The St. Louis Area Foodbank in Missouri recently implemented a facility retrofit that brings together the HVAC and refrigeration (HVACR) controls in its facilities. In coordination with Johnson Controls, Controlco Inc., and Midwest Mechanical Services and Solutions, the Foodbank has made its energy use more efficient with the newly installed Verasys™ plug and play control system by Johnson Controls. Geared to light commercial and mid-market building controls, Verasys integrates HVACR equipment and controls.
Coupled with the existing Johnson Controls’ Facility Explorer at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, Verasys enables the facility management to remotely monitor its vital dry goods storage and refrigeration and freezer warehouses. Distributing more than 116,000 pounds of food and personal care items to those in need each day, the non-profit food distribution center is the largest in its bi-state region.
“The Foodbank consistently seeks out ways to reduce expenses in order to provide as much food as possible to families in need,” said Frank Finnegan, president and chief executive officer at the Foodbank. “Adding Verasys will not only reduce utility costs, it also ties directly into our ongoing green initiative and commitment to sustainability.”
The Foodbank approached its local HVAC provider, Midwest Mechanical Services and Solutions, and local Johnson Controls, Authorized Building Controls Specialist (ABCS), Controlco Inc., in the fall of 2016 with a desire to update existing technology in its office area. The two companies were able to offer a beta installation of Verasys system, which was integrated into the Foodbank’s existing Facility Explorer®, a building automation system that provides scalable, system-wide supervision and control to improve occupant comfort, reduce energy usage, and optimize operating efficiencies.
“The Foodbank has been a Johnson Controls customer for several years and has utilized the Facility Explorer system within its distribution center,” said Earl Doyle, general manager, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls. “When the Foodbank expressed a need for a simple yet powerful controls system it was clear that Verasys would be an excellent fit.”
Verasys is the first plug-and-play solution that integrates HVACR equipment and controls. It is pre-programmed, which allows for a simple installation, and it also has a user-friendly interface. The biggest advantage that Verasys has brought to this Foodbank, however, is the reduced utility costs and improved energy savings. With Verasys’ remote monitoring capabilities, the Foodbank has been able to set HVAC systems into unoccupied mode while employees are away from the office, which has increased energy savings by 11%.
Verasys has provided the Foodbank staff with the tools to control and optimize its office ecosystem. Looking ahead, the Foodbank hopes to take on more retrofit projects and extend Verasys to additional areas inside their distribution center.