gives a voice to farmers, ranchers and rural residents. They use chiller plant controls and cooling tower optimization to reduce energy consumption.

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