The project was funded through an energy savings performance contract and utilized a federal funding program Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB) to bring the net interest rate near zero percent. The District now has buildings ranked in the 98 and 99 percentile for energy efficiency by EnergyStar Portfolio Manager.

Montcalm County Community College

Generated positive cash flow in year one exceeding $30,000 annually

Project size: $1,169,302
2 campuses 225,000 total square feet

​With a major building addition (and capital expense) currently in progress, the College President sought a procurement mechanism which would allow for the operational and energy savings to pay for all of the upgrades.

Grand Rapids Ballet

Peter Martin Wege Theatre 
Identify energy savings in LEED certified building

Performing Arts Theatre and office space
39,338 square feet

​Peter Martin Wege Theatre is a LEED certified building. The Grand Rapids Ballet is proud of its legacy with the Wege Foundation and supports sustainability initiatives.


Designed to be a cash neutral project – the savings paid for all of the upgrade project

Project won an award from Michigan Economic Development Corp/ESC in 2013

Project size: $1,644,911

​​177,238 square feet
Historical courthouse, airport, pool, county fairgrounds, office space, ice arena, and jail.

Since the college had successfully reduced operation costs by installing geothermal at one building, the audit provided the College the incremental cost to convert the new campus-wide system to geothermal. The Board approved the conversion to campus-wide geothermal and included new piping and duct work, spline ceiling replacement, asbestos abatement, electrical service upgrade to accommodate the growing electrical loads on campus, new building controls and integrating disparate building management systems into an open, web-based building management system with automated alerts and remote access, replaces and upgrades steam kitchen equipment and provides a public kiosk display. In order for the project to proceed, Michigan legislative changes were required to extend the term and scope of work allowable under energy savings performance contracting statutes. In addition to working with legislators, the college was provided valuable assistance in the procurement of financing for the project.

Occupant Care worked with UTI to install PowerMan a web-based thermostat control and reporting system suitable and justifiable for leased office space. This initiative lead to considerable and quantifiable energy savings and reductions in related carbon footprint and helped make the space's occupants aware of UTi's strong commitment to sustainability at a practical working, day to day level. It also improved the occupants' working environment by predictably managing HVAC in a manner that was consistent and understood by all.

Staff Project Leadership

Aquinas College
Quantified sustainability initiatives and building improvements

Project size: Private
648,806 square feet
24 Buildings

Energy savings performance contracting provided a turnkey project AND didn’t further burden the administration in managing and implementing another major project. The upgrades included LED lighting, mechanical upgrades, HVAC and building control upgrades (including automating alarms to mobile devices and trending), replaced pneumatic controls, conducted steam trap survey and made repairs, provided staff and faculty energy efficiency training, conducted thermography analysis and improved building envelope including the replacement of floor to ceiling windows in some offices of the Administration Building. The project won an award for Economic Leadership in Energy Efficiency from Michigan Economic Development Corp/ESC-MI Chapter.

Ovid Elsie Area Schools

EnergyStar Portfolio Manager ranked buildings 
Buildings achieved 98 and 99 percentile

Project Size: $1,091,779
Facility Size: 5 buildings comprising 387,586 square feet

The problem the District faced is a number of building upgrades were needed; however, the School Board was reluctant to approve the budget to fund the upgrades. The Board did approve a self-funded energy efficiency project. The project included energy efficiency improvements such as a comprehensive lighting retrofit (interior and exterior), energy management system, mechanical and HVAC replacements (high efficiency boiler and domestic hot water boiler), water conservation upgrades, insulation improvements, and a new ceiling grid (which also greatly enhanced the learning environment).

Monroe County Community College

Campus-wide conversion traditional HVAC to geothermal technology, upgraded electrical service and included asbestos abatement

Project Size: $16,122,462
2 campuses comprising 401,000 square feet

The main campus was nearly 50 years old and needed a complete mechanical and HVAC replacement.

City of Battle Creek

Project won an award from Michigan Economic Development Corp/ESC in 2014

Three projects combined size: $4,002,892 
All three phases were turnkey and included the design, subcontractor bid and selection process and construction management.

​​​The County was plagued with demand spikes in its electric bills causing extremely high bills year-round. Further, with the buildings dispersed throughout the County, maintenance and building control needed to be integrated and improved. The buildings had a wide variation in the type and age of the HVAC and control equipment. The project included first an extensive audit to identify and price improvements and to calculate associated energy savings. The scope of work was prioritized and quantified and the County was able to quickly install the upgrades. The project scope included managing the subcontractor bid and selection process. The upgrades included lighting upgrades, HVAC and Building Automation upgrades, mechanical improvements, water conservation and building envelope. All of the upgrades were paid for through a self-funded energy savings performance contract.  

