Case Study

MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain gets a deep energy retrofit

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Angell Medical Center, located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, is home to a world-class animal hospital, housing some of the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment in the veterinary world.

But the buildings housing 21st-century medical technology were stuck with mid-20th-century equipment. And it was getting in the way of allowing MSPCA staff to carry out their mission of providing kindness and care for animals.

An old steam heating system was experiencing increasingly frequent failures, resulting in rising maintenance costs, uncertainty, and disruptions to business.

Leaky, single-pane windows made for drafty, uncomfortable offices. During the winter months, snow drifted into office interiors; room temperatures were chilly enough that the snow didn’t melt on its own. Maintenance-intensive pneumatic thermostats provided no centralized control or diagnostic capabilities.

Worse yet, an old inefficient lighting system was getting costly to maintain, as outdated materials frequently failed and sourcing parts was difficult.

The people—and the animals—of the MSPCA deserved better.

Faced with the prospect of a $2+ million investment in converting their heating system, it would have been easy to justify narrowly defining the project scope in an effort to minimize capital expense. Instead, MSPCA had GreenerU take a holistic look at the medical center’s energy systems and develop a plan that would best serve the facility for the next 50 years.

GreenerU’s proposed solution was to perform a deep energy retrofit involving installation of a modern heat pump system, new insulated windows and other building envelope improvements, modern digital controls, and high-efficiency LED lighting.

This comprehensive approach also got the attention of Eversource, the local electric utility, and National Grid, the natural gas provider, which kicked in a combined $544,000 in incentive payments.

“Working with GreenerU has allowed us to save thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, while leveraging hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility incentives,” says Kathy Collins, MSPCA’s chief operating officer. “Which means we have more time and money to take care of the animals that come to MSPCA every year.”

Today, the new DDC system provides MSPCA staff the ability to monitor and control HVAC equipment for the first time. Staff are comfortable—no more drafty windows or chilly operating rooms—as programmable air-source heat pumps adorn offices, allowing building occupants to adjust the temperature to their preference.

But best of all, the MSPCA’s deep-energy retrofit has helped the nonprofit organization focus on what’s most important: providing comfort and care for animals.

What’s your energy-savings potential? Think bigger—a deep-energy retrofit could yield big energy cost savings, utility incentives, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. From start to finish, GreenerU can help you figure out your strategy. Contact info@greeneru.com to start a conversation.