Adams North Barre, Vermont’s leading and oldest producer of customized granite memorials, is building a rock solid future by reducing energy costs.
Processing granite uses a significant amount of energy. The 50 people who work at Adams North Barre Granite use massive saws and an array of pneumatic hand tools to shape and polish the stone. Large air compressors are kept running to provide power to the hand tools, while a large overhead duct system sucks granite dust away from each workstation to keep the air nearly dust free.
But for years, energy use at the company was inefficient. The 70,000 square-foot steel granite shed included an exhaust system used to vent granite dust outdoors. That resulted in large volumes of heated air being pumped outside, which created drafts inside and required more fuel to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. The shed remained chilly in the winter, despite burning thousands of gallons of fuel oil to heat the space.
In addition, the building’s interior lighting was noticeably dim, which prompted Efficiency Vermont to recommend brighter efficient lighting.
By working with Efficiency Vermont, Adams North Barre was able to make substantial improvements in energy efficiency by installing:
- An advanced filtration system that allows warm air to be returned to the granite shed
- Efficient variable-speed exhaust fans that reduce the power usage from large motors
- High-efficiency overhead lighting
- Controls, a variable frequency drive and leak detection and remediation systems that have optimized the power usage of the air compressors
The results have paid off, as the exhaust fans and filtration system saved the company 1,700 gallons of fuel oil per year. Other noticeable benefits include improved lighting in the granite shed to make it a brighter and potentially more productive work environment. Meanwhile, the new filtration system and exhaust fans keep the shed warm in the winter and the staff more comfortable.
With the energy efficient upgrades, Adams North Barre Granite has taken to date, the company will save more than $763,000 in lifetime energy costs, making business operations more affordable well into the future.