> PROFILE BY SUSAN CASEY
Sets the PACE
POWERS UP L.A.
COOPERATION, COORDINATION AND CONVERSATION CAN PAY OFF. That’s what the
team behind the energy upgrade of Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City discovered when the hotel underwent
a $7 million energy-saving retrofit, the biggest property-assessed clean energy (PACE) commercial project in
the nation. The hotel chain reported an annual energy and maintenance savings of $800,000 in its first year
after completion of the work. That is nothing to scoff at.
ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | SEP. 14 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
The five-month project, which ran from November 2013 until
April 2014, came together as a result of a series of connections. In
late 2012, Stanley Rodriguez, manager of special projects at the
Hilton, attended a workshop in regard to sustainability certifications sponsored by the United States Green Building Council-Los
“We knew then that our Energy Star rating wasn’t what we
wanted and that we had a significant need to reduce our energy
footprint,” said Steve Thompson, facilities manager, Hilton Los
The USGBC-LA stepped up to assist the Hilton in its efforts
to launch a project to increase the property’s energy efficiency by
referring the hotel to The Energy Coalition (a California-based
nonprofit 501(c)( 3) organization that empowers governments,
businesses and schools to be energy-responsible communities).
The Energy Coalition, in turn, involved the Los Angeles chapter
of the National Electrical Contractors Association (LA/NECA).
LA/NECA then deployed ReNewAll, a California sustainability
firm that works with multiple governmental financial programs
to develop energy-efficiency, demand-response and energy-storage projects.
ReNewAll arranged for financing for multiple energy audits
to be done to quantify mechanical, window, energy manage-
ment and other systems that could be upgraded to a higher
efficiency level. Preliminary energy audits were performed by
electrical contractor O’Bryant Electric Inc., Chatsworth, Calif.,
After Hilton accepted the presentation, the multimeasure
project began with the upgrade of two chillers and the control
system, more than 450 guest room air conditioner fan motors and
53 kitchen cooler/freezer fan motors. The scope also included
window-film applications in each suite and installation of elec-
trically tinted glass in the main lobby and efficient showerheads
in each suite. The elevators were modernized, electric vehicle
chargers were installed and more than 10,000 lighting fixtures
“Initially, it was a smaller scale project,” Thompson said. “It
was to upgrade one centrifugal chiller, maybe some variable-speed pumping, and then our friends at ReNewAll opened our
doors to some new horizons we’d never considered. We expanded
the project to include a lighting retrofit, high-efficiency fan
motors in the rooms, and high-performance window film.”
Lighting the way
O’Bryant Electric’s superintendent Greg Zickovich and project manager Gary Leder worked with Ben Moore, then sales
representative of TCP Lighting, and Charles Norris of Gexpro,
a distribution company, to specify lamps and fixture upgrades
throughout the property.