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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

This proposal is notable for its technological feasibility and focused approach on one particular aspect of energy use reduction.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

This technology is already known to MIT Facilities, and the proposal to include MIT students
in the process through a learning experience has institutional merit. However, in order to advance beyond the next phase the authors need to identify their relationship to Ecovent and separate this project from a corporate promotion.

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Michael Gevelber

Jun 15, 2016


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Response to Judges comments:

a) Relationship to Ecovent:  I have no relationship to Ecovent.  In addition, Ecovent technology is not relevant to what is being proposed.  This proposal is focused on commercial building HVAC systems, and in particular, those utilizing 1) VAV (variable air volume) boxes with dampers already built into the building, 2) buildings automation computer control system, and 3) economizers, which blend outside air and return air for building air supply.  Ecovent, instead, provides dampers for residential HVAC systems.

b)  This proposal focuses on what is already well known and practiced by MIT staff.

As pointed out in original proposal, MIT has done several air optimization projects and has had good success (e.g. significant impact with high return on invested funds), primarily focused on a several of the major lab buildings (buildings 18, 46, and currently working on 56).  

The current proposal is novel for two reasons: First, we propose to significantly expand and accelerate these type of projects, by developing a comprehensive plan for the MIT campus using MIT students, who will collect the data to determine/verify the projected GHG, energy and cost savings outlined in this proposal and using this data to develop an implementation plan.  Secondly, we also propose to implement and demo a new integrated HVAC control architecture, that can achieve additional savings (~40%) over those achieved by just optimizing air-flow rates.  This technology has not yet been demonstrated and the proposed project would further establish MIT as a significant contributor to advancing the state of the art for HVAC systems. 

For both projects, MIT has a highly capable facility staff, student body, and the institutional commitment to enable both projects to go forward.  These projects would further provide national leadership to other academic, civic, and commercial institutions in achieving sustainability goals economically.

Update of proposal:

a)     A new section has been added that provides an estimate of the impact this proposal could have on reducing MIT’s building energy use and GHG emissions (15-20% savings).   See subsection (d) under the “What actions do you propose” section.  This analysis is based on a public data record of MIT’s individual building electricity and heating use, and is consistent with published MIT GHG and building energy use data for 2014.

b)    Several of the tables analyzing the cost of airside HVAC systems have been updated, as well as the savings related to general airflow optimization, and savings estimates of the new control architecture.  Nothing has fundamentally changed, but the results were made consistent with a universal set of assumptions.  Updated tables include: 1, 2, and 3, and new tables 5, 6, and 7.

c)     Minor editing has been performed to clarify the unique contributions this proposal is making.