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Deere--Running Efficient

©2012 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 54, no. 4, April 2012.

By Bruce Davis, Life Member ASHRAE

About the Author
Bruce Davis is retired from Deere & Company where he was a senior engineer in the Facilities Engineering group for 45 years. He is a member of the ASHRAE Mississippi Valley chapter.

When John Deere invented his famous steel plow in his blacksmith shop in 1837, he also forged the beginnings of Deere & Company, which has grown to become a world leader in providing advanced products and services for agriculture, forestry, construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping, and irrigation. Deere & Company corporate headquarters, located in Moline, Ill., is one of the most celebrated headquarters buildings in the world.

Designed by Eero Saarinen, the center’s clean practical lines and earth tones have won accolades from architects since its opening in 1964. The headquarters site includes 533,639 ft2 (49 577 m2) (gross area) including a seven-story East Office corporate headquarters building, a three-story West Office with atrium, a main entrance display building, and 350-seat auditorium.

The buildings—designed of glass and weathered Cor-ten steel—reflect the industrial nature of Deere’s business and the rugged design of John Deere products. When first occupied in 1964, the construction materials, methods, equipment, and furnishings installed were the best available. However, in 1964 there was no green building concept or LEED rating. After 45 years, improved equipments, materials, design methods, and controls became available to improve building energy efficiency. The question arose: “Can a 45-year-old building made of steel and glass be retrofit to establish a LEED Gold certification?”

The concept of dual fans, and a building energy simulation predicted that savings resulting from retrofit of the East Office HVAC system could justify renovation of the office building. This project was carried out during 2009 and 2010 with the aim of attaining LEED-EB Gold certification for the Deere Headquarters site. And results so far are seen in Figure 1, which shows site energy intensity by month.

Project Description

The East Office Building is the main office of Deere & Company World headquarters. A project begun in 2008 was designed for modernization and energy conservation purposes to revise the East Office Building HVAC penthouse air-handling system from a single fan constant volume mixed air system to a dual fans system (separate hot and cold deck fans). Above-ceiling mixing boxes were retrofitted from constant volume to dual duct variable air volume (VAV). In addition, single-pane glass on the original two buildings (East Office and Display building) was replaced with thermal glass.

Included in the project were two new roof hatches for moving materials into the HVAC penthouse; two new 150 hp (112 kW) return air fans with filters and discharge ductwork to supply the hot deck; 10 new variable speed drives for motor energy savings (total 1,000 hp [746 kW]); removal of old preheat coils and install of two new airflow measuring outdoor air dampers, install of a return air CO2 sensor; install of 757 DDC retrofit kits to change DD-CV pneumatic-mechanical air boxes to DD-VAV with DDC airflow rings; and install of one penthouse and six floors of low-voltage wiring, DDC, and programming.

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 54, no. 4, April 2012

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