Wurster Hall Electrical Sub-Metering

Project Leads: Eliahu Perszyk

Sponsor: College of Environmental Design

TGIF Grant: $56,000

Project Theme: Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Project Location

2010 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: Complete 

Project Description: This project will install sub-metering systems within Wurster Hall so that data from different spaces systems (electricity, water, steam) can be separated out from the whole building data on the UC Berkeley Campus Dashboard. Sub-metering Wurster's systems will also enable further research into proposing stop/start schedules for equipment, as had already been done successfully with the fans.

Goals: Verify what components can be implemented under the Monitoring Based Commissioning program. Order components, install components, and program the meters. Share data with campus sustainability programs for creating energy schedules and curtailments. Create visualizations of the data to educate the campus community about their consumption patterns and behaviors. Assist UC Berkeley in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2014. Assist Wurster in reaching LEED EB OM certification by helping to achieve Energy and Atmosphere credits. Post-installation of sub-metering and sharing data, assist Wurster in reaching a 10% reduction in electricity consumption, which could save $7,000/year for campus.

Building Context: The Studios, on the north side of Wurster Hall, are occupied by students on a semester by semester basis, and often have 24/7 occupancy, depending on the academic schedule. Floors 4-9 each have a single electrical panel for the plug loads which was metered. Studio floors 5-9 house the Architecture Studios, with the top two floors being graduate space, and floors 5-7 being the undergraduate studio space. The 5th floor also includes the Cal Design Lab, which is a collaborative studio with Haas Business School. The 4th floor is occupied by City and Regional Planning, with 13 faculty offices, a small studio space of about 30 students, and a PhD room with about 30 students. The 3rd floor studio plug load is fed from 3 different electrical panels, so metering was cost prohibitive.
Ramona's Café is on the 1st floor, and serves a high volume of customers, including many from outside Wurster Hall. Ramona's has a refrigerator in a separate space which is not included on the meters.
The ventilation fans and heating equipment have relatively consistent loads due to set speeds and schedules. The metering can show load changes when fan speeds are adjusted, and can also show if the equipment is not operating according to the set speed and schedule. Wurster Hall lacks central air conditioning and relies on outside air and re-circulated air for ventilation.
There are three main elevators, two on the north side serving floors 1-9, and one on the south side serving floors 1-4.

TGIF Blog Posts about Wurster Hall

Project Posters

2011 Project Poster 2012 Project Poster

2010-2011 Accomplishments:

  • Twenty-four sub-meters were installed in Wurster Hall.
  • The installed sub-meters will track the electrical load of the heat circulation equipment, the 3 elevators, the supply and exhaust fans, Ramona's Café, the Ceramics kilns, and the plug loads on studio floors 4-9 of Wurster Hall.
  • The sub-meters were connected to the existing Obvius system, the current web-based platform for building metering at UC Berkeley.
  • The project leader hired student intern Sean Flanagan to produce posters displaying sub-meter and whole building loads for the month of January and March. These posters were put up in the Dashboard display in the Wurster Hall lobby.
  • March 2011 Energy Demands, Wurster Hall

2010-2011 Year-End Report

Final Update: The sub-meter data is readily available for viewing on Obvius. The data will be especially useful for students interested in using it for research projects or sustainability groups looking to conduct energy conservation competitions. The data can be also used for education and outreach efforts geared towards Wurster occupants. The other purpose of the sub-meters is to enable tracking of efficiency savings, for example once the ventilation fan speeds are changed the project team will have access to pre- and post-implementation data. The meters can also help Facilities Services understand if equipment is deviating from its operating schedule. The Wurster Hall project will pursue LEED EBOM credits in Energy & Atmosphere. The project will attempt to work with classes in Building Science on Wurster Energy Efficiency, determining high value sites for future sub-metering and the possible metering of the building's lighting load.

Obvius system Metering Signal


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.