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333 Market Street at night
Tenants > Energy Conservation

Within the last few years, we've completed several upgrades to the HVAC systems in the building. Two key components include an automation system (to remotely control floor temperatures autonomously) and the installation of several VFD's (Variable Frequency Drives). You can liken the VFD's to a "dimmer" switch for a light, as opposed to a normal "on/off" switch. Instead of operating at one set speed, the VFD's can alter their speed (and their power consumption as a result) in order to meet the specific HVAC needs of a particular area in the building.

To conserve energy, our system is programmed to compensate for temperatures that exceed 76 degrees in the building. The system does not heat the building up to 76 degrees though. That means if there is not enough heat load in an area to bring the temperature up to 76 degrees naturally (i.e. people, computer equipment, lights, solar load from windows) then the HVAC system will not come on. In essence, it's quite possible that your floor will be much cooler than 76 degrees, which would make it appear that we aren't really conserving energy because we're keeping the building cooler than normal, but as you can now see, that is not the case.

To get ready for each day, we "pre-cool" the building each morning, using simple outside air temperatures instead of using the building's cooling units. As the morning progresses into the afternoon, the VFD's come on and start cooling as appropriate to keep the building under 76 degrees. The building has two chillers, but because of the method of operation that we use to pre-cool the building and because of the VFD's we've installed, even under the most extreme heat loads we only need to run one of the chillers to cool the building, and even then it rarely runs at more than 50% of its rated capacity. What's more, it's all pretty much a seamless process thanks to the automation system.

One of the best ways to reduce the heat load in exterior offices is to close the window blinds. If you close the blinds while the office is still hot, it will cool down eventually. What's more, if you leave them closed overnight, when you come in the next day, your office will be cool all day long!

333 Market Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA  94105, office: 415-546-0333, facsimile: 415-546-0198