The $2 million project, which began in September 2012, promises to save the Zoo nearly $275,000 in annual utility costs. The DZS's performance contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. provides a guaranteed payback of its investment within seven years through savings of energy usage and related operational expenses.
"Being green is a fundamental value that reinforces our commitment to progressive resource management and environmental leadership," said Ron Kagan, DZS Executive Director and CEO. "The energy and resource efficiencies realized through this project represent another big step on our green journey."
Noteworthy examples of energy efficiency improvements at the Detroit Zoo include variable speed controls installed at the Arctic Ring of Life – something that wasn't widely used in 2001 when the facility was built – resulting in a savings of nearly $55,000 a year. Electronic controls installed in various animal habitats where water runs non-stop will save tens of thousands of dollars annually.
The energy efficiency upgrades span more than 50 Zoo buildings and include installation of additional utility meters and low-flow toilets as well as rooftop unit upgrades and boiler control upgrades. A new automated building management system allows the Zoo to monitor the HVAC systems of multiple buildings from one location and make adjustments in real time based on actual conditions.
The improvements will result in an annual greenhouse gas reduction of 1,063 metric tons, equivalent to carbon dioxide emissions of 203 passenger vehicles or saving more than 11 million gallons of water a year.
The Greenprint is the DZS's plan to refine and improve daily practices and facilities, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community. To learn more about the energy efficiency improvement project and other green initiatives, visit http://www.detroitzoo.org/about/greenprint.