John Seryak, MS, P.E. is founder and CEO of Go Sustainable Energy in Columbus, OH. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from UD, a Department of Energy (DOE) Pumping Systems Energy Expert, and an instructor for three Building Operator Certification courses. He is a board member of Advanced Energy Economy Ohio, and has served on the conference organizing committees for the Manufacturer’s Education Council for several years, and for the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio. 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.