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http://webinars.esmagazine.comI rolled my eyes. After telling you about CABA’s building intelligence quotient program — BiQ — in this space last month, this month we got the release of ASHRAE’s building energy quotient program … bEQ. That’s right, BiQ and bEQ. (Get the details on bEQ on page 48.)

I’m not discussing which one came first; that’s not the point. But for the building industry, how is that not going to be confusing? And to be sure, both have laudable basic goals: helping owners know more about their buildings, leading to more informed and hopefully effective decisions about making improvements, which in turn yields dividends in terms of both occupant productivity and investment value. Good stuff.

But on a day-to-day level, what can only be interpreted as rival offerings don’t usually have names that are perilously close to being homonyms, either. It’s Yankees/Red Sox, not Red Socks/Red Sox. Coke and Pepsi, not Coke and Koke. (And the funky which-letters-to-capitalize thing reminds me of when it became trendy for businesses to start cramming the names of their business together with no space in between. I’d give you examples but you don’t need them; they’re so common we barely notice anymore.)

I wish them both the best in pursuing their objectives, and to be sure, a good audit/benchmark/efficiency awareness program by any other name is still as sweet, as Shakespeare didn’t quite say. Yet based on something so semi-superficial as nomenclature, the status quo just doesn’t seem like a long-term situation.



A site taking interaction with the public and the trend of displaying building info a few steps further is It’s very new, and the portal’s ambition is to provide a space for owners, occupants, and those in the building industry to come to comment or work together regarding a given building. Occupants of a finished building can leave feedback. Owners can find vendors to partner with on a project and promote their buildings. Firms on the building side can have their own presence for networking.

So, as I understand it, the site winds up being a combination of real-time feedback box, LinkedIn, and Angie’s List, with a little social media thrown in. Everyone (even potential occupants) gets more info about everything, with an eye toward sustainability and transparency. It’s free to use and searchable by address or keyword, although companies can purchase upgraded features that allow them to promote themselves and tout their successes.

I’ll be interested to see if and how it grows, but it is an interesting attempt to meet a number of buildings-related needs that were previously often pursued separately. Worth a look.



Finally, a PSA for parents facing upcoming tuition bills, from the American Boiler Manufacturers Association:

Do you or someone who works with you have a student in the house who is getting ready to graduate from high school this year and who has maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher and needs a little help with furthering their education? That young lady or man may want to look into the American Boiler Manufacturers Association’s Scholarship Fund for the Promotion of Careers in Boiler Engineering and Fabrication!

Check out eligibility requirements and how to apply for one of the four (4) $1,500 scholarships being offered in 2012 by the ABMA Scholarship Fund by going to or by clicking on The ABMA Scholarship Program item on the ABMA homepage at

Deadline for scholarship applications is May 1, 2012. The paperwork is on the ABMA Scholarship page noted above. Intended to assist in the post-secondary education and/or vocational training of students intending to pursue a career in the commercial, institutional, industrial, or power-generating boiler, combustion and related equipment industry.

Note that there’s not a ton of time left to apply. That scholarship fund is also tax-deductible, if you or your company is so inclined to contribute. As the motto on the Faber College statue reads, “Knowledge Is Good.”  ES



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