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Park La Brea multi-family complex
Los Angeles, CA

Commissioned October 2016

18 Low-Pressure Steam Boilers Replaced with Burnham/Webster Units from DB Sales; Project Significant Energy Savings

Imagine the energy and water consumed by the 4,248 residential units at Park La Brea.  It is the largest multi-family complex west of the Mississippi and second largest in the U.S.

The 60+-year-old low-pressure boilers were candidates for replacement by the property and Bruce Manning, Able Services Director of Maintenance at Park La Brea, where he provides maintenance and oversight for the 160-acre development in Los Angeles.

Manning, with more than 35 years of experience in all aspects of facilities and engineering management, was fully aware that for a complex of this size it was one thing to have a need; it was another to find a workable solution that met all facets of the need.

Boiler/burner selection critical to ROI

That solution included the replacement of 18 Kewanee boilers of 1940s vintage, one in each of the (18)13-story high-rise towers. Selecting the best boiler/burner equipment to replace them was critical to meeting the energy efficiency ROI goals and emissions reductions that the project demanded.

Bruce worked with SoCalGas to perform and calculate a site-wide investment grade audit.  “Once the audit was completed and the projected project efficiencies were plugged into the energy model, the Gas Company along with LADWP working together creating the pathway for considerable rebate incentives provided tight installation deadlines were met.”

70-year-old Kewanee boilers urgently needed replacement.
Burnham steam boilers and Webster ultra low NOx burners save energy and reduce pollutants

DB Sales brings new recommendation

“We had already specified another brand of boiler when I found Steve Mertz,” Bruce continued. “It was fortunate that we engaged with DB Sales & Service when we did because Steve found us the best boiler/burner system for our project that met all of the performance and physical installation needs of the retrofit.”

The final selection was Burnham CL-50 Low pressure steam boilers and Webster JBFX Series ultra low NOx burners along with new boiler feed systems and associated feedwater pumps. Bruce commented “Steve really knew his products and was instrumental in our final designs and equipment selections and energy efficient systems.  What he proposed was a better solution for our project and we went with it.”

“Steve knows how to work with both the client and the utilities, especially with SoCalGas projects. DB Sales was able to come into our project, which was already underway and hit the critical drop dead dates with equipment delivery and start-ups.”

The Park La Brea project was very complex and the benefits greater, because the scope of the project extended beyond the Towers boilers into other systems. Water savings were also targeted, in collaboration with the LADWP. Ultimately (18) DHW Recirculation Control Systems were replaced, along with 7,210F feet of pipe insulation. Also, 504 steam traps were audited and faulty ones replaced.

Financial savings plus environmental benefits

The project is projected to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) by 17%
  • Reduce gas load by 15%
  • Save over 275,000 therms of gas a year
  • Reduce water use by 10%

The completion of this project was celebrated in October with a site ceremony with Park La Brea hosted by the SoCalGas, attended by Park La Brea ownership and management, Able Services, SoCalGas, LADWP, and of course DB Sales was there with all other participating contractors involved in the project. A significant incentive rebate check was presented to the ownership.

Steve Mertz, owner of DB Sales & Service, said, “This was a historic project, setting the bar higher than it’s ever been for a residential gas savings project. We appreciate being part of the team that got this done.”


 
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