Peter Kleinhenz, MS, P.E. received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton (UD). Through his professional and academic career, he has completed over 50 industrial and 20 commercial energy audits. Along with energy auditing, Peter also has significant experience with building energy modeling, HVAC commissioning, green design consulting, and energy efficiency measurement and verification. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.