Kohl’s partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and implement solutions to retrofit existing buildings to reduce annual energy consumption by at least 30% versus requirements set by Energy Standard 90.1-2004 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of America (IESNA) as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnership (CBP) program. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provided technical expertise in support of this DOE program. Kohl’s retrofitted a 17 year-old, single-story 87,000 sq. ft store in Niles, Ohio. Kohl’s also designated the store as a DOE Better Buildings Challenge showcase store.
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In the cold climate of the upper Midwest, air-source VRF systems have difficulty meeting heating loads when the outdoor temperatures drop below -5ºF. Because of this difficulty during common cold spells, they are either oversized (adding to system cost) or supplemental heat is added (adding to operating cost). Cold temperatures can also cause frost issues around outdoor units, as well as compressor failure. A VRF system served by a water loop—in place of air—does not have these issues, making the technology more practical and effective in cold climates such as the upper Midwest. A water-source VRF system can be connected to a boiler and cooling tower or, for even higher performance, a ground heat exchanger.