Today, many state institutions of higher learning and healthcare facilities face reduced budgets, aging infrastructure, and rising energy costs. According to the EPA, colleges and universities spend close to $2 billion each year on energy. These institutions are seeking innovative ways to renew facilities, improve energy efficiency, and reduce energy costs. One option gaining some renewed momentum is the Energy Savings Performance Contract (EPSC).
The procurement process used by the U.S. government (or its contractor) can follow one of several different paths. Usually, an equipment specification is written that contains performance criteria and other requirements. A solicitation is then released and potential sellers competitively bid for the work.
The author’s longtime interest in bundling efficiency techniques in a single system eventually led him to a new pairing: VRF zoning technology and geothermal design. See how he got there and how this couple played out for an historic 107-year-old Iowa courthouse that serves the law through the area’s brutal winters and humid summers.
High-performance solutions result in savings, LEED® certifications, and better health care Spectrum Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in West Michigan with nine hospitals, more than 180 service sites, and 1,983 licensed beds system-wide.
In October 2011, Mas (la grillade) opened in New York City with the goal of elevating hardwood grilling to a culinary art using fire and smoke. Located in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, “the grill” aimed to build upon the success of its sister restaurant and predecessor, Mas (farmhouse), and rely exclusively on hardwoods as its primary cooking fuel.
Most companies want to decrease their energy consumption, either for financial reasons, or to be active in reducing their carbon footprint, or both — but some of them aren’t sure where to begin. When the only measure of a facility’s energy usage is the bill customers receive at the end of the month, they may feel their facility is more like the proverbial black hole: power goes in, business happens inside, but it’s not clear exactly how much energy is used where and when.
How many energy-efficient or certified buildings are not living up to the label? Very, very many, if this Ohio commissioning/auditing firm’s experience is close to typical. They report on common weaknesses in efficiency strategies and on real-life patterns of upgrades gone wrong across an array of equipment types. While flaws in well-intentioned processes remain, a more careful investment of human energy can still yield the desired reduction in building energy.
Achieving deep energy savings is especially challenging when you’re faced with an existing structure with poor orientation, historic preservation requirements, and little space for renewables. The Byron Rogers Federal Office Building’s retrofit is scheduled to be completed in 2013; the post-renovation building is projected to consume less than half the energy it did before.
Why was one floor’s laboratory ventilation failing to keep up, when it was even the closest floor to the rooftop fans? Some system sleuthing led two engineers to a fitting conclusion. Read more stories in May Issue 2017.