It’s not secret that South Bend has had a challenging situation in the Chase Tower. Now that it’s undergone millions of dollars in renovation, the Tower is set for a new life. At the same time, the JMS building across the street is also getting new life. While each of these buildings are under construction, there is an opportunity to create a unique energy strategy that ensures the long term financial and environmental sustainability.
Hotels have challenging power needs in that their day time and night time energy loads are very different. Additionally, HVAC systems for big buildings typically waste a lot of energy. Speaking of waste, hotels produce large amounts of waste, which costs a lot of money to move.
Energy Solution: In complying with Homeland Security suggestions, to avoid the devastating black-outs, a Cogeneration (CCHP) would enable the tower to drop off the power grid if necessary. Drop off the grid? That means, during peak events or blackouts, Chase tower would not need grid supplied power. The ability to do that is worth about $7500 per year to the power company (which could help fund other upgrades).
Additionally, in producing power, heat, and cooling at the same time is a far more efficient approach. During off peak times (night) when the hotel is busiest, it requires more energy. During peak times, the tower could provide energy (and heating/cooling) to adjacent buildings like the JMS, operating as office buildings. A thermal recovery loop could capture any access energy for hot water or heating. CO2 sensors could help in everything from air quality to understanding the number of people in rooms for HVAC needs.
Waste Solution: Connect to the proposed AVAC system and have no onsite collection or storage. It’s far cleaner and easier to manage. As mentioned in idea #22, the system allows for easier separation of recycling and food waste from the stream, resulting in far less landfill material (and far, far less cost).