Energy and Water Audit for Visitor’s Center of the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR)

The Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR) is the second largest estuarine area of Puerto Rico; it expands between the municipalities of Guayama and Salinas.  JBNERR is managed by the P.R. Department of Natural and Environmental Resources in association with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The main facility or Visitor’s Center is located in the Municipality of Salinas.

Visitor’s Center complex is composed of the main house that serves as visitor’s center/laboratory, a dormitory building and an accessory workshop building; only the main house was the subject of this audit.  The audit was conducted during a period of one month.  Audit team conducted a walk-through of the facilities to collect information about operation, equipment, maintenance and building shell characteristics.  A thermal camera inspection was done to determine condition of building envelope.  Architect reviewed existing floor plans with present building layout to use in space function analysis.

A report document was submitted to the agency with all collected data and analyses, including a summary of proposed conservation measures and construction cost estimates.  The report also identified capital improvements that needed further study, low-cost /no-cost changes to facility operations and maintenance procedures and references to environmentally responsible management policies.  In combination, conservation measures presented would reduce annual energy cost by 43% and annual water cost by 3%.