Category: Energy

The ENERGY STAR score places a number on how your building measures against peers in your location. Prior to August 26th, 2018, the peer building data came from the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Certification Survey (CBECS) — that’s more than 16 years old!  more

The 85,000 square foot Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University will feature two large performance venues. The building, which is pursuing LEED certification under the LEED-NC v2009 rating system, is projected to achieve significant energy cost savings when compared to a baseline building. more

For many of our new building projects, Owners ask about the expected energy costs of the proposed building so that they can financially plan for those costs. Benchmarking against the industry averages is a good first step. The table below, by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), outlines the expected energy costs for code-compliant buildings of various occupancy types.
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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and General Services Administration (GSA) have recently developed a new certification for healthy buildings. This new rating system, Fitwel, introduces a user-friendly, intuitive, and affordable approach to not only achieve healthy building certification, but also to create an environment in which employees are happier, healthier, and more productive. more

The WELL Building Standard, or WELL, focuses attention solely on the health and wellness of building occupants. WELL was pioneered by Delos, is administered by
International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), and is third-party certified through IWBI’s collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).  more

Since the first water-tube boilers made over one hundred thirty years ago, central energy plants have provided a consolidated energy source for multiple building complexes. Central utility plants now include boilers, chillers, thermal storage, cogeneration equipment, electrical gear and monitoring, and energy management systems. The primary benefits of central utility plants, compared to smaller local systems, are reduced operating costs, better maintainability, less downtime, and easier servicing. The major disadvantage is first cost. more

Technological advancements in the building design and construction industry are allowing the performance envelope to be pushed from all directions. Reducing energy usage, improving occupant comfort, optimizing lighting levels, and integrating systems to simplify operation and maintenance practices are all examples of issues that require close scrutiny and expertise when designing high performance buildings. To achieve success with such projects, high performance buildings require a more collaborative approach to design and construction. In order to produce and sustain the performance levels of these types of facilities, owners are actively involved during the design process and have upgraded their approach to operations and maintenance. more

The current approach in building design focuses almost solely on increasing energy efficiency by improving system-oriented controls and behavior. However, occupant behavior also affects energy efficiency. To provide a more realistic modeling result, occupant behavior needs to be included in energy modeling.  more

 

“Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.”

– Franciscan friar William of Ockham

Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. There are many interpretations of Occam’s Razor, a line of reasoning attributed to English philosopher William of Ockham, but put most plainly: the simplest explanation is usually right. Scientists, detectives, and doctors all use the razor to trim away improbable explanations and arrive at the truth.  more

Campus energy plants produce chilled water, heating water, steam and/or electricity to serve a group of buildings in a common location. These energy plants are a vital key in today’s quest to design buildings with higher energy efficiency, reduced carbon footprints, water saving features, and lower environmental impact. more