John W. Danforth Company

Danforth Earns National Grid Energy Savings Award

Danforth was recognized for their work in energy efficiency by National Grid. The company helped save their Western New York customers over 730,000 kWh in 2014 while working with the utility company. The award comes as the result of the successful free cooling project completed at the home of the Buffalo Sabres, First Niagara Center. This project was completed in 2014 and achieved annual energy savings of well over 500,000 kWh.

The Buffalo Sabres partnered with Danforth to design and install a mechanical system to provide reliable, year-round cooling at the First Niagara Center, located in Downtown Buffalo, NY. The Design & Build Team was tasked with maximizing energy savings for the arena. The Team utilized its expertise in the ice arena market coupled with its intimate knowledge of the arena’s existing systems to achieve the goal. As the system designer and general contractor, Danforth was able to deliver the project from start to finish.

The Sabres and Danforth were challenged by a shortened project schedule. The Project Team was given three weeks to complete the work. Danforth was awarded the contract in April and began the project immediately following the WWE Presents Smackdown event on May 6th. The Project was completed later that month, in time for music stars Rod Stewart and Santana to rock the First Niagara Center on May 31st.

Danforth completed the project on-time by using two work shifts per day including weekends.

The project consisted of design work, demolition and installation of the new free cooling system. Danforth designed a new cooling system that takes advantage of cooler outside temperature. The system is able to use the cool air when air conditioning is needed without having to use the chiller plant. The system was made up of two new cooling towers and pumps along with a new heat exchanger. To increase energy savings even further, Danforth identified opportunities to use high efficiency motors, variable speed drives and implemented an upgraded control system.

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