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Green Building Blog

PACENation Rising – We are Just Scratching the Surface of the Potential of PACE

Mon, Apr 17, 2017 @ 11:45 / by Jim Newman posted in PACE, Green Building, energy efficiency, solar, Retrofit, Building Energy, Commercial Building, Energy Savings

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From their first meeting of less than 50 people just a couple of years ago to almost 500 this year, PACENation reflects the potential this groundbreaking policy has on the future of the built environment. PACENation is the national, non-profit advocacy organization for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

In 2016, PACE passed the $3 billion mark in cumulative financing (commercial and residential). “What we’re really seeing is the birth of an industry. It isn’t just about burning less hydrocarbons, it’s also about saving money,” John Hickenlooper, the Governor of Colorado told the crowd.

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5 Ways to Kill Your PACE Project

Fri, Jan 13, 2017 @ 03:28 / by Jim Newman posted in PACE, Building Energy, clean energy, Energy Savings, Green Building

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PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), a new way to finance energy conservation measures in commercial buildings, came to Michigan just four short years ago. Like most new ventures, it took a while for it to gain traction among property owners and building managers.

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Wayne State’s Administration Building Saves $20K/yr with Simple Energy Facelift

Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 02:35 / by Jim Newman posted in Retro-commissioning, Energy Audit, Energy Savings, Building Energy, building automation, energy efficiency

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In 2015, Wayne State University’s Academic Administration Building, Detroit, MI, was facing many of the same concerns as other office buildings of similar age. Tenants (in this case University employees) repeatedly complained to building maintenance staff that they were “too hot” or “too cold.” And the costs of running the building kept creeping up.

As part of a DTE Energy and Nexant Retro-commissioning (RCx) project for no-cost and low-cost energy conservation measures (ECMs) with short-term payback, Newman Consulting Group (NCG) conducted an ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Analysis and RCx Study on the building. We uncovered several opportunities that would not only make tenants more comfortable, but also save money. The DTE RCx program, however, dictated that any measures eligible for rebates from DTE under their Energy Optimization program could not be included in the ECMs implemented for this project, e.g., LED lighting, high-efficiency motors, or VFDs, to name a few. Still, we were able to make significant improvements.

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Sizing Up Equipment Selection for Energy Efficiency

Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 02:19 / by Guest Post by Klas C. Haglid, P.E., R.A., CEM, BPE, Inc.® posted in ASHRAE, Energy Savings, HVAC, energy efficiency, indoor air quality

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Energy Recovery Ventilators Can Enhance Indoor Air Quality While Saving Energy and Money

FRESH AIR FUNDAMENTALS. Fresh air being key to good health, it's a shame we cannot rely on the supply and quality of our indoor air these days. Thanks to technology, our building envelopes - the physical separation between the interior and exterior of a structure - have grown significantly tighter. One hundred years ago people enjoyed generous amounts of OA (Outside Air) flowing through gaps in doors, windows, joints, and cracks. A cool draft through an old building was typical and necessary for a good ghost story. However, the cost of energy and technology has changed our perspective on drafts as well as mechanically cooled or heated air. We don't want to pay extra to heat or cool more air than we have to due to excessive outdoor air coming in or conditioned air leaving the building before delivering its full potential. Tighter envelopes lessen the avenues for air entry and escape in order to achieve energy savings. So ... tighter envelopes that reduce energy costs as well as the amount of emissions fleeing into the atmosphere is a good thing, yes? Naturally, but as with most things, you can have too much of a good thing.

According to the EPA, "Indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times - and occasionