View Full Version : Help! I Need a Quick Rule of Them to Estimate Costs For a Business Plan
05-24-2010, 12:45 PM
A group I'm working with has a facility where three buildings, the largest unused, are heated through a common oil fired steam heating system. That system may be over 70 years old. It is at least 45 years old.
They are being hammered with a huge annual utility bill. One of the buildings is a dining facility, another has classrooms and offices.
Would a mini-split heat pump be a solution? Is there a rule of thumb for estimating its cost? Are there quick and effective alternatives on a limited budget?
The estimate has to be with in 30-50% more or less.
05-24-2010, 02:12 PM
Ductless systems might be quick but don't come cheap. Does this 70 yr old building have adequate electrical service to handle the farm of ductless systems you are intending to plant?
05-24-2010, 02:22 PM
The buildings are probably all over 100, some over 120. The facility as a whole has lots of power. I imagine if it needed an additional run needed to be made it would be possible.
My concern is that other solutions would involve very expensive construction that could be avoided other wise. None of the individual rooms are that large; a large class is 15 people and most are under 10.
The key is to be able to answer a question at an early discussion of financial that at looks quasi-reasonable.
In another thread I'm looking at systems for my home. If I estimated a 2 furnace/2 heat pump system for my house at $8k, that wouldn't be reasonable. If I quoted $35k, that also wouldn't be. However anything from $14k to $28k probably would be.
That is sort of the degree of accuracy I need, +/- 15%-20%
05-24-2010, 02:24 PM
OSA requirements will need to be considered and the load imposed.
05-24-2010, 02:42 PM
05-24-2010, 02:57 PM
not sure what type of buildings you are looking at, but you could easily save them a bunch of dough by installing new boiler, insulation, windows etc. converting the system to hot water could be even more efficient. a boiler of this age might be half as expensive to run than one of 45 or older. trap maintenance could also help tremendously. there is a lot to this.
05-24-2010, 03:07 PM
ok...makes sense...rules of thumb?
05-24-2010, 05:05 PM
if your system is completely trashed old boiler and failed traps, boiler upgrade and trap element replacement could save a bunch, maybe 30 or better, changing to water could be more, problemis we have no idea of use, type, occupancy and so forth. need more info.
05-24-2010, 05:29 PM
There are three buildings:
The first is 140x25 2, floors, about 14' ceilings, flat roof. It has an extension that is 60x30, 12' ceilings on the first floor, a 30' tall meeting room above. Total floor space, about 11,000 sq. ft.
The second is a dining faciltiy, 70x40, 1 floor, 20' ceiling...2800 sq ft.
The third is not in use. It is 190x20, 3 stories, about 11,400 sq ft.
They share a common oil-fired steam heating system that was around at the start of the Cold War.
05-24-2010, 09:04 PM
There are no rules of thumb.
When I used to do construction, we called it stick by stick estimating. That's what needs to be done.
Keep a few things in mind: You will probably need to upgrade your electrical distribution system if you're going to move a whole building from oil to electric heat (even heat pumps). One central plant means electric upgrades at one location. 100 mini splits means electrical work at 100 places (200 if you need power inside and outside)
Mini splits are convenient but not cheap. If you're going to spend that money, you could probably do something that would provide the proper air exchange rates, humidity control, and automation instead.
If you're the contractor, stick by stick is the way to do it.
If you're looking to hire a contractor, Means has several estimating books that will get you in the ball park for renovation work. The estimating book is about $300, and if you don't forget anything (like the electric) you will still only be within 50%.
05-28-2010, 08:30 PM
Do you have access to natural gas ?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.