Location: Tacoma, Washington
Designed for Sustainability
Located on Commencement Bay in Tacoma, the Center for Urban Waters (CUW) is a 51,000 SQFT research facility dedicated to rain water collection and testing, environmental studies, and protecting the Puget Sound. The facility is home to City of Tacoma Environmental Services,
University of Washington Tacoma researchers and the Puget Sound Partnership. The three CUW tenants function as a partnership bringing together researchers, policy makers and engineers to develop and implement solutions protecting the Puget Sound. During construction, CUW focused on building a sustainable and energy efficient building. Once construction was completed, the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) certified the CUW facility as LEED Platinum NC, the highest rating a newly built facility can obtain.
ATS & Center for Urban Waters
ATS Automation has been involved with the CUW since 2009 when construction on the facility began. Because efficiency and environmental advocacy is critical to CUW, ATS spent extra time as construction was nearing completion to include the ATS Service Group in close out activities and meetings. Involving the service team during construction allowed CUW to transition to daily operations while having a controls service team already primed to support and keep the facility running efficiently for the long term.
In addition to regular preventative maintenance service, CUW utilizes several ATS energy offerings to ensure building performance remains optimal. ATS developed and installed a dashboard in the building’s lobby that dynamically updates to show energy usage. As a taxpayer funded facility this is a valuable tool used to demonstrate facility efficiency to the public. ATS also deployed facilityCARE; a service that identifies energy and cost saving opportunities through ongoing monitoring-based commissioning, advanced fault detection, reporting, energy monitoring and analytics. As part of this service ATS holds monthly system performance reviews with building engineers. Using facilityCARE allows ATS to proactively identify system inefficiencies and areas of improvement that would not have been detected during normal maintenance activities.
The work performed by ATS has allowed CUW to maintain a high building efficiency standard as well as prepare building operators for when they need to recertify the LEED status for the facility. LEED certifications renew every 5 years and since CUW is now occupied and serves as both office and laboratory space there were new challenges to address. LEED does not have provisions for how to report lab space usage combined with office space. Since the lab maintains 28 fume hoods for testing, the AHU runs 24 hours a day. This AHU usage obscured the energy efficiencies of the office space. ATS served as a consultant during the recertification process providing documentation and data collection to the CUW team. ATS also performed calculations to separate the lab usage from the office space so a more accurate reporting to the USGBC could be made. The facility ended up certifying as LEED Gold EB+C. Because conservation is a key part of the buildings purpose, building management’s goal now is to improve operation so that the facility will achieve platinum status again. To achieve this CUW is utilizing ATS Support & Energy Services to fine tune operations and discover trouble areas before they become long-term problems.
Due to the long-term relationship between ATS and CUW the facility continues to perform at a high level. By incorporating ATS Service into the closeout process of construction, CUW was able to seamlessly transition to normal building use and occupation. By performing preventative maintenance, maintaining building records and incorporating energy services, CUW doesn’t have to perform catchup every time they need to reevaluate the building. Now with a goal of achieving LEED Platinum, ATS and CUW will focus their future time and energy on further optimizing the building using insights gathered from the ATS facilityCARE program.