Retrofitting an Operational Multi-Usage Building

Allen Hayward, Los Alamos National Laboratory

A building for materials science research was built in 1993 by Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The building is a 72,000 sq. ft. multi-usage facility housing laboratories, offices, conference rooms, and an auditorium. In December of 2014 a major project was started to replace the pneumatic controls with DDC and to recommission with a goal of creating a more stable environment. This case study will cover the retrofitting of the facility to enable higher energy efficiency and to provide the occupants a more consistent environment with less interruptions to the laboratory working conditions. The usage of several best practices, like a piloting program, smart laboratory methods, in-house team development, and data analytics will be discussed along with other methods utilized in this retrofit. Lessons learned as well as future projects, like a stack velocity study, will also be discussed.

Presentation will include mechanical techniques used, building automation system techniques, methods of approach required when retrofitting a multi-use building, mmart laboratory techniques, software analytics, over a year of results documented, best practices, and lessons learned. Intended learning outcomes are benefits and trip hazards to replacing pneumatics with DDC., project planning to minimize operation interruption, options for increasing building efficiency in an existing facility, and lessons learned.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the multiple methods of approach required when retrofitting a multi-use building, including mechanical techniques, building automation system techniques, Smart Lab techniques, and software analytics.
  • Learn the benefits and trip hazards to replacing pneumatic control systems with Direct Digital Control (DDC) systems. Included will be best practices and lessons learned.
  • Learn several methods used in project planning to minimize operation interruptions during a complete building retrofitting.
  • Be familiar with several options used for increasing building efficiency in an existing facility along with over a year's worth of data post-project showing the results.


Allen Hayward is a Senior Controls Engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico with over 30 years of experience in Building Automation Systems. He holds both a mechanical and electrical professional engineering license and has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Le Tourneau University. He is the subject matter expert for facility and safety control systems at Los Alamos as well as being actively involved in the development of software QA policies. Past accomplishments include being the lead controls engineer on large projects including the SeaTac International Airport Control Tower in SeaTac Washington, the Beryllium Technology Facility at Los Alamos, and the Material Science Laboratory at Los Alamos. Current projects include the development of a high reliability seismic detection system for the protection of nuclear facilities.


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