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Region: The Americas

RenewAire’s new HVAC manufacturing facility earns LEED Gold

Wisconsin manufacturer says its own HVAC ERV and DOAS equipment contributes credits toward LEED Gold, three Green Globes and Energy Star certifications


WAUNAKEE, Wisconsin, 23 December 2019: RenewAire’s energy-recovery and indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment has helped numerous commercial building owners reach sustainability recognition, the company said through a Press release, adding that now that same equipment, namely energy recovery ventilators (ERV) and dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS), has helped the HVAC firm’s new 111,000-square-foot manufacturing plant achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in November.

While the majority of LEED certifications go to high-performing office buildings, educational institutions and government facilities, any LEED level, let alone Gold, is a rare achievement for industrial buildings, which account for less than five per cent of all levels of LEED certifications globally, according to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the company said. Industrial building owners typically concentrate more on price-per-square-foot costs than sustainability, according to the RenewAire project’s consulting engineer, Eric T Truelove, Principal, Green Building Resources (GBR), based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Chuck Gates, CEO, RenewAire, said, “This new facility supports our mission of fostering sustainability, helping the planet by reducing energy use and, at the same time, improving human health and wellbeing.”

According to the company, the LEED Gold is added to RenewAire’s three Green Globes certification from the Green Building Initiative, making this one of only a handful of commercial buildings to achieve dual-certification through two independent rating systems. RenewAire is not a newcomer to sustainability, because it received two Green Globes and a LEED Silver certification for its former headquarters, a 32,000-square-foot Madison-based indoor soccer stadium it retrofitted in 2005 for its manufacturing headquarters, the company said. When its expanding business demanded a near quadrupling of space, RenewAire gutted a vacant Waunakee-based industrial building in 2017 for its current headquarters.

RenewAire’s stepped up LEED efforts racked up 60 of a possible 110 points, 14 of which came from the “Optimize Energy Performance” category, the company said. RenewAire’s seven energy-recovery ventilators (ERV) and dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) units accounted for nearly 25% of the 14 points, the company said. The ERVs and DOAS processes also reduce cooling/heating loads and resulted in smaller chillers and boilers, and less refrigerants, which helped earn two points in the refrigerant management category, the company said. Other energy-performance credits came from LED lighting that cut lighting costs by half versus conventional industrial/office space lighting, the company further said. Truelove, a 30-year-veteran of the construction and energy industries, who founded Green Building Resources in 2007, also assisted with a design that included split-system cooling systems with energy-efficiency ratios (EER) that surpass the Wisconsin State Building Code by 30% and condensing boilers that surpass the code minimum by 10% for heating, the company added. The category also included enhanced commissioning and green power purchases that make this facility carbon-neutral, the company further added.

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