Houston’s Penzoil Place Reduces Energy Costs Through Efficiency Upgrades

Gita Subramony for Zondits, May 7, 2014

Houston’s Penzoil Place, a 1970s vintage structure featuring two 36-story glass and aluminum towers connected with an atrium, recently went through a major efficiency makeover in order to drop their usage dramatically. Roger Vasquez, the building’s engineering director, spoke with Business Insider on the steps Penzoil Place took to achieve energy savings. Vasquez notes that the building was not originally designed for efficiency since it was built in Texas in the 1970s when energy was cheap. Projects that the building implemented to save energy included a lighting upgrade for 25,000 lights, replacing chillers with more efficient models, and adding digital controls. Vasquez also mentions that Penzoil Place participates in demand response programs to control their energy costs.


How Did This 40-Year-Old Building In Houston Cut Its Electric Bill In Half?

Business Insider, May 5, 2014

Built in the 1970s, Pennzoil Place is a dramatic part of the Houston skyline. It’s definitely unusual. Picture two 36-story angular towers, spaced 10 feet apart, joined together on the ground floor by a soaring 115-foot-high atrium filled with shops and eateries.

Keeping the lights on and the air-conditioning running in this 1975 classic eventually became very expensive. In 2009, the building owners, Metropolis Investment Holdings (along with Transwestern, Pennzoil Place’s property-management company), realized they had to lower operating costs if they were going to stay competitive with newer office buildings in the Houston area. First, they got the building LEED Gold certified — no easy feat for a structure almost 40 years old. Then Pennzoil Place called in Constellation to help with the effort.

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