Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system at City Hall is being upgraded, thanks to a $521,900 federal grant. Smith said, “Thanks to an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the federal government, City Hall will have a more modern and efficient HVAC system by next spring. Members of the public and the municipal workforce should notice improvements in City Hall in the coming months.” Smith continued, “I would like to thank U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who was instrumental in pushing for the energy block grant program in Congress. The block grant program is part of President Obama’s economic recovery package.”
As part of the energy upgrade, City Hall thermostats are being replaced by more efficient digital energy controls. The existing heating coils will be replaced by variable air volume electrical reheat control boxes. These new devices will be more energy-efficient. The central air-handling fans will be upgraded. The project will also replace the current air controls in the building, in order to facilitate more even air volume. The electricity will be modified to support the new systems.
One of the HV units on the roof will be demolished to make way for a newer, more efficient model. The other two existing HV units will remain, but will be upgraded. The duct system at City Hall will be cleaned, and some new ductwork will be installed.
A new electrical panel will be installed in the basement at City Hall, and some new sheet metal will be installed around utilities in various parts of the building.
Since its construction forty years ago, City Hall has experienced the movement of several walls and the rearrangement of offices. This has redefined the spaces around the building, contributing to an imbalance of air and temperatures. As part of the HVAC upgrade, there will be a test of the air balance, in order to facilitate improvements. After the completion of the project, the HVAC system will be monitored by a computer at City Hall. An existing computer will be upgraded, so that it can perform this task.
Preparations for the grant application and related engineering began in early 2010. Construction work began in October 2011. Completion of the project is expected in March 2012.