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SUNY ESF Illick Hall Retro-Commissioning for Air Handling Units


Location: Syracuse, NY

Owner: SUNY, College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Services Provided:



As part of a backdrop term agreement with SUNY ESF, PDG’s Energy Team provided comprehensive retro-commissioning for the air handling units 3-6 and the areas they served in Illick Hall. The 140,000 square feet building is home to the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology (EFB) and features the College’s greenhouses on the roof and Roosevelt Wild Life Collection. EFB is the College’s largest academic department, and Illick Hall contains faculty offices, laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls, and an auditorium. 

The three handling units serve the majority of the spaces for heating, cooling, and ventilation in the building. They were installed in replacement of the existing units in 2018, but they were never commissioned. As issues and challenges during operation and maintenance (O&M) arose, the College engaged PDG’s team to retro-commission the air handling units and their terminal systems to what was initially designed. 

In close collaboration with the College, controls contractor, and balancing contractor, the team assessed these air handling units and their air distribution systems (e.g. including existing dual duct variable air volume, constant volume, single-zone, and multi-zone air terminal systems), performed functional performance testing, proposed and implemented new energy-efficient sequences of operations in the College’s building automation system (BAS). With these energy efficiency measures commissioned via the BAS (e.g. demand control ventilation, integrated economizer, setpoint reset using trim-and-respond logic, etc.), energy savings of more than 55,000 kWh/year of electricity and 3,500 MMBtu/year of natural gas are expected from building O&M with minimum upfront investment. COVID-19 mitigation strategies from ASHRAE preparedness resources were also provided to the College for recommended O&M practices during the pandemic.

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