Kingsgate Border Crossing

Energy Simulation

Service completion: Spring 2012

Scope of services: Enhanced and Fundamental Commissioning (EAp1, EAc3), Minimum and Optimize Energy Performance Simulation (EAp2, EAc1) for CaGBC LEED: New Construction 1.0 with addenda.

Size: $16,000,000 construction budget

Building systems: Stone veneer envelope, combination of variable air volume systems and single zone systems, efficient lighting with occupancy and daylight sensor control.

Throughout design, the project investigated many technologies (such as geothermal storage, air source heat pumps, and others); however, a traditional variable air volume was chosen for the occupied spaces and single zone systems for less occupied and warehouse spaces. However, high efficiency boilers, heat recovery ventilators, and sophisticated lighting provided sufficient savings for the investment. The sum of the two building energy models showed 41% better than MNECB with respect to cost, equivalent to 4 points for EAc1.

Commissioning and verification of the VAV boxes revealed that the VAVs that were tied to CO2 sensors would not provide any air to the space unless there was an increase in CO2 levels. While the cooling airflow was not tied to the CO2 level, when in a heating mode, the only way the box would provide any air was for the CO2 levels to be high enough to activate the box. Occupants (Border Patrol) were wearing hats and jackets as they had no heat.

Verification of the airflows from the VAVs revealed that several of the boxes were outside of tolerances and one in particular wasn’t even close to design conditions. A review of the TAB report revealed that the box was not included and probably missed in the initial balancing, and this box was to serve the Main Port Chief Officer’s Office. Also, the location of the Pill Box thermostats was not representative of the space temperature conditions (mounted under a desk) and, as such, the officers manning the Pill Boxes were not comfortable. The thermostats were relocated and are providing better thermal comfort.

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