Enhancing Building Renovation and New Construction Projects Through Energy Performance Contracting (EPC)

Brian Holthaus, J E Dunn Construction
Dan Gacnik, McKinstry

Our presentation will discuss the benefits of using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) in conjunction with new and renovation construction projects. We will focus on a case study at the University of Colorado Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC) project. This project is an existing 300,000 SF three story building with a General Contracting (GC) construction renovation scope value of $8M. By using future guaranteed savings which were calculated by using energy modeling to establish a baseline energy usage, a scope of work was established that resulted in a 60% energy savings for the owner. The EPC scope included replacing all of the existing lighting with new LED fixtures, providing new more energy efficient chillers and boilers, occupancy based building automation system and lighting controls, building envelope improvements, as well as new water saving plumbing fixtures. This savings amounted to $11M worth of scope to be performed by the EPC provider in addition to the $8M construction renovation scope. This allowed the University to do more work on the project than was originally budgeted, which in addition to the energy savings, will also provide an improved learning environment, help with attracting and retaining top talent for research and reduce the overall O &M costs with operating the facility. We will discuss some of the challenges that result when two prime contractors (the GC and EPC provider) need to work together on the same project. On the SEEC project, the GC had the electrical and lab casework scopes and the EPC provider had the mechanical and lighting scopes. This resulted in weekly coordinating meetings to review submittals and changes in documents from the design team that had impacts to everyone. In addition we will discuss the advantages of having the EPC provider involved in the early stages, even on new projects. This will allow for a comprehensive energy analysis that will result in optimizing the major mechanical and electrical systems that will fit into the overall budget of the project including the value of the energy savings based on this optimal design.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to see how to increase their budget/energy efficiency/sustainability and lower the total cost of ownership by leveraging EPC on new and renovation construction projects.
  • Participants will understand some of the lessons learned on coordination of EPC and construction contracts and possible solutions for improvement to maximize owner benets and overall coordination with the design team.
  • Participants will recognize the importance and value of having the EPC and construction team on the project in the early stages of design to achieve the best possible design and overall facility cost for the building owner.
  • Participants will understand what are the early requirements that a building owner will need to provide in order to establish a baseline energy model. This is required in order to establish the energy savings achieved with the final design.


Brian Holthaus is a Senior Project Manager for J E Dunn Construction's Science and Technology Group in Denver. Mr. Holthaus holds a B.S. in Construction Engineering from Purdue University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He has over 30 years of experience and has worked on the EPA forensic Lab at the Denver Fed Center, Denver and State of CO Crime Labs, JPAC Forensic Lab at Offutt AFB , and University of CO at Boulder Biotech and Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex Lab Buildings.

Dan Gacnik is the Business Development Manager for Mckinstry in Golden Colorado. Mr. Gacnik holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Gacnik is a Certified Energy Manager and a Certified Demand-Side Management Professional and a member of APPA, CSPMA and RMAEE. He has over 23 years of experience in the Energy Industry and 18 years in Energy Performance-Based Contracting. Mr. Gacnik has worked on projects in higher education, K-12 schools, municipal government projects.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).