Energy and Water Audits and Sustainability Assessments for National Park Service National Capital Region

The National Park Service (NPS) contracted with SCS Engineers to perform energy and water audits for six parks in Virginia and the metro Washington, DC area. The audits were commissioned to identify energy and water conservation measures that would provide substantial savings to the Federal government.

The energy and water audits were conducted in general accordance with ASHRAE’s Level II energy audit and the NPS Energy and Water Audit Guide protocols. The six parks audited were Rock Creek Park, Prince William Forest Park, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Harpers Ferry National Park, and Wolf Trap Park for the Performing Arts.

The audits included reviewing building and equipment data, interviewing site personnel, analyzing utility rate information, observing energy-using equipment operation, and performing meter inventories. SCS audited 179 buildings comprising 648,000 sf of varying uses, including administrative offices, operational and maintenance buildings, visitor centers, recreational spaces, and historical buildings.

SCS also conducted sustainability assessments of all buildings with replacement values exceeding $2 million. These assessments covered building functions related to LEED certification. In addition to energy and water use, SCS evaluated the environmental impact of building materials (recycled/biobased content and waste management practices) and indoor environmental quality (daylighting, moisture control, ventilation and thermal comfort).

SCS identified Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) with substantial annual savings on electricity, heating oil, propane, and natural gas consumption. SCS also identified Water Conservation Measures (WCMs) that could save almost 3 million gallons of water annually. For each ECM and WCM identified, SCS identified equipment and investment required to achieve reductions with payback periods averaging 4 years for energy-related investments and 8 years for water-related investments.