Georgia World Congress Center Upgrades Lighting and Central Chiller Plant

Alan Word, project manager for Trane, describes a model of the central chiller plant to Frank Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Alan Word, project manager for Trane, describes a model of the central chiller plant to Frank Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Convention center upgrades were needed to improve lighting, increase the reliability and performance of heating and cooling solutions, and reduce the center’s carbon footprint to reflect the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA’s) commitment to environmental stewardship. GWCCA leaders selected Trane through a competitive bid process to help enhance the convention center’s position as a sought-after location for major Atlanta-area events.
 
With 3.9 million square feet under one roof, the convention center operates much like a small city and needed to maintain operations during the upgrade process. Trane worked with the GWCC facilities team to develop a plan to address major business needs for the organization. Before identifying specific energy-conservation measures, Trane and the GWCCA facilities team conducted an in-depth audit to identify opportunities for improvement.
 
Based on the results of the audit, the facilities team selected upgrades that included implementing a new central plant to provide reliable heating and cooling performance for the next two to three decades. The central chiller plant was completed without the need to demolish walls or the roof or interrupt the event schedule.
Wayne Rosser, physical plant manager at the GWCCA, stands in front of piping in the new boiler room at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Wayne Rosser, physical plant manager at the GWCCA, stands in front of piping in the new boiler room at the Georgia World Congress Center.

 
Upgrades also included new energy-management systems and services that facilitate monitoring, analysis, alerts, reporting, tracking and data visualization of the convention center systems and building performance. These technology-based energy-management services help the GWCCA facilities team assess building performance and work with Trane to modify systems as needed. The GWCCA team can use any web-connected mobile device to remotely access and adjust convention center building controls 24/7.

The project team also installed LED facility-wide lighting retrofits, installing lamps offering 500 percent longer life. The lighting improves illumination and color rendering and enhances visitors’ experience while ensuring the architectural integrity of the facility.
 
A measurement and verification service agreement will be implemented after the project upgrades are entirely completed this spring to help ensure that the building continues to operate and perform at optimal levels.
 

Alan Word is shown looking out at some of the more than 60,000 LED lamps installed as part of the lighting upgrade in the Georgia World Congress Center.

Alan Word is shown looking out at some of the more than 60,000 LED lamps installed as part of the lighting upgrade in the Georgia World Congress Center.

GWCCA funded the $28 million project through the Georgia Energy Savings Contracting Procurement program, making it the state’s largest stand-alone energy-performance contract and the nation’s largest for any public assembly venue, according to GWCCA.
 
The performance contract allowed GWCCA to use future energy and operational savings to finance the infrastructure improvements upfront. The upgrades are expected to cut energy costs and reduce the center’s carbon footprint by 39 percent annually, saving more than $2.5 million in the first year alone.
 
“The upgrades and the benefits gained in the convention center puts us at the forefront in the hospitality industry for sustainability and solidifies our place as a convention, sports and entertainment destination,” says Kevin Duvall, chief operating officer at the GWCCA and executive-in-charge of this project.

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