Laboratory Energy Performance Contracting at a University

Vytenis Milunas, University of Illinois Chicago
Steve Taggart, Ameresco
Ken Schuette, Kroeschell Engineering

Laboratory Energy Performance Contracting at a University The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a mix of research laboratories, teaching laboratories, healthcare facilities, and classroom buildings. The campus encompasses over a hundred buildings and 15,000,000 sq.ft under roof. An aging infrastructure and increasing budget constraints led the UIC to consider Energy Services performance contracting to renovate key laboratory buildings on the east campus. For the modernization improvements, the university partnered with Ameresco to provide expertise in building energy savings retrofits. Each Energy Conservation Measure was selected to reduce utility, operations and maintenance costs while allowing for the replacement of vast quantities of aged equipment. The project encompassed 5 campus buildings in the Science and Engineering Department. These buildings totaled over 1.2M sq.ft. of space. This accounts for 17% of the square footage on the East Campus. The space uses in these buildings included teaching laboratories, research laboratories, classrooms, and university offices. Boundaries on the project implementation while keeping the buildings occupied throughout construction renovation, dictate intimidating scheduling requirements. Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) were carefully selected to balance the implementation cost of the ECM with the calculated savings. The partnership between UIC and Ameresco overcame these obstacles and more during construction activities. The Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) provided a means to upgrade the UIC systems while supporting the UIC Climate Action plan. Projects of this type allow for financing from future energy savings without burdensome up-front capital investments. Specific details in each building varied from building to building. Each building received lighting upgrades, major HVAC upgrade/replacements, new high-performance fume hood retrofits, enhanced building controls upgrades, and building envelope weatherization. A completely new chilled beam system was installed in one of the laboratory buildings. The presentation team would provide insights from the owners perspective, ESCO and installing contractors perspectives. Learning Objectives: Financial considerations in selecting ECMs Scheduling work and system shutdown in an active research building Technical challenges in selecting ECMs M&V and Operational considerations

Learning Objectives

  • Financial considerations in selecting ECMs;
  • Scheduling work and system shutdown in an active research building;
  • Technical challenges in selecting ECMs; and
  • M&V and Operational considerations.


Vytenis A. Milunas, P.E. MBA Mr. Milunas is the Director of Facilities Project Management at the University of Illinois Chicago, member of the Chancellor's Subcommittee on Energy and Utilities, and Co-Chair Strategic Energy Management Team. Typical work encompasses remodeling and upgrades to laboratories, health care facilities, and various other occupancies. As previous energy grant coordinator, he has brought in over $9,000,000 from state and federal programs.

Mr. Taggart's broad business and technical expertise has been instrumental in working with clients such as the Chicago Housing Authority, City of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Park District, City Colleges of Chicago, as well as over 90 K-12 school districts in Illinois. He is recognized at Ameresco and in the industry for building strong relationships with superior customer service. Mr. Taggart has extensive experience in structuring and developing energy conservation projects. His current responsibilities include the oversight of business development, engineering project development, project management, and project performance. Steve's resolute commitment to the ultimate success of each project is evidenced in his achievement at Ameresco as an Account Executive, Regional Director and in his current role as Vice President. Steve has personally executed $400 million dollars in performance contracts. Under Steve's leadership, the region has successfully developed and implemented over $900 million in energy efficiency projects. Mr. Taggart has a proven track record of successfully partnering with clients to achieve their strategic priorities with innovative energy solutions.

Ken Schuette is an Executive Vice President of Kroeschell Engineering and has been with the company since 1987. Ken manages the building automation and control engineering department. His team will perform design-build and project management for building automation and energy-related projects.

Since 2008, Ken has successfully completed large design-build energy metering projects for the US Air Force Medical Support Agency (AFMSA) at locations across the United States, VA Hospitals, and the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Ken has worked closely with Ameresco and Noresco, large ESCO companies to bring building automation and energy metering projects to completion.


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