Insulation Jackets Case Study: Garfield Building In San Francisco, CA

garfield building in san franciscoThe Garfield Building in San Francisco, located in the heart of the theater district, is a beautiful 28 unit building built by the Reid Brothers in 1908, and the infrastructure was totally gutted and remodeled in 2008. Dave Pritchard, the Garfield’s HOA President, reached out to ThermaXX in the Spring of 2018. Dave was passionately looking at all possible ways to become more energy efficient, and wanted to look at the potential cost effectiveness of techniques he had seen used commercially in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry applied in a residential application.

ThermaXX was contacted by Dave to survey the site and calculate the potential savings that could be obtained by insulating the buildings steam valves, heat exchanger valves, and special fittings. ThermaXX found that touch temperatures of uninsulated valves ranged from 227°F to 388°F which created an ambient temperature of over 90°F. Rose Titcomb and the Thermaxx team conducted the survey and designed the insulation jackets with detailed calculations of the potential economic savings on the basis of the HOA’s steam costs.

Dave was able to find a local government energy efficiency program called the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program that provided rebates and technical assistance to help him bundle several improvements together. With help from Rose Titcomb of ThermaXX and San Francisco Environment Staff, Dave was able to finalize a scope of work that improved the efficiency of the building sufficiently to receive rebates.
After review of the calculations from the heat loss audit confirmed the systems were installed properly, Dave received the rebate that covered a significant portion of the costs of ThermaXX serviceable insulation jackets and the other utility cost savings measures. ThermaXX manufactured and installed 24 serviceable custom insulation jackets on the valves in two mechanical rooms.

The outcome was a success! We calculated a theoretical savings in steam of over $6,500 a year. Finally, the building’s mechanical rooms achieved a comfortable ambient temperature which reduced the uncomfortably warm air temperatures in that wing of the building.

Before & After Insulation

Thermaxx Insulation Jacket Project Timeline

  • Component Survey (1 week)
    • Internal RFQ – Site Walk Thru
    • Temperature & Hour Verification
    • Proposal – Project Summary
    • Incentive Application
  • Award
    • IOL / Pre-Inspection / Proceed with Work from Utility 
    • PO
    • Field Measuring (1-2 weeks)
    • Jacket Production (2-3 weeks)
    • Install – Turnkey Project Capability
    • Immediate Savings
    • Utility Post Inspection
    • Case Studies

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