Case Study: Performance Contracting

West Liberty University

West Liberty UniversityWest Liberty, West Virginia

West Liberty University Realizes Significant Savings with Comprehensive HVAC Renovation

Working under a multi-phased Energy Savings construction contract, CMTA has performed comprehensive renovations over 3 summers on the main campus, more than 700,000 square feet across 18 facilities. Work was completed during unoccupied periods and after hours to minimize disruptions for students and staff. CMTA has created a strong relationship with this university by delivering multiple complete HVAC renovations, new HVAC controls systems, LED lighting and water infrastructure improvements throughout campus.

The Challenges

  • Fully renovate HVAC in higher education lab and classroom buildings with substantial infrastructure needs
  • Replace proprietary and obsolete HVAC controls with new open platform DDC controls
  • Identify, isolate and replace significant underground water infrastructure
  • Replace or retrofit 100% of the antiquated lighting with new LED technology
Created with Sketch.

As president of West Liberty University, it is with great confidence that I recommend CMTA to any institution of higher learning looking to upgrade their facilities. CMTA has proved to be a valuable partner for improving the infrastructure and learning environment on campus. Created with Sketch.

Stephen G. Greiner

President, West Liberty University

The Solutions

West Liberty University (WLU) had the unique challenge of addressing substantial deferred maintenance issues and major infrastructure replacement needs throughout campus with a limited capital budget. The University decided to use Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting to procure facility improvements that would be funded by guaranteed savings. WLU chose to partner with CMTA because of our extensive experience with higher education design and construction. CMTA has engineered new buildings and renovations for more than 100 higher education clients across the country and is widely recognized as an industry leader and technical expert in higher education.

CMTA began by working closely with the university’s maintenance and administrative staff to quickly execute a high-priority HVAC renovation at one of the science buildings on campus. This building is home to the University’s quickly expanding zoo science program, with vivarium laboratories, offices, and lecture classrooms. The building was expensive to operate and maintain, with an antiquated HVAC system that caused serious occupant and animal health and comfort issues. CMTA delivered a new high-quality and efficient HVAC system over the course of a single summer break with no interruption to the spring or fall semesters. With this new HVAC system and DDC controls, energy use and operational costs were slashed while the indoor air quality, thermal comfort and health of students, staff and research animals was drastically improved.

CMTA worked with West Liberty University over 3 summers to accomplish the following improvements:

  • Implemented complete HVAC system renovation for largest classroom building on campus, 100,000 square feet
  • Decentralized inefficient non-condensing boiler plant serving both the Library and Main Classroom Building by installing 2 separate high-efficiency boiler plants
  • Installed and commissioned new open source DDC controls system at 5 buildings on campus
  • Retrofitted 10,233 light fixtures across campus with LED lights, including new LED arena sports lighting
  • Isolated and repaired underground domestic water infrastructure leaks, resulting in $439,000 in annual savings

Addressing Water Leaks

Established in 1837, WLU has a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education. With this long history also comes aging infrastructure. A network of cast iron domestic water piping that had not been replaced in over 50 years ran throughout the campus. Although there were no physical signs of water leaks, CMTA was able to leverage a considerable amount of usage data from peer universities to flag irregularly high water consumption. CMTA then isolated the water leaks during the fall semester with no interruption to campus operation. This water conservation measure resulted in saving the university over $425,000 annually.

The Results

West Liberty University was able to successfully fund a backlog of deferred maintenance and sizable infrastructure needs with a straightforward savings guarantee. The projects have been a slam dunk for the university, with the utility savings not only covering the annual debt service but providing over $225,000 annually in additional positive cash flow. 

CMTA and WLU’s partnership has delivered meaningful results for all stakeholders. For the administration, the projects have resulted in meeting significant capital needs without increasing tuition, as well as a better bottom line that is padded with real excess savings. For the facilities team, the projects have resulted in a reduction in equipment downtime and service calls. For the staff, students, and research animals, the projects have produced a healthier and more comfortable learning environment.

West Liberty Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: The annual energy consumption before the project
Guaranteed: CMTA's guaranteed energy use for the client post-project
Actual: The measured energy use after the project