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Colorado Springs Project Wins Colorado Facilities Awards of ExcellenceLeading Edge Solutions and Sustainability Improvement/ Environmental Impact

Published: May, 23 2014

The Colorado Facilities Awards of Excellence (COFAX) Board in partnership with the Pikes Peak Chapter of IFMA (International Facility Management Association), Denver Chapter of IFMA, and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of IFMA presented the awards at the Second Annual Colorado state wide IFMA Tri-Chapter Professional Recognition Gala.

The Award’s Mission is to identify and reward Facility Managers for their outstanding achievements within the facility profession and their contributions in making their facility operate sustainably and efficiently. There are several different categories including “Exceptional New Building” and “Facilities Emergency Response”. 

Tolin submitted one project for two different categories: “Leading Edge Solutions” and “Sustainability Improvement/ Environmental Impact” and won both awards. The Tolin team responsible for developing and implementing this project includes Brian Sampaio, Joe Roemen, John Robeda and Tom Riead.

About the Project

Wildwood Casino, Cripple Creek, Colorado’s newest and largest casino, opened June 1, 2008 at a cost of $80 million. It is a 58,000 square foot facility with 500+ slot machines, live action poker tables, blackjack, craps and roulette.  In December 2011, John Robeda, Colorado Springs Service Sales Representative, started talking to the management at Wildwood and convinced them to give Tolin a shot at doing some of their simple service calls.  After investigating the system operation, the Colorado Springs Project Team of Brian Sampaio, Branch General Manager, and Joe Roemen, Project Sales Engineer, presented a proposal to Wildwood Casino’s management in June and had it ordered and executed by September. This plan would not only make drastic improvements in occupant comfort, but also greatly reduce the casino’s utility consumption.

The casino is heated and air conditioned primarily with six energy recovery ventilators (ERVs).  The ERVs were originally selected to provide 100% outside air to ensure high indoor air quality at a time when smoking was permitted within buildings in Colorado.  In a town where the average high temperature is 52 degrees and average low is 25 degrees, constantly conditioning 100% outside air was hugely expensive in terms of utility costs, as well as wear and tear on the equipment itself. The air vents in the casino are in the floor, which meant that the people sitting at the gaming tables or slot machines could be blasted with ice cold air if one of the heaters failed, and then by hot air when the system tried to catch up.  Brian Sampaio described these large swings in supply air temperature and overheating as the system overcompensated as being like a “see-saw”. 

He realized that there was no reason to bring in all that outside air since smoking in the casino is now banned.  Mixed air dampers were retrofit into each ERV to modulate the outside air using a carbon dioxide (CO2) based Demand Controlled Ventilation Strategy.  The sequence of operation was updated to control the new hardware and tune the system for more even temperature control. 

The project was completed in September 2012 and after one year of performance the casino has seen an unprecedented 38% reduction in natural gas consumption.  In total, Wildwood Casino saved $74,300 in utilities in the first year, which paid for the $53,000 project in less than 9 months.  Over the estimated 15 years of remaining service life for the ERVs, this project is expected to feed over $1.5 million back into Wildwood Casino’s budget which can be used for future equipment replacements, additional energy projects, or other facility improvements. 

The project has been a great success for the Tolin team. Brian Sampaio worked closely with Wildwood General Manager, Kevin Werner who at one point asked him why no one had come up with this idea before.  Brian’s response was that they hadn’t had the right company until now. “We are partners with our customers.” says Brian. “We’re in there looking at the issues with them. Not just showing up to change a filter.”

Word spread to the other casinos in the region, through the network of casino general managers, about the great work that Tolin does.  Tolin now has Maintenance Agreements with several other casinos including Johnny Nolan’s Casino and Century Casino in Cripple Creek and Golden Gate Casino in Black Hawk.

About IFMA

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is the premier professional association for facility management. Supporting the largest community of FM professionals in the industry, IFMA membership comprises more than 18,000 facility professionals throughout 50 countries. IFMA members have a voice in 125 chapters and 15 councils.

IFMA was established in 1980 as a not-for-profit, incorporated association dedicated to promoting excellence in the management of facilities. Globally, IFMA spots trends, conducts research, provides educational programs, and assists corporate and organizational facility managers in developing strategies to manage human, facility and real estate resources.

The Pikes Peak Chapter was chartered in 1990 to serve Facility Management professionals in Colorado's Pikes Peak Region and throughout Southern Colorado.

The Denver Chapter of IFMA is a diverse and friendly group of facilities professionals who enjoy sharing knowledge through networking. Founded on March 18, 1982, Denver is one of the original chapters in the International Facility Management Association and is the largest in the Southwest Region and ranks 11th largest chapter in IFMA.

Established in 1989, the Rocky Mountain IFMA chapter is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Chapter supports Facility Managers throughout Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.

All three Colorado IFMA Chapters have formally joined to organize the Colorado Facilities Awards of Excellence (COFAX) Gala.

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