Lesson: Think beyond like-for-like replacement, even for routine maintenance and repair projects.
Background: This 302 unit property consists of two 9-story multi-family, apartment buildings built circa 1983. As part of routine property maintenance, Property Management had engaged a plumber to replace all the domestic water piping. However, since the pipes were not originally insulated, the plumber did not include insulation in his scope of work. Nor did the building inspector suggest it.
Strategy: RPM added hot water pipe insulation, which would save energy and reduce condensation for years to come. In addition, through-floor penetrations were sealed to reduce building stack effect. RPM developed and managed the project within the tight timeframe required.
Outcome: Insulating pipes and sealing through-floor openings during a routine replacement of domestic water pipes is expected to save approximately 12,000 therms per year. At an average, standard cost of $1.00 per therm, that equates to $12,000 annual cost savings. The project also eliminated condensation on the pipes and created an opportunity to reinforce the importance of incorporating sustainability objectives into routine maintenance with staff. The cost of the project was 100% covered by utility incentives.
At the time of this project, RPM had been working with the Schochet Companies for several years. Previous RPM projects at this property included lighting upgrades, refrigerator replacements, no- and low-cost measures, and adding a heat timer to the boiler system. Additional projects under development include VFDs and pump repair, LED lighting upgrades, and a chiller optimization project.