Fulton County Operations Green Update | Print |

Fulton County participates in a number of initiatives designed to help conserve natural resources in our operations.  Below is a brief update of several key green initiatives.

 

Green Update

Installation of Energy Saving Devices in County Buildings
U. S. Department of Energy awarded Fulton County $814,300 in ARRA funding to implement energy efficiency and conservation strategies. A large percentage of this funding ($619,300) was leveraged to purchase and install energy saving devices in county buildings, such as, automatic flush valves, occupancy sensors, LED exit signs; and to retrofit HVAC units with programmable thermostats, motors and time clocks. These operational and maintenance improvements are also projected to realize an estimated annualized reduction in the County's greenhouse gas emissions. The project was completed in July of this year.  We expect to realize annual savings with an approximate 8% reduction in the County's electrical kWh consumption, 1% in greenhouse gases and 5% savings in water consumption.
 
Jail Services Energy Saving Initiative
Jail Services researched different products that could potentially lower the jail's consumption of natural gas.  It was decided to install the M2 boiler sequencing control module.  This add-on to the existing boiler controls significantly reduces the consumption of natural gas by decreasing gas consumption during the blow down phase of the boiler operation.  More specifically, the module eliminates the amount of natural gas being consumed when the facility's demand for hot water is at its lowest point.  For example, the jail's laundry and showers are not in use on the morning watch (11 p.m. – 7 a.m.).  The sequencing module commands the Jail's six boilers to turn off when the sensors detect a significantly reduced demand.
 
Some of the measureable environmental benefits is that it reduces Fulton County's impact on the overall supply of natural gas.  In metro Atlanta, there are routine "demand mismatch orders" during the Fall and Winter months.  By eliminating excess usage, the Jail helps keep the price levels of natural gas lowered. Annualized natural gas savings since the installation of the M2 modules include a 14% reduction in annual natural gas costs that equates to $36,000 in annual gas savings.
 
M2G is a unique patent granted boiler load control for LTHW and MTHW boiler systems that has been specifically designed to eliminate boiler dry-cycling/short circuiting/short-cycling and boiler response at very low load (hot water usage) conditions all of which are very wasteful of energy. M2G has two digital temperature sensing probes which are attached externally to the each boiler flow that monitors temperatures every second and creates a ‘movie’ of circulating boiler water temperatures. The temperature data is used to eliminate boiler response to boiler-only heat loss versus combined boiler and system heat loss which requires immediate boiler response. The annual natural gas cost savings range from 10% - 25% depending on controls and system set up.  In the specific case of the Fulton County Jail, we have realized a decrease of 14.3% in the Jail's consumption of natural gas.  
 
Installation of Cool Roofs in Fulton County
Fulton County continues to work at being a good steward in sustaining our environment. To this end, we employ a variety of sustainable practices and strategies to reduce the impact we have on the environment. Cool Roofs have been installed at several county buildings including the Aviation Cultural Center, Animal Control, East Atlanta Library and several other sites around the county.
 
Green buildings incorporate many strategies to reduce energy use and environmental impacts and improve occupant health. Cool roofs are one important green building strategy we leverage for immense positive benefit they can provide. Cool roofs are not a new phenomenon, but they are essential to the construction and maintenance of energy efficient buildings, and new cool roof technologies give architects more options for both material type and color.
 
Traditional dark roofs do not reflect light and emit heat as well as cool roofs do; heat is easily absorbed by the roof and penetrates through to the building interior, increasing cooling costs. In contrast, cool roofs can reduce cooling load during hot summer months and equate to substantial annual energy and cost savings. Some additional benefits of Cool Roofs include 1) urban heat island reduction, 2) reduced roof maintenance and 3) limit the amount of recycled and non-toxic materials.
 
Several national green building programs recognize the myriad of benefits of cool roofing as a strategy for creating more sustainable buildings. These include the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED®) program, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes program, and the draft version of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Green Building Standard.

Change a Light, Change The World

As a part of Fulton County’s Green Initiatives we continue to partner with Georgia Power and their “Change a Light, Change the World” program.  During Fulton County’s recent Step Into Fall Walk/Run, Georgia Power distributed ENERGY STAR certified CFL light bulbs to race participants.  This program encourages pledge takers to change at least one standard incandescent light bulb to an ENERGY STAR certified CFL light bulb.  CFL and LED lights consume 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent lights and can last up to seven and twenty-five years.  Fulton County would like to say a special thank you to Georgia Power for their participation.