Mass. building to be on forefront of energy efficiency
Wynn Boston Harbor is working closely with well-known international companies to implement battery technology into its building, a new technology that will help it store cheaper power purchased during off-peak hours, and contribute to an overall energy usage that is but 60 percent of what would be expected for a building of its size.
The battery technology program complements two co-generation plants, a rainwater irrigation system, a huge solar array and a “very aggressive” LED lighting program, reports Chelsea Record.
All of it will combine to make the Wynn Boston Harbor facility one of, if not the, most efficient large building in the Massachusetts region.
“We will be running at 60 percent of what the standard energy usage calculation is for a building like ours,” said Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts. “The interesting thing is when you look at green buildings … it comes down to less energy usage … These buildings are so well insulated and sealed that you save a lot just on leaks. The window seals are so much better than they were 30 years ago, it’s amazing. You save when you use less. Interestingly enough, years ago people started to build green buildings because it was the right thing to do. Now it’s a good business decision and a good environmental decision.”
Perhaps setting the pace for efficiency is a program that will likely be the first of its kind in the Boston area – an emerging technology using battery storage devices to optimize energy usage.
It’s something Gordon said is very new, but he predicted would likely be in every building, and in several homes, in the near future.
The change, he said, is the new technology being developed around better battery storage. Several companies have pushed the limits on new battery technology for electric cars, solar power and for energy efficiency.
Gordon said they are working with several companies to put an array of batteries on their property, but don’t have a specific company named as of yet.
The idea, he said, would be to install a 90,000-square-foot solar installation on the roof of the function hall and entrance, which will generate solar energy to be stored in the batteries. The bigger savings, however, will be having battery storage available to store power purchased from the grid at off-peak times.
The units are about 15 feet by 10 feet and generate electricity that will be used to power the building. Co-generation works on the principal of heating water and creating steam by burning natural gas. Both the steam and hot water are then used to heat the building. However, as they are created, they turn a turbine that creates electricity as a by-product – electricity that can be used immediately in the building or stored in the battery system.
The two co-generation plants will produce 8-10mgW of electricity.
Other efficiency measures include:
- A 10,000-square-foot green roof on top of the second floor of the building.
- A giant water tank in the parking garage that will harness and store all of the rainwater on the site. That rainwater will then be used in the irrigation system to water all of the extensive plantings inside and outside the building.
“We don’t have the exact figures yet, but we’re using 40 percent less than we should, and so you’re looking a very big number in terms of savings on energy,” Gordon said. “We hope that it not only saves us money, but also that it sets the pace for everyone else.”
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