Aquinas College needed preliminary design and budgetary pricing for campus-wide building improvements, increased energy efficiency, realistic sustainability goals pertaining to its buildings, and calculations in decreased energy consumption and carbon footprint. The College was committed to Sustainability but needed specific and quantified information.The primary goal of this assignment was to provide the College an “educated” estimated scope of work, to obtain pricing from subcontractors and then apply other associated costs required to implement recommended improvements. The project evaluated included installing geothermal technology campus-wide. Some of the software products used for building modeling and savings calculations were:

  • DOE2.1e Building Energy Performance Simulator and TMY Weather Data Files
  • BinMaker Plus Weather Data for Engineering by InterEnergy Software, Inc.
  • Trane Trace 700 Heating and Cooling Loads Program
  • Trane Trace 600 Energy Calculating Program
  • Metrix Utility Accounting System
  • Various Vendor Programs (e.g. Danfoss-Graham Variable Frequency Drive Calculation Program)
  • Excel Spreadsheet Lighting Applications and Analysis 
  • Excel Spreadsheet Water Management Applications and Analysis

UTi Global

Sustainability Initiatives

UTi Worldwide is an industry leading supply chain management company with a global footprint of 310 offices 230 logistics centers in 59 countries. The Vice President of North American Transportation, headquartered in Grand Rapids Michigan, is responsible for North American Transportation sustainability leadership. One of the several challenges the North American Transportation Group of UTi subsidiaries faced was installing green initiatives in office space that was leased making it difficult to drive and control energy efficiencies and to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Their agency was to occupy an existing building through a 20-year lease. The building owner agreed to improve energy efficiency and add renewable energy provided the agency cover the cost of the upgrades through a lease addendum. A comprehensive energy audit evaluated several options for mechanical and HVAC, building management system, building envelope, water conservation, weatherization (including insulation), interior and exterior lighting upgrades, electrical vehicle stations and several options for solar power generation. PACE funded a 20 kw pole-mounted solar array, interior and exterior lighting, and a kiosk was installed in the lobby for the purpose of promoting energy awareness. As a result of the audit, additional insulation was added to the roof, weatherization improvements installed, EV charging stations installed and programmable-LED simulated skylights were installed. A goal of the project included sourcing as much Michigan-made products as possible. Since the project cost was over $250,000, it required an energy savings performance contract and savings guarantee. The project won an award from the Michigan Agency for Energy/Energy Services Coalition MI Chapter in 2015 for Economic Leadership in Energy Efficiency.

First Phase: Full Blast Parks and Recreation Building (offices, indoor pool, outdoor pool, gym, workout center, locker rooms and meeting spaces for children's programs)
88,000 square feet

The Full Blast building needed extensive upgrades and repairs, yet the City did not have the incremental budget available for the Parks and Recreation Department to pay for the upgrades. This project was designed as a self-funded energy savings performance contract and the savings provided the annual revenue stream to fund the project. The upgrades included interior and exterior lighting upgrades, controls upgrades, mechanical improvements (created a central hot water heating plant), water conservation and solar thermal heating for the outdoor pool.  

Second Phase: Retail space on Michigan Avenue
The City had an opportunity for economic development provided it could improve the retail space located street level in a parking garage in just a few months. Improvements included new windows and doors, insulation, mechanical upgrades and water conservation. The project was coordinated with the builder hired to complete the other cosmetic build outs. The work was designed and installed turnkey in just over two months. 

Third Phase:  Kellogg Arena
30,000 square feet
The City has passed a $3M bond for new seating and a new roof (long-life improvements) at Kellogg Arena. The City was managing the bid process and received quotes exceeding the $3M and the subcontractors began to question the integrity of the structure given proposed changes. Also, with the new seating, the use of floor space would have been reduced and staffing costs would have increased. The project was outsourced and the project took a considerable turn to the positive. As an alternative, the seating upgrade was redesigned as a seating retrofit - saving floor space, staffing costs, and reduced project costs. The roof was replaced and there was still room in the project for LED lighting upgrades - interior and exterior, rapid doors and infrared heaters installed in the loading area to solve climate problems, water conservation upgrades, weatherization and new windows. Even with all the additional work, the project total was under budget at $2,685,663 --allowing the City to use the remaining $314,000 to meet other needs.​

Being mindful of energy consumption is considered a best practice – not just for environmental stewardship – also for economic stewardship. While the building is LEED certified, energy consumption is high and Occupant Care identified a number of recommended building upgrades including lighting retrofits and replacements, controls upgrades, vending machine controls, adding and improving ventilation in dance studios, IT savings, plug load reduction and building envelope improvements. Occupant Care calculated the energy savings of individual upgrades and identified an economical approach to installing energy efficient equipment – including self-implementing an LED lighting upgrade. Occupant Care continues to steer the non-profit towards special funding opportunities for upgrading unfunded building needs.

Michigan Agency for Energy/Michigan Public Service Commission/Saginaw Plaza LLC

PACE Project - first state agency in the United States to implement a PACE project

Project Size: $437,289
Facility Size 72,484 Square Feet - 3 story office building

​​The Michigan Agency for Energy/ Michigan Public Service Commission is the agency responsible for setting energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy policy in the State of Michigan.