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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Capturing Energy Savings from Correcting VAV Box Minimums on Campus

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

The Office of Sustainability at UC Berkeley leads energy and water saving campaigns on campus and has set the goal to reduce energy use intensity by an average of at least 2% annually. One of the proposed energy conservation practices is to improve ventilation efficiency. Our project primarily addresses wasted fan, cooling, and heating energy through excessive air recirculation in campus buildings. By correcting the variable air volume minimum airflow setpoints, we anticipate up to 10-30% HVAC energy savings. As a pilot project, this report documented how to implement these changes step by step and lower the barrier to entry for Facilities Services to implement this change in other campus buildings. We developed a comprehensive campus building evaluation matrix and reviewed all 31 campus buildings in the building automation system. We conducted three rounds of analysis, including screening each of the buildings in the building automation system, further reviewing building candidates’ case by case, and performing sample zone minimum airflow setpoints calculation. Chavez Student Center was selected as the final building candidate to demonstrate the energy savings measure. In the end, the total minimum airflow rate savings at Chavez Student Center is 4,615 cfm based on the calculation.

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