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Alpin Limited: New York University, Abu Dhabi

By Suzanne Wallace on Monday 21 January 2019

Following our Power Station Challenge campaign, Alpin Limited got in touch to tell us the energy savings impact they’ve had on the built environment using the IESVE. Through completion of around 30 large projects the company has saved a massive 100,978,875.60 Kilowatt hours, equal to more than 44,000 tonnes of CO2.

A project, in which the company used the VE to find significant energy savings, was New York University in Abu Dhabi. This project achieved savings of 30% above the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline. 

New York University Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island. The campus covers 450,000 square metres and reaches heights in excess of 50 metres. Opened in mid 2014, it was designed by Rafael Vinoly Architect, and developed by a state-owned investment company. 

Alpin Limited were invited onto the project to conduct construction stage energy analysis to ensure the project was on track to reach its energy savings goals and that it would comply with the local standard, Estidama PBRS, which requires projects to be 12% above the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline. The project had achieved this at design stage, however it was actually aiming to achieve savings of 25% above the ASHRAE standard in order to attain a higher rating of 2 Pearls.

The role of Alpin Limited was to support the main contractor - AF Construction LLC (formerly known as Al Futtaim Carillion (Abu Dhabi) LLC) and verify the parameters that they had set out for the project in terms of u-value, lighting and HVAC. They incorporated the different ECMs using IES VE’s flexible modelling tools to study them and their effectiveness. The Alpin Limited team also provided feedback to the contractor on performance of their HVAC and water systems to determine the energy and water consumption savings potential on top of the ECM’s. This analysis was carried out for each individual building, and for each one the average was around 25% savings above the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline.

The ECM’s that were implemented include:
– Energy recovery on all Air Handling Units (AHU’s) and Fresh Air Handling Units (FAHU’s)
– Low u-values for the walls in comparison to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard
– Shading devices for the windows
– High quality glazing with low u-values and low solar heat gain
– Solar water heating system for 50% of the demand
– Heat pipe in addition to heat recovery wheel
– District cooling plant that was built for the university’s entire campus

“The IESVE has been our choice of software since we started providing this service in 2012 What’s great about the IESVE is the amount of control it gives you when designing/ modelling HVAC systems, it offers a huge variety of different controls and different prototypes that you can modify to match the design. Also, we believe in the heat-balance calculation method for system sizing that the software uses, we believe it’s more dynamic than any other calculation methods. We are also impressed with the user-friendliness of the user interface, plus, we’ve had a really good experience with IES customer support, and the training we’ve received. We have a lot of confidence in using the software.

A particular feature of the software that stands out for us is VistaPro, it allows you to go in-depth in your analysis with the building annual results and you can easily see if a system is working as it should be or identify where something might be wrong, whether it be in your model or maybe in the design itself. e.g. sizing is too low.”


Farah Ghanem  
Energy Specialist & AILA Innovation Officer, Alpin Limited