PROJECT CASE STUDY

Woodlands Mall

Peak Demand Management for High Traffic Mall Property

BUILDINGS

One mall complex with 160 retailers

LOCATION

Woodlands, Texas

SIZE

1,400,000 Sq. Ft.

START DATE

January 2017

STATUS

Completed

Woodlands Mall

Demand Reduction, Even in the Summer Heat

The Woodlands Mall is a bi-level, enclosed shopping center located 30 miles north of Houston. The mall was renovated in 2004 and since then General Growth Properties has included Woodlands in the energy management upgrade plans that span their entire portfolio. OTI is master systems integrator of record for GGP working to design and implement energy and demand management programs, controls retrofits and analytics.

GGP selected Woodlands Mall for a peak demand management pilot project in early 2017. By reducing energy usage in common areas during the utility company’s pre-determined peak hours, Woodlands could experience significant overall energy cost reductions. OTI managed the development and integration of a third party, automatic demand control program for the HVAC system based on electrical consumption created custom for the property by Kodaro. The demand management program uses SkySpark for system monitoring and notification, Niagara for building automation control and BACnet and Modbus for communication protocols across controllers.

Challenges

  • The peak demand reduction strategy was dependent on the accuracy of existing electricity meters on the property. Because analytics had not been previously utilized on Woodlands’ HVAC system, the actual status of electricity meters was not known at the outset of the project and therefore actual peak reductions could have been far less than projected. A lackluster return on energy savings would have limited the expansion of the demand reduction project beyond the pilot.
  • Initial analysis of utility billing data was required to understand the demand charges for common areas before the demand management strategy could be finalized.
  • Project development spanned seasons and was delivered at the peak of summer heat when equipment would be operating in high gear and guest comfort is a top priority.

Successes

  • Peak reduction of approximately 100kW achieved just three days after implementation, at the end of July when outside air temperatures were in the high 90s.
  • Since initial implementation, the project continues to return monthly energy reduction of 5,000kWh.
  • Additional development of peak demand prediction and pre-cooling algorithms has provided 30% additional cost savings on this project than at first delivery of the project in July.
  • Based on this pilot project, GGP has expanded peak demand management to additional properties in its portfolio.