The State of Michigan’s George W Romney Building in Lansing, also known as the Governor's Office, was originally a hotel which opened in 1926. Prior to being named after George Romney, the 43rd Governor, it was the Hotel Olds, Jack Tar Lansing, the Olds Plaza, and the Plaza Hotel. In 1988, the state purchased and renovated the building to house state offices and the Governor’s office. The state renovated the 290,000 square foot building and added an atrium spanning 10 stories.
The Department of Technology Management and Budget, Building Operations Division took charge of the upgrades at this facility. Their main goal with projects was to be well organized and efficient with time and resources. Due to the pandemic, they were able to accomplish many projects during normal business hours, rather than on overtime, because many people were working remotely. The list of completed projects at this location is extensive, including every light, except exit signs converted to LEDs; adding lighting controls and daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors; new variable air boxes added to the HVAC system with new building automation controls; smart elevators that use the elevator that is closest to the floor that is pinged; new domestic hot water system with a controller and higher efficiency pumps; new cooling tower heaters and controls with monitoring devices; thermostats reset to no longer heat and cool at the same time; new steam trap maintenance program; AHU motor replacements; evaluation of the dampers, set points, and exhaust fans to increase efficiency; and many other measures to improve the buildings conditions and reduce waste. All of the upgrades accumulated to a 28.4% reduction in energy use!
The team participated in the Lansing Board of Water and Light rebate program to offset some of the costs associated with the work. Even though most people have moved to remote work, if there are 10 people in the office, the building would run at full capacity. The drop in occupancy helped get this work done more efficiently and disrupted less people.
It was stated in our interview that they “collaborated and worked as a team, pooling resources of knowledge, skills, and experience to come up with the best practices to complete our goals. We always strive for continuous improvement and efficiency within our buildings.” We were excited to celebrate the State of Michigan’s
accomplishment in energy efficiency at our annual Michigan Energy Summit on
June 15, 2022 where they were awarded in the Office Category!