Optimizing Existing Rooftop Unit Energy Efficiency

What cost-effective options are available for building owners interested in reducing their building’s energy use?In this webinar CEE's Director of Engineering Services, Mark Hancock, P.E., discusses rooftop unit retrofits as a scalable energy-saving approach and recommend next steps.

Heating and air conditioning account for over 25 percent of energy use in commercial buildings and rooftop units serve 40 percent of the floor space within those buildings. Upgrading to a more efficient model is often expensive and, even for replacement of older units, does not achieve the savings necessary to justify the investment. So what cost-effective options are available for building owners interested in reducing their building’s energy use?

One potentially cost-effective option, especially for small businesses, is to retrofit their rooftop systems to improve their efficiency.  Application of new technologies, such as variable speed drives on indoor fans and compressors, have shown promising retrofit results with improved operations and better control. The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) conducted field research on the performance of the retrofits to better understand their appropriateness and cost-effectiveness in a Minnesota climate. CEE will soon be releasing a summary report documenting the results. 


Optimizing Existing Roof Top Unit Energy Efficiency

Poll Results

After the webinar, twenty webinar attendees provided feedback on how they thought how this recent rooftop unit research could be made more actionable and applicable in the field. Beyond the final report, viewers noted the value of an RTU optimization energy savings calculator.


Presenter Bio

Mark Hancock, P.E.: Director of Engineering Services, Center for Energy and Environment

Mark has 25 years of experience in institutional, commercial, and residential building energy efficiency, with an emphasis on building automation, field diagnosis of HVAC systems, and deployment of data logging systems for documentation of system performance.  
Mark has been with CEE since 1987 and leads the existing building commissioning team, which focuses on improved energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings. Mark has extensive experience in building system operation, optimization, and diagnosis.  He has performed multiple existing building commissioning studies that have resulted in peak operation, reduced energy costs, greater occupant comfort, and improved ventilation. He has performed extensive hands-on measurements of HVAC systems that have included air flow, water flow, verification of accuracy of building automation points and sub-metering of individual systems. From 2009 to 2014 he gained experience in building commissioning as the program director for the Public Buildings Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program (PBEEEP). PBEEEP has reached 30 million square feet of state owned buildings and has identified over $1.5 million in annual savings in these sites. 
Mark has been involved in a broad range of field research for gas and electric end uses. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, is a registered professional engineer in the state of Minnesota.


*This project was supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program.