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Dearborn HVAC Infrastructure and Energy Initiative Wins Project of the Year Awards

Posted by Electro-Matic on Mar 9, 2023 1:56:53 PM


Whether you’re interested in fitness, sports, arts, music or other cultural activities, Dearborn’s Department of Parks & Recreation runs many of the City's most popular attractions and venues, as well as manages more than 40 public parks.


The Powerhouse and much of the energy infrastructure was built in the 1960s, and the energy costs had risen to over $1 million per year. This was due in part to the aging HVAC systems, along with the inefficient heating, cooling, and control technologies that lagged far behind that which was considered state-of-the-art in 2016 when the project was initiated. The project will save 4,000,000 kilowatt-hours annually, and the resulting electric and gas energy cost savings are estimated to be nearly 50% of the base year energy cost.



The objective was to transform the City’s 80-acre building complex on Michigan Avenue across from the Ford World Headquarters into a world-class, energy-efficient, and sustainable municipal building campus. The City is investing significant amounts of capital and resources into upgrading HVAC and energy-consuming systems to the most current technology, as well as the thermal and electric infrastructure throughout the one-half million square-foot campus of six buildings.


The first priority of this project was to replace all of the aging heating and cooling infrastructure with new equipment that would operate effectively for years to come without continuous parasitic maintenance costs. The second objective was to design the new system with the most current and energy-efficient technology to best serve the community in a sustainable manner, and to minimize the City’s energy use and carbon footprint.

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To achieve this, the old fluorescent lighting has been replaced with far more efficient LED lighting fixtures; all electric motors have been converted to variable speed, instead of the old constant speed motors which use far less electricity when full motor speed is not required. All of this is being controlled by a state-of-the-art building automation system that automatically optimizes energy efficiency and minimizes energy use.


There were many contractors involved in the construction of this project. Electro-Matic Visual performed the LED lighting retrofits in the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center and Powerhouse.

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