Millies Engineering Group

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News Articles-2017

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Dec 2017



Lincoln Elementary School Improvements Save Energy and Money
Modern Energy Saving Controls for a Modern School …READ MORE

Before the projects began, Lincoln school had old fluorescent lighting fixtures that were nearing the end of their life cycle. Additionally, no energy saving controls were installed in the school. The school was on a strict budget and needed to get the most use out of the funds available. In our project, we used LED high efficiency direct/indirect fixtures. The original project featured manual daylight on/off zones to meet code and provide an installation cost that was within budget. During construction, the original manual switching was replaced with a new low voltage dimming and daylight harvesting system, which gave the Owner enhanced functionality and saved the contractor installation costs over the standard line voltage switching and occupancy sensors.

  • • The system was based on Lithonia BLT fixtures with an Acuity N-Light control system
  • • Installs easily above the ceiling using cat5 cable, removing much of the time
and labor intensive alterations of circuitry
  • • The low voltage dimming controls and automatic daylight harvesting system
 came in at lower installed cost than standard on/off switches with occupancy sensors
  • • The owner now can dim each room to meet the needs of the individual teachers 
and occupants
  • • The automatic daylight harvesting system now dims the lighting automatically
without user input

We learned that modern low voltage controls are a win for both the contractor and the end user. The owner gets enhanced flexibility, while the contractor receives the benefit of simplified installation and lower labor costs.

Nov 2017



Making Hanover Central High a Safer School
Efficient LED Updates Save Money and Space

Millies recently worked on a project to determine possible upgrades to the parking lot lighting at several buildings in the Hanover School district. One of these buildings was the Hanover Central High School. The school has existing lighting at this location but it is outdated and nearing the end of its life cycle. Millies was contracted to review the existing locations and provide a possible upgrade strategy that focused on providing sufficient lighting levels while reducing the wattage to provide energy savings.

We were able to use LED fixtures to replace the existing metal halide lamps. This provided an increase in light output while still allowing us to reduce the energy being used to light the same area. Additionally, we were able to increase the lumen output while re-using existing pole locations. We were even able to reduce the number of poles required in several areas of the parking lot.


  • • Poles removed: 5
  • • Energy savings: Approximately $3,750/year
  • • Light fixture used: Visionare – Bow LX LED

This project was a great example of how LED fixtures can help reduce energy costs in outdoor lighting applications. The owner could visualize the cost savings and will be able to pay for most of the upgrade by using the money saved in reduced monthly energy costs.

June 2017



The Importance of Facility Documents
You may have wondered “Is mechanical, electrical and plumbing documentation for my facility important?”

You may have wondered “Is mechanical, electrical and plumbing documentation for my facility important?”
At MEG, we design building renovations, major and minor additions, and new construction design. Throughout the design and construction phase of these projects, the owner receives an enormous amount of paperwork, plans, specifications and similar information.

Long after a project is complete, issues may arise in the facility that need to be addressed, and oftentimes much of the important documentation for the facility is no longer available. Without these original documents, the task of trouble shooting and investigating the issues in order to prepare corrective measures is much more difficult and costly for the owner.

The documentation for a facility plays a vital role in allowing engineers to review issues that need repair, replacement or correction, as well as allow verification of the many systems in a building to determine whether or not they continue to operate as originally intended.

The question becomes “What specific documentation should be kept in a safe and secure location readily available for future reference?”. Some recommendations are:

  1. The bid set of the plans and specifications
  2. All “As–built” red line marked up plan sets for mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems from the contractors
  3. Final approved shop drawings for all equipment, components and systems
  4. Final approved system testing reports such as the mechanical air and water systems, water disinfectant reports, low voltage wiring testing reports, electrical panel load balancing reports and similar test data
  5. All “As–Built” temperature control drawings and sequences
  6. The operations and maintenance manuals
  7. Any training videos provided by the contractors

When these documents are available for reference, the future issues that inevitably arise are easily addressed, defective components can be replaced, systems can be adjusted back to the base line to maintain efficiency and maintenance can be properly performed. When the facility systems are operating as intended, the facility occupants are comfortable and secure, the building systems operates efficiently and the life expectancy of the building is extended.

March 2017



How is your building operating?
Is your temperature control system operating to its full potential? …READ MORE

Many temperature control systems believed to be operating optimally really are not. The building operating team usually does not access the temperature control system regularly enough to review its operation and efficiency. The building operations team can tune up and/or re–commission the building’s existing control system to improve efficiency. Some of the key issues to review to make sure that the control system is accessible and that the data are reliable include:

  • • Do the building operators regularly access the control system?
  • • Can the building operator review and make key changes on the control system?
  • • Does the building control system have a graphic user interface?
  • • Do all the various graphic models represent all of the HVAC systems in the building?
  • • How is the computer system response time to commands and displaying information?
  • • Are there communication issues between the control system and the HVAC devices?
  • • Does the data for the HVAC systems make sense?

Secondly, focus on a few key operational parameters to improve operational efficiency would be:

  • • Scheduling of the HVAC systems to match the building’s occupancy schedule
  • • Free Cooling: Economizer set points and strategies should take advantage of times when free cooling makes sense to save energy
  • • Simultaneous heating and cooling: Is a space or an airstream being heating and cooling operating at the same time when it is not needed?
  • • Set-points: Review all set points for temperatures, air flows, static pressures, etc. to make sure they make sense
  • • Control: Do the HVAC system appear to be controlling according to their sequence of operations? Are space temperatures achieved?

A regular inspection of the building automation system, addressing updates and set–points, has the potential to reduce operation costs.

Jan 2017



What is the true cost of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan?
Questions remain. Will the EPA’s Clean Power Plan cost jobs? What will be the true cost for the proposed EPA’s Clean Power Plan?…READ MORE

What will be the cost for the proposed EPA’s Clean Power Plan?

One study from the “Affordable Electricity: Rural America’s Economic Lifeline” released by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) stated that more than one million jobs will be lost in 2021 if the EPA’s impact on Clean Power raises the cost of electricity by only 10%.

This job loss would equate to almost 500,000 of those jobs lost to the rural areas in America. The study details a devastating relationship between higher cost for electricity and the correlation to jobs lost.

A 25% increase in the cost of electricity in 2010 would result in a 2.2 million jobs lost. More than 890,000 jobs lost would be in the rural sectors.

In terms of GDP from 2020 to 2040, a small 10% increase in the cost of electricity results in a cumulative loss of $2.8 trillion and a larger 25% increase in the cost of electricity would be a cumulative $5.4 trillion loss.

The study indicates that on average 25% of the co-op households earn less than $25,000 a year which is 11.5% less than the National average income. The impact of higher cost for electricity would be on those who can least afford it.

The NRECA research indicates that the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan would have a 10% minimum increase to the cost of electricity. The NRECA represents more than 900 private, not–for–profit, consumer owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

This study highlights the real life cost of higher electricity prices of which must be understood by the political proponents of “clean power” and the EPA. Any modest gains in rural America would be wiped out with the higher electricity cost of such impact in the proposed EPA’s Clean Power Plan.