Turning an Old Factory into a Model of Energy Efficiency
The expansive brick building at 290 Pratt St. in Meriden, Connecticut, has a long and diverse history. Constructed in 1884, the same year the Washington Monument became the tallest structure in the world, the Pratt Street building has been used to manufacture everything from woolen goods to meat choppers.
But today, far from being a relic of the past, 290 Pratt St. has become a model of adaptive reuse and making old buildings economically viable through cost-effective energy conservation upgrades.
Working with energy efficiency experts at Lockheed Martin, the property owners have invested in upgrades that are expected to save more than $5.5 million in energy costs over the life of the improvements.
The building began its modern incarnation about 10 years ago, when a group of investors purchased the aging factory with its mix of office and industrial space configured as the Meriden Enterprise Center. Currently, the building houses small commercial and industrial companies, as well as a church and a pinball cooperative.
Although the property was able to attract tenants, it was wasting a lot of energy. For example, outdated lighting configurations kept lights blazing all night in portions of the building that weren’t being used, and while the heating and cooling systems were set up to allow individual tenant control, the control systems themselves were aged and inefficient.
To see what could be done to reduce the 430,000-square-foot building’s energy consumption, the owners enlisted Lockheed Martin, which implements energy efficiency programs that save electric and gas utility customers millions of megawatt-hours of electricity and therms of gas each year.
It didn’t take Lockheed Martin's experts long to identify several major energy-wasters. One of the biggest was the building’s windows, which cover 17,000 square feet and were leaking heat. The need for zoned lighting and heating was also quickly identified.
Next, the center’s owners had to figure out how to make the solutions cost effective. They turned to an innovative energy-project financing program called C-PACE, short for Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy. The program provides property owners with 100 percent financing for approved projects, and owners agree to pay back the loan through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.
With affordable financing in hand, the Meriden Enterprise Center implemented Lockheed Martin’s phase-one recommendations, which included programmable thermostats, new energy-efficient windows, and 24 new air conditioning units. At the completion of phase-one, the C-PACE program approved the financing for phase-two, an approximately 215 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to begin installation of the solar system in early 2015.
In addition to being a model of energy-efficient restoration, the project also exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to partnering with customers and investing its talent in clean, secure, and smart energy solutions. The Corporation’s big-picture approach to solving global energy and climate challenges ranges from energy efficiency and smart management to alternative power generation and climate monitoring.
For more information on our energy management programs, visit our Energy Solutions page.