Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Costello, Thomas

Committee Member/Reader

Liang, Yi

Committee Member/Second Reader

Le, Kieu


Leverett Elementary School is located in Fayetteville, AR. The school needs significant upgrades to its infrastructure. The Fayetteville Public School District has voted to pursue an Energy Services Performance Contract (ESPC) in order to finance the desired upgrades to Leverett Elementary, among other schools in the district.

The scope of this thesis was to perform an energy audit on the existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. By using an energy modeling software, eQuest, the building and the existing base system were modeled to determine utility consumption. Three different HVAC system alternatives were analyzed against the base system by inputting them into eQuest. Alternative 1 is a plant system with secondary fan coil units. Alternative 2 is a decentralized packaged system. Alternative 3 is a plant system with a secondary air handler that serves terminal variable air volume (VAV) boxes.

The three alternatives were compared against each other within three criteria: economic, environmental, and social benefits. For the economic analysis, capital and operating costs were analyzed to determine the net present value and internal rate of return for each alternative. For the environmental analysis, the utility consumption output from the eQuest models was input into an online tool, CometFarm, to calculate total energy consumption and CO2 equivalent emissions. For the social analysis, knowledge from extensive systems research and industry experience guided the consideration and assessment of potential impacts.

The Plant System with Secondary Fan Coil Units, i.e., Alternative 1, was determined to be the optimal system recommendation for the client. It had the lowest CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions and the greatest net present value and rate of return.


performance contracting, HVAC, sustainability, energy, savings, modeling