Delta Force Program
Delta Force is U.Va.'s building sustainability program. The process begins with the Office for Sustainability energy management team; they identify projects that can deliver the most energy savings at the lowest cost. These projects typically include retro-commissioning, which is the process of upgrading energy intensive mechanical systems to newer more efficient ones. In many cases, the design and construction work on these projects are completed by Office for Sustainability staff, U.Va. staff, and support from external professionals. This interdisciplinary, team-based approach allows U.Va to optimize the performance and sustainability of the most energy intensive existing buildings on Grounds.
How do we pay for these projects?
Delta Force is similar to a green revolving fund. All projects are funded up front from a Delta Force account, the cost of the project is recuperated through actual utility savings within the building(s) plus an additional 25% fee; this additional fee allows the fund to grow and take on larger projects that can deliver a higher payback.
Since 2007, Delta Force has funded over 20 projects, some encompassing many buildings, and saved the University over $20 million in avoided energy costs.
- Retro-commissioning – Retro-commissioning air handlers and key equipment, testing and balancing, reducing air changes where feasible and replacing chilled water valves with pressure independent controls.
- Relamping – Distinct from changing out fixtures, U.Va. has found excellent paybacks in replacing bulbs with higher efficiency version and screw-in LEDs.
- Insulation and windows – Targeted improvements to building envelopes, installing insulation jackets for steam systems and repair of damaged/missing insulation throughout.
- Optimizing control settings – Though Delta Force funds are not typically used to fund the switch from pneumatic to digital controls, the energy management team may partner with projects planned through another university entity to provide additional funding that ensures a full-featured controls upgrade to a building. Delta Force works with the Instrumentation and Controls team to ensure that all of the desired energy conservation measures are included in the initial project scope. The Delta Force Energy Engineers provide technical support and commissioning of the improved system.
The U. Va. energy management team integrates many elements into Delta Force projects such as:
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