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EnergyWise Designs For Hot And Cold Air

Friday 26 April 2002

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is working alongside the designers of some of New Zealand's biggest commercial energy users to promote EnergyWise design.

The Minister of Energy, Hon Pete Hodgson, presented two new energy efficiency design awards at the Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE) conference in Christchurch today.

The two awards recognise energy efficient design in Industrial Processes (heating, drying and refrigeration) and Commercial Buildings (ventilation, heating and air-conditioning).

"These awards cover areas that account for a large proportion of New Zealand's energy use - so it's important that we recognise those who take energy efficiency into account at the design phase," EECA's Chief Executive, Heather Staley said.

"We want to encourage designers and developers to think about savings that could be made through designing, installing or retrofitting more energy efficient systems."

The winner of the Commercial Buildings EnergyWise Award was Joseph Poff for the Returned Services Association Building in Palmerston North.

Mr Poff went the extra mile in delivering an energy efficient air conditioning system that met the needs of, not only his client's customers, but also their staff. The EnergyWise design was entirely the initiative of Mr Poff - which required thought and planning over and above his initial brief. His client, the RSA, could see the benefits of the design and were prepared to pay a little extra up front to achieve the very good ongoing savings.

Features of the system include using free cold outside air when appropriate, instead of recirculating and mechanically cooling the inside air. It also better distributes conditioned air and uses air quality sensors to increase the amount of outside air when it is smoky inside.

The total energy saving for the RSA is conservatively estimated at $25,000 pa, which will cover the additional capital cost of $13,450 in a little over six months!

There was also a Highly Commended Award in the Commercial section, which was presented to Mark Sinclair of Kiwi Property Management Limited for the Royal and SunAlliance Centre in Shortland Street, Auckland.

The Royal and SunAlliance building is considered by some to be New Zealand's premier high-rise office building. Best practice is evident in every aspect of its concept and design, including EnergyWise features such as double glazing on windows and a 'night purge' system to pre-cool the building - essentially pumping in cooler night air during summer months to lower the temperature of the building and save on air conditioning costs during the day.

In the Industrial section Robert Barnes of Bay Refrigeration and Electrical (Tga) Ltd was awarded a highly commended certificate for his EnergyWise project on a kiwifruit cool-store for Zest Company.

Using a better style of cooling coil and ventilation system as well as using warm gas defrost in place of electric defrost have made a big difference to the energy consumption of the cool-store - saving Zest Company between 30% and 50% in energy costs.

"Today's award recipients are proof that being EnergyWise doesn't compromise the quality of the system or the building design but instead makes good commercial sense by reducing energy use and improving performance," Ms Staley said.

The awards, which will be presented annually, are jointly sponsored by EECA and IRHACE.


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