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NYU College of Dentistry

New York County

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NYU’s Dental Campus Exceeds Energy Savings Goals with an On-site Energy Manager


NYU’s College of Dentistry is a 3-building campus located in the university’s “health care corridor” on Manhattan’s east side.

After the university developed ambitious climate targets, the dentistry campus realized an energy audit would be useful. University leadership then applied to NYSERDA’s On-site Energy Management (OsEM) program.

OsEM would help with (1) benchmarking climate targets; (2) identifying ways to increase operational performance and energy efficiency; and (3) developing an energy plan. An energy plan would help the campus’s own skilled but time-stretched facilities and engineering staff learn more about building and energy optimization.

OsEM: First Steps

Enica Engineering, the onsite energy manager, was hired and -- right away -- built a cross-functional team. The team included campus facilities staff, university energy engineering staff, and controls contractors. With regularly planned meetings, they began systems investigations together.

After evaluating the HVAC system and controls, twenty-three energy efficiency measures (EEMs) were identified. The team agreed on an approach to HVAC and building automation systems. Then they set goals and drafted an energy management plan.

Project At a Glance

Company Name: NYU College of Dentistry

Industry: Higher Education

Location: Manhattan

Size: 615,320 square feet

Energy Types: Electricity, Gas, District Steam

Goals: 10% Electric, 10% Steam

Identified Energy Savings:

Electric: 2,515,637 kWh

Installed Energy Savings:

Electric: 1,514,654 kWh

District Steam: 3,339 MMBtu

Cost Savings:

Identified Cost Savings: $375,070 per year

Installed Cost Savings: $231,550 per year

Check out the Engagement Road Map [PDF]

An Energy Management Plan Emerges

The initial “to do list” included a range of actions that could be implemented immediately. But the team could also set a template for future efficiency planning. Some of the actions included:

  • Tracking progress/savings with a new database built by Enica
  • Sequencing operations for all major equipment using available data trending + building maintenance service (BMS) logic 
  • Determining building’s energy use intensity (EUI) 
  • Functionality testing the air handlers + Calibrating sensors
  • Building a list of low-cost/ no-cost projects 
  • Opening a communications channel with controls and mechanical contractors 
  • Setting up a weekly review process 
  • Facility team training for BMS best practices

Optimization Equals Savings

Through a streamlined project identification and implementation process, fourteen EEMs were implemented. They represented 12.2% electricity and 6.5% steam savings.

Some of the EEMs included equipment scheduling, air handler’s economizer mode optimization, chiller plant optimization, elimination of simultaneous heating and cooling, exhaust fan optimization and ventilation reduction during unoccupied hours, temperature setbacks during unoccupied hours, reduction of excess outside air, and balancing air pressure in various spaces.

Overall, the OsEM met and exceeded the project’s 10% electricity savings goal by an additional 10.4%.

Energy Efficiency Requires Human Skills + Technical Tools

Communication and team building is a basic part of successful energy management. Well-trained staff, regular meetings, and accessible data dashboards are equally important.

Additionally, when staff are supported with the right tools and information, they can identify and assess problems quickly, communicate needs, then plan and implement technical improvements.

Energy efficiency is now top of mind at the College of Dentistry. Enica has been contracted for another year, and will continue to support the team, identify potential savings, monitor what has been implemented, and set the pace for a culture of efficiency and savings.

Want to identify areas for improvement, increase your buildings energy efficiency, and lower operating costs?

Visit NYSERDA’s On-site Energy Manager program page or contact us at [email protected].