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Goose Hollow Tower Cuts Maintenance Costs and Tenant Heating Costs by Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Exhaust Fans.

The below text is pulled from the Energy Trust of Oregon Blog. Click here to read the full article.

The 25 ventilation exhaust fans on the roof of Goose Hollow Tower, a 70,500 square-foot college housing apartments in downtown Portland, were no longer doing their job. Students in the building’s 221 apartments repeatedly complained of food smells, stagnant air and high heating costs. And maintenance personnel from College Housing Northwest, which manages the 16-story building, were constantly on the roof doing maintenance-replacing belts and repacking bearings on the centrifugal fans.

When the community had enough, College Housing Northwest asked Energy Trust of Oregon to prepare a technical analysis study on retrofitting the ventilation system, which dated back to the building’s construction in 1970. The study determined that the existing fans, which were each 1/4 to 1/3 horsepower, were running continuously, drawing air from exhaust vents in each unit’s kitchen and bathroom into a vertical stack that ran from the first floor to the rooftop. Much of the air that tenants were paying to heat was literally going up and out the building.

“With Energy Trust’s help, we decommissioned the existing fans and installed 25 new energy¬≠efficient, direct-drive, dual-speed fans that use our existing ductwork,” said Jeff Hart, senior maintenance specialist, College Housing Northwest. “Energy Trust helped us find a qualified contractor to do the work, and gave us a cash incentive of $18,925.”

The new fans, which are all 1/4 horsepower, operate on a programmed schedule that calls for 100 percent ventilation during typical cooking and bathing hours and only 60 percent at other times and reducing air quality complaints by providing stronger ventilation during peak times. The improved fan efficiency and decreased fan speed for part of the day reduce fan energy use as well as noise. And the retrofit delivers an estimated $12,000 per year in heating cost savings-all of it going to students on a tight budget.

Although property managers don’t reap the rewards of reduced heating costs, they can advertise that and other project benefits to potential new tenants and keep existing one satisfied.

About CHNW
College Housing Northwest is a nonprofit organization founded in 1969 by students to support students in the areas of housing, academic success, and personal development.

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