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Trane Improves Comfort, Saves Costs for Vancouver Area Mall

July 27, 2015

Lougheed Town Centre

When the heat of summer sets in, shoppers seek relief in shopping malls where they can shop, dine and spend time in air-conditioned comfort. But when indoor comfort systems aren’t getting the job done, it can impact summertime traffic, and the bottom line, for mall owners.

The Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia, faced challenges to keep shoppers comfortable. The property was built in several phases to accommodate expansion needs, and its two chillers, installed during different construction phases, were not operating efficiently. The ineffective chillers were running full-time and using excessive energy while providing insufficient cooling — especially at the outskirts of the mall.

Mall owner Shape Properties turned to Trane for a solution.

Trane determined that insufficient water flow from the chillers was causing the problem and suggested re-piping the chiller plant to resolve water flow issues and improve operations and efficiency. Shape Properties moved forward, applying for incentives from BC Hydro, a Canadian electric utility company, to help fund the improvements.

Improving operations, reducing energy costs

Trane worked with the mall’s operations team to decouple and re-pipe the chiller plant to improve cooling throughout the property. Trane also worked to keep store owners and shoppers comfortable across the entire retail center.

The re-piping now allows one of the Trane CenTraVac™ centrifugal chillers to operate as the lead chiller and the other as a lag chiller, providing backup cooling during peak demand. The primary chiller only operates as needed thanks to variable frequency drive (VFD), which reduces energy use and extends motor life.

Trane expanded the building’s existing Trane Tracer® Summit™ building automation system (BAS) to control the chiller plant’s new configuration, as well as the VFD and free cooling options. This allows an onsite Trane technician to use the BAS to continually monitor the chiller plant to keep it operating efficiently. The technician resolves issues when possible, and communicates the scope of any completed work or anticipated needs to Shape Properties’ facilities managers.

Improving comfort, increasing efficiency

Re-piping of the Lougheed Town Centre chiller plant improved chilled water distribution, which in turn improved cooling throughout the mall. In addition to resolving operational issues, the chiller plant reconfiguration and the addition of variable frequency drive saved energy.

An independent measurement and verification authorized by BC Hydro reported energy savings of 596,000 kWh after one year, exceeding project estimates by more than eight percent. The upgrade qualified Lougheed Town Centre for a BC Hydro “Power Smart” energy rebate of $190,000.

"With the incentive and the capital cost, it was an easy decision," said Oskar Kwieton, Shape Properties, director of facilities, operations and maintenance. "It was a win-win situation for us in the building because we actually got better water flow throughout the property, which we had problems with, and a far more efficient plant."

From expansive shopping centers to small- and medium-sized buildings, Trane experts help all property owners maximize their energy efficiency and building comfort. Click here to find out more about how to put the Trane Building Advantage to work for you