Innovation is essential in the pharmaceutical industry. You can’t discover new treatments and cures without it.
The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research is showcasing a different kind of innovation: creative approaches to energy efficiency. And it’s paying off: Novartis is saving 4,000 megawatt hours — and $600,000 — every year.
NIBR has a long history of implementing energy efficiency measures, and sustainability is important to our parent company, as well. NIBR recently set higher efficiency goals, and is shooting for 15 percent improvement in energy efficiency from 2011-2015, compared to 2010 levels. Right now, we are on track to exceed that goal.
Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research is the pharmaceutical research division of the giant international drug company Novartis. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research hosts 2,000 researchers, operational staff, and administrators on a million-square-foot campus.
Three buildings comprising 300,000 square feet of lab and office space were the focus of NIBR’s Campus-wide Air Flow Reduction and Setpoint Reset Initiative. The buildings use 100 percent outdoor air, rather than recirculated air, which requires a lot of energy. But by analyzing usage patterns, shifting the rates of air flow, setting consistent temperatures across building zones, and adding a night cycle with reduced airflow and widened tolerances for temperature variation, NBRI achieved substantial energy and greenhouse gas savings.
All together, the project cost a little over $200,000. Annual energy savings are $750,000. Even without the $156,000 NIBR received in utility rebates, that’s a rate of return nobody can argue with.
The project will also save money on maintenance and HVAC replacement, since it allows air handlers that had been straining to operate at or near maximum capacity to work more comfortably, at around 80 percent of capacity. That means that Novartis can expand lab space in ways that were not feasible before.
Since 2008, NIBR has cut energy use by 11.4 percent, while adding 500 employees and 55,000 square feet of building space. In 2011 alone, NIBR cut energy consumption by 3.9 percent.
Novartis makes money by selling medicine to treat high blood pressure, leukemia, and other illnesses. The Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research saves money by saving energy. The end result: healthier people and a healthier planet.
|Annual Energy Savings (kwh/yr):||4,710,154|
|Annual Energy Savings (Therms/yr):||10,987|
|Total Savings ($):||$616,905|
|Total Project Cost:||$757,400|