Making 1.3 million square feet of space more energy and operationally efficient is no small task. That was the quest of USAA Real Estate Company and its joint venture partner Centennial Real Estate, who own the largest enclosed mall in the state, Connecticut Post Mall.
With the assistance from professionals at United Illuminating (UI) to identify energy saving opportunities and applicable Energize Connecticut incentives to help offset project costs, upgrades were made to the mall’s lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The changes shave an estimated $200,000 off annual energy bills. The project fit perfectly with Centennial Real Estate’s objectives - sustainability, efficiency and being environmentally responsible.
“There are many reasons why this energy efficiency upgrade was important to us,” said Bill DiSiero, Facility Manager of Centennial Real Estate. “We continue to improve the center with the latest technology to enhance the shopping experience and create better comfort and security for customers. Improved temperature control and optimal lighting creates a better environment for personnel and increasing productivity. The new lighting also provides increased security for employees who work early hours and late at night.”
The building upgrades included interior lighting retrofits to LED for more than 990 fixtures, exterior lighting retrofit to LED for more than 380 fixtures and retrofitting signage to LED lighting. In addition, new 40-ton RTU’s were added, replacing four packaged rooftop air conditioners, and the Building Management System (BMS) was upgraded.
Upgrading the BMS has allowed for a more user-friendly experience, said DiSiero, giving full control over the property’s lighting systems from a central location. This system allows CT Post management full control of the lighting schedules from computers, tablets and smartphones.
“Projects of this size yield impressive energy savings while also improving building operations, positively altering the building’s carbon footprint and creating cost savings for customers,” said Donna Wells, Director of Energy Services, Commercial and Industrial at United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc.
The expected payback is approximately 3 years for this entire project, according to UI engineers. This expansive enclosed Connecticut mall was originally developed in 1960 and now boasts a three-story mall housing more than 130 retail stores plus five anchor stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Sears and Target. The property also features a 14 screen Rave/Cinemark Movie Theater, including an IMAX theater on its top level.
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 877.WISE.USE.
About Centennial Real Estate
Centennial Real Estate Company is a real estate firm specializing in the investment, development and management of retail properties including neighborhood community centers, enclosed malls and urban mixed-use. Founded in 1997 Centennial has had a successful track record of acquiring and operating retail properties to consistently preserve investors’ capital, deliver operating income and cash flow, and enhance the value of the investment through attentive management and redevelopment activities provided by experienced real estate professionals. Centennial's culture is founded on and committed to the highest levels of integrity, honesty, and transparency among its many partners, employees, and investors.
About USAA Real Estate Company
USAA Real Estate Company was founded in 1982 as the real estate investment arm of USAA. With more than $18 billion in assets under management, the company provides co-investment asset management services to U.S. pension funds, as well as to foreign and domestic institutional investors. USAA Real Estate Company also provides capital to partners for development. The portfolio consists of office, medical office, industrial, multi-family, retail and hotel properties as well as investments in real estate operating companies. Our commitment to service and integrity reflects the core values put in place 95 years ago by our parent company, a trusted worldwide insurance and financial services organization.
United Illuminating (UI) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). Established in 1899, UI is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to approximately 333,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. For more information, visit www.uinet.com.
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