Hypermarkets have long been associated with immense energy waste, a notion that retail chain Giant Hypermarket – owned by leading pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm Group (“Dairy Farm”) – is attempting to dispel. Through its 139,000 sq. ft. flagship store at Tampines, Giant achieved annual savings of S$150,000 simply by deploying innovative solutions to optimise its existing air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.
After optimisation of its main air-conditioning system, the Hypermarket – which is operated by the leading pan-Asian retailer, Dairy Farm Singapore – achieved major energy savings to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.
This follows Dairy Farm’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact by signing green tenant pledge, championed by BCA, as part of Singapore’s goal of reducing its Carbon Footprint.
The company’s successful energy conservation efforts were made possible thanks to the help of Singapore-based company Barghest Building Performance (“BBP”).
BBP is an energy-efficiency solution provider that focuses on improving the efficiency of central chiller plants and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems by implementing innovative hardware and software solutions that deliver substantial energy savings to building owners.
A system overhaul without a need for change of equipment
Although the benefits of improved energy efficiency are clear, there are practical challenges of achieving it in a cost effective manner without any impact on ongoing operations and end-user comfort.
In addition, accurate quantification of savings was also major challenge in this case, since Giant as many other Hypermarkets use distributed cooling system without adequate instrumentation for measurement purposes.
“To install a solution like ours, we had to work closely with Giant Hypermarket’s team to understand their operations and current energy challenges. Since accurate data on current system was lacking, our solution had to be flexible enough to adapt to various obstacles during the implementation stage,” Challa Venu Kumar, COO of Barghest Building Performance said.
While other energy saving services rely on replacing equipment, BBP’s system focuses on improving the performance of equipment, which are already in place by optimizing current processes within existing systems. It achieves this by a combination of hardware and automation solutions that is customized to each site’s requirements. The minute level data gathered by BBP system also ensures accurate savings calculation.
The achieved savings are verified on a monthly basis by an independent international certification body, DNV GL.
Besides the achieved energy savings, BBP system gave Giant Hypermarket visibility into much more relevant data to help its team with HVAC system operation and troubleshooting. The newly-installed system also included remote monitoring, auto reporting and alarms for improved day-to-day operation.
“While we were committed to reducing our carbon emissions, we were looking for a way to do so which would not affect our current day-to-day activities. With BBP we were operating as if it were business as usual. At the same time, we were able to make a positive impact to the environment,” Frances Chang, Properties and Projects Director Coldstorage Singapore (1983) Pte Ltd.
Energy conservation makes business sense
Over the course of 12 months in 2015, BBP’s solution saw Giant Hypermarket in Tampines reducing its emission by 353 Tons of CO2 which is comparable to 1.3 Million kilometers driven by a car or switching 9,200 incandescent lamps to CFLs.
Apart from minimising disruptions, one of the most attractive features of BBP’s offering was that it involved no upfront cost to Giant Hypermarket. BBP is only paid through a portion of the cost savings achieved.
“There is a broad move towards sustainability globally and Singapore has been in forefront of that movement in the building sector. BBP is helping clients reduce operational cost, so positive environmental impact does make business sense,” Poyan Rajamand, CEO of Barghest Building Performance said.
This attests to the firm’s expertise, financial resources and environmental commitment – all of which are required in long-term energy performance contracts in the industry.
BBP is an accredited ESCO, or energy service company, by the NEA and a certified Energy Performance Contractor by the Singapore Green Building Council, an industry association providing accreditation for green building service providers in Singapore.
Achieving sustainable savings
To achieve long term sustainable savings, BBP undertakes a systematic, five-step approach to evaluate their clients’ needs.
First, engineers perform a site audit to gather the necessary information at no cost to their clients. Next, they create a simulation of the building’s current chiller plant efficiency and benchmark it internally to calculate potential efficiency improvements.
The results are presented to client as a no upfront cost – shared savings agreement.
If there is an agreement with the client, the BBP team performs an in-depth investigation into the building performance, including extensive data logging and site evaluation for one to two weeks.
The next steps include developing and installing the hardware and software solutions. Before the system is up and running, an independent third party creates a baseline of the current building performance for comparison at a later date to determine the solution’s effectiveness.
Under this model, Giant Hypermarket in Tampines and BBP agreed to a long-term performance contract in which BBP will only receive payments upon showing measurable improvements.
Setting the standard for going green
Following the success of shared savings as a concept, this payment scheme could encourage more companies to embrace optimization of their chiller plants. BBP’s technology has a proven track record with up to 40% energy savings in central cooling plant energy consumption across diverse sectors.
As in many cases, 60% of a building’s total energy costs is a result of cooling systems. Given Singapore’s humidity and extensive need for air-conditioning, the potential for cost-savings is huge.
BBP has also been instrumental in other landmark projects. Through BBP’s system, Phillips Lumileds Singapore became the first manufacturing plant to achieve a Green Mark Platinum award for an existing building.
This award is the highest possible grade for energy efficiency under Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s green building program. The Green Mark Scheme certifies buildings in Singapore for sustainability and environmental efforts.
Some of BBP’s other clients include Changi Airport Singapore, HSBC Bank, Shangri-La and Resorts World Singapore.
About Barghest Building Performance Pte Ltd
Barghest Building Performance Pte Ltd (“BBP”) offers energy conservation solutions that help buildings operate their existing equipment at optimal levels, thereby achieving long- term measureable and sustainable energy savings. BBP provides solutions without upfront costs to clients and is paid through the energy savings achieved. Besides their primary focus on air conditioning systems, BBP offers a range of energy efficiency-related services, including support in Green Mark Certification processes. BBP team members have been involved in numerous projects to help clients reach their Energy Efficiency and Green Mark Certification goals.