Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

Efficient operability in an underground bunker

  • Improved resiliency
  • Carbon neutrality achieved
  • Energy cost savings
  • Improved comfort

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) facility was constructed in 1963 as an emergency outpost to ensure continuity of state government in a nuclear attack. Today, in this underground bunker, MEMA coordinates the Commonwealth’s response to major events and disasters as part of the Division of Capital Assets and Maintenance.

MEMA was searching for a partner that could deliver a project with guaranteed performance specifications and adapt to the bunker’s unique construction and 24/7 operability. Ecosystem’s holistic approach uncovered possibilities beyond the scope of the initial request. Instead of a new gas line requested in the RFP, Ecosystem is installing an aerothermal heat pump to use the building’s internal heat load, which is otherwise wasted through ventilation requirements. This measure avoids the cost of bringing natural gas to the bunker and becomes greener by completely removing oil for heating.

MEMA also requested a solar canopy, which posed multiple building challenges. For instance, vibration isolators in the bunker can withstand shock waves from an earthquake or a nuclear attack by allowing the entire building to move several inches in any direction. Nevertheless, Ecosystem engineered a solution to install the solar canopy and also made charging stations possible. Combined with energy savings from other measures, this measure reduces emissions to the extent that the facility is carbon neutral.

Customized Performance Measures

  • Interior and exterior lighting upgrade and controls
  • Fan motors and VFD
  • Air handling units, VAV boxes, and demand control ventilation
  • Chilled water pumps and VFD
  • BAS upgrade
  • Real time metering
  • Solar PV canopy