The Energy Sucking Beasts Within

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Posted by: Marketing

No hot water, no air conditioning… these are all necessary inconveniences our members have endured lately for an infrastructure upgrade. We have been serving families and individuals of Houston out of our current facility for more than 50 years. The current mechanical equipment has exceeded its expected useful life. Utility bills at the J understandably have skyrocketed over the years, leaving less money to serve the community. We have also experienced significant indoor comfort issues and extensive repair costs because of its aged and inefficient equipment.

The Board of Directors asked Joel Dinkin, Executive Director, to come up with a solution that would solve the comfort and operational cost issues in a way that optimized utility usage. Ultimately, the J decided to collaborate with The Way Companies, a Houston-based service provider, and co-author a solution to best fit their needs. And in 2016, the J has signed a $3.93 million agreement with The Way Companies for an infrastructure renewal program.

“We are excited that we were able to develop a program that will deliver a customized and cost effective solution and which will provide reliability and improved comfort at a significantly reduced operating cost,” said David Cooper, VP of the Way Companies.

Way will upgrade the HVAC equipment, interior and exterior lighting along with domestic water conservation retrofits. The program will include replacement of the Central Power Plant equipment with new high-efficiency chillers, boilers, cooling tower and pumps. The program will also include campus wide air handler replacement and building automation controls. The projected annual saving is almost $164,000 and this money will help amortize the replacement costs for the entire mechanical system. Just look at these before and after photos. 

photo of boiler before photo of control center after photo of control center before photo of boiler after

The annual reduction in electricity and gas is equivalent to removing 246 automobiles from the road or serving the needs of 123 homes in the area. In total, the program will remove 1430 tons of carbon annually. The new and upgraded systems, along with the LED lights, will considerably improve the indoor air quality and enhance the experience of the staff and members at the J.

“We are excited about the new equipment and the reliability that comes with it. Improving the comfort and lighting for our members and staff is a welcomed enhancement. A project of this magnitude has been a long time coming, and we’re so thrilled to see it get started,” said Alan Lipman, Associate Executive Director of Evelyn Rubenstein JCC.

The program will be completed in mid-2017.



Category: ERJCC Blog