Trane and the city of Birmingham, AL formalized its commitment to sustainability and launched energy saving upgrades to 125 city buildings at an Oct. 5 event at Titusville Public Library.

Slated for completion in 2018, the $61.3 million project is expected to cut annual energy and operational costs by more than 30%, saving more than $100 million over the next two decades. 

“The energy upgrades these 125 city buildings will undergo are truly needed by the community,” said Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell. “We are pleased that we will fund the improvements using future energy and operational savings at no additional cost to taxpayers.”          

The improvements are funded with a performance contract, which is a project delivery method that provides measurable business results to support strategic business objectives.

During the event, Mayor Bell and Jason Bingham, vice president of energy services and controls at Trane, signed a pledge formalizing the city’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency and officially launching the upgrade project.

“The City of Birmingham provides a real-life example of how governments can partner to deliver best-in-class operations and dramatic energy cost reductions,” said Bingham.

At the project outset, before identifying energy conservation measures, city leaders directed completion of an energy audit of all city-owned and occupied buildings, which identified opportunities to increase energy efficiency and cut utility costs across 125 buildings.

The selected facility improvements are designed to assist city facilities teams with managing and operating efficient and sustainable buildings that help the city better serve the community. The updated buildings will aim to provide a more comfortable environment for visitors and other occupants and a more productive and healthy working environment.

Energy conservation measures will include water upgrades in 119 buildings; lighting upgrades in 117 buildings; energy and HVAC controls for 108 buildings; building envelope improvements in 59 buildings; HVAC/mechanical upgrades in 45 buildings; roof replacements in 31 buildings; and transformer upgrades for 12 buildings.

The City of Birmingham project partnership includes a workforce development program in which Trane will work with Lawson State Community College and the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority on a professional development job-training program for Minority Business Enterprise contracting partners. The program focuses on expanding participants’ skills and expertise to help achieve the energy savings for this and future projects.

The partnership also will provide Birmingham city schools’ students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educational opportunities to prepare for future green careers.