Item Coversheet

 Item 1.

TO: Sustainability Resiliency Committee Meeting

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: December 11, 2017


Flavia Tonioli, Sustainability Manager | Adrian Morales, Property Management Director
Item C4G - November 9, 2016 Commission Meeting
Commissioner Kristen Rosen-Gonzalez

On November 9, 2016, the Mayor and City Commission referred a discussion to the Sustainability and Resiliency Committee (SRC) requiring sustainability standards similar to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for retrofits in city-owned properties. This item was sponsored by Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez.

At the December 12, 2016 SRC, a motion was passed by acclamation directing staff to provide up to three municipal properties from which to select one that could be retrofitted with LEED upgrades in order to make it more sustainably sound.

On January 18, 2017, three municipal properties were presented to be potentially retrofitted with LEED upgrades: The Art Deco Welcome Center, South Shore Community Center, and Fire Station No. 3. These properties were selected based on their pressing needs for retrofits, exposure and community benefits. The SRC requested staff evaluate the costs associated to the potential pilot properties to be retrofitted and become LEED certified (LEED EBOM).


Renovation, retrofit and refurbishment of existing buildings represent an opportunity to enhance the energy performance of building assets for their ongoing life. Often retrofits involve modifications to existing buildings that may improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand. In addition, retrofits are often used as an opportune time to install distributed (energy) generation to a building.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the LEED Green Building Rating System for Existing Buildings Operation and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) with the intent to certify building operations and maintenance, and create a plan for ensuring high performance over time. The rating system captures both a building’s physical systems (equipment, design, land use, etc.) and the way the building is occupied and operated by its managers (waste management, energy management, commuting programs, etc.).

Before making what could result in a major investment for energy and sustainability improvements, it is important to determine if the investment is worthwhile in the context of the existing building conditions. Older buildings may not be structurally sound and certain retrofits could result in a significant expense for little return on investment. In buildings where retrofits will be worthwhile, those retrofits should follow LEED standards to improve building performance and reduce operations and maintenance costs.

At the request of the SRC, the Property Management Division requested a proposal (Attachment A) from one of the city’s A/E rotational companies, Glavovic Studio, assessing the costs for retrofits to achieve LEED EBOM baseline certification for the three previously selected municipal properties: The Art Deco Welcome Center, South Shore Community Center, and Fire Station No. 3.

The Glavovic Studio proposal is presented in three phases:
Phase 1- Initial assessment and feasibility study;
Phase 2- Discovery period for attainable LEED credits (including charrettes and interviews with end users);
Phase 3- Recommendations including formal commissioning.

It should be noted that Glavovic Studio's proposal does not include the creation of permit drawings for any building modifications deemed necessary for baseline commissioning but does include review and coordination of permit drawings. The total cost for all three phases for the three properties is $212,500. The cost per pilot is as the follows: $70,500 for The Art Deco Center, $72,500 for the South Shore Community Center, and $69,500 for the Fire Station 3.

Due to the high upfront investment required to obtain LEED EBOM certification, it is recommended instead engaging in a multi ESCO agreement to identify potential retrofit projects that can reduce municipal building energy consumption. ESCOs provide a broad range of energy solutions including design and implementation of energy savings projects, retrofits, energy conservation initiatives, energy outsourcing, power generation and supply, and risk management. Other cities and counties, such as Miami-Dade County and the City of Fort Lauderdale, have experienced greater benefit from having multiple ESCO agreements in place, rather than relying on only one ESCO.

The city is currently under a 13-year agreement with Ameresco which is being audited by the city’s internal auditors. The Ameresco agreement is a complex contract and payments to Ameresco are based upon energy savings made from original capital invested by the city. Annual reports’ figures are multifaceted and based on estimations made by Ameresco, which makes the audit a lengthy process.

This agreement was executed in 2010, and includes eight energy conservations measures with a total cost of $14 million and a payback term (not include the interest associated with the financing) estimated at 11.1 years. Once the Ameresco audit is completed, the city will be able to determine whether it should continue with the current agreement and whether the projects covered by this agreement could overlap with the potential retrofit projects of a potential multi ESCO agreement. For this reason, it is recommended to have the results of the audit completed, prior to proceeding with potential multi Energy Service Company (ESCO) agreement. This recommendation was also provided for another item presented at SRC (Government buildings powered by 100% renewable electricity).

The current Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) listed on the Ameresco agreement include Facility Lighting and Lighting Control Upgrades, Domestic Water Conservation, HVAC Controls, Geothermal Cooling (Police Station), Power Transformer Replacement, Geothermal Cooling (Convention Center-decommissioned), Chiller Plant Optimization, and District Cooling Plant. According to the agreement, Ameresco shall have the right to install additional ECMs and to revise any procedures for the operation of the ECMs or implement other procedures at the premises which include most municipal buildings.

The following is presented to the members of the Sustainability and Resiliency Committee for discussion and further direction. Staff recommends the item to be deferred until the Ameresco audit is completed.

Attachment A: Glavovic Studio ProposalOther