Case Study

New England Business Service  (NEBS) - Flagstaff, AZ

Nebsfl03.JPG (44701 bytes)


New England Business Service's Flagstaff office serves as a order processing center for it's North America clientele.  Phone and fax orders are received at this facility and processed at one of their printing and manufacturing plants located throughout the United States.

The building's major mechanical systems include:

18 - Roof Top Units (Electric air conditioning/Gas heating)
Caterpillar Electric Generator

This project involved controlling the 18 roof top units as well as monitoring the fire alarm system and the generator.  The generator was designed to provide the facility with full electric power in the event that city power failed.   This also includes the air conditioning and heating systems. 

R. L. Shields Associates was the selected controls contractor and Delta Controls was the selected manufacturer.

The NEBS Corporate Facilities Engineer and R. L. Shields Associates established several goals to be accomplished with the completed system.  These included:

  1. Minimize operating and energy expenses.
  2. Track the buildings mechanical performance.
  3. Install a Graphical Operator Interface.
  4. Reduce the operator workload in the day-to-day operations of the HVAC system.
  5. Be able to monitor and control the system remotely.

A Delta Controls Intelli-Sys Control System was designed to accomplish these goals and provide NEBS with a comfortable, energy efficient work environment.

A Delta Intelli-Con Turbo Panel was installed in the Maintenance Office.  The Turbo Panel monitored lighting, the fire panel, the generator and items such as outside temperature and humidity.  Twenty-two Delta Controls Zone Controllers were installed to control the 18 roof top units.  Five of the eighteen units had additional zone control dampers.

A Delta Turbo Panel is a multi-ported, memory enhanced, dual processor field panel.   At NEBS - Flagstaff, a Personal Computer and a modem are to the Turbo Panel.   This provides the operator with Color Graphics using 'Delta's IGraphW software.   The modem allows off-site servicing of the system and provides NEBS Corporate Office in Groton, Massachusetts, the ability to monitor the building and make schedule and control changes.  The modem also has the ability to page the maintenance personnel in the event of a mechanical problem requiring immediate attention. 

Special software was written by R. L. Shields Associates, Inc. to accomplish several of the tasks designated as goals. Custom software included:

  1. Sunrise/Sunset Time Calculation - This controls the parking lot and building exterior lighting based on Sunrise and Sunset. The eliminates the problems associated with power failures skewing the time clocks and provides for the adjustment to Daylight Savings Time and Daylight Standard Time.
  2. Degree Day Tracking - This software computes the heating and cooling degree days and the same manner used by the National Weather Service. Heating and Cooling Utility costs can be tracked in conjunction with heating and cooling degree day totals. This provide a means of tracking performance based on changing climatic conditions.  To better understand degree days, click here.
  3. Fire System Monitoring - This system monitored the fire panel.  In the event of an alarm, the buildings air conditioners are shutdown to stop the spread of smoke throughout the facility.  Each roof top unit has a duct smoke detector, but this only shuts the individual roof top unit down if smoke is detected.  The software created by R. L. Shields Associates will shutoff all AC units that are not part of smoke evacuation corridors, which rely on pressure to keep smoke clear.  Additionally, the software allows the operator to put the system in the test mode so that while annual testing of the fire system is underway, the roof top units will not be affected. 
  4. Generator System Monitoring - As mentioned earlier, this facility has the capability of running the roof top units using the backup generator.  Special software was designed to do a controlled, timed startup of the roof top units following the generator coming online.  This was done to minimize surges and prevent excessive generator load.    This software also allows the operator to perform the normal testing of the generator without having to cause undue stress on the roof top units. 

As previously mentioned, the Delta Turbo Panel is connected to a color host PC. The host system features Delta's IGRAPHW software. This "state-of-the-art" software package provides the user with both text information as well as providing a graphical interface. This software is also installed on the mechanical staff's personal computers to be used for off-site, after hours, operating changes.  The maintenance staff has the ability to view all data and graphics from their home computers as they would see from their on-site computers.

Future phases of this project will likely include adding Carbon Dioxide sensors to monitor indoor air quality.

Links to additional graphics for this project


What do the Operators say about the project?



For more information on this project or Delta Controls, contact:

R. L. Shields Associates, Inc.
27 Wentworth Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
603-472-7431 (Voice)
603-472-7395 (Fax) (E-Mail)

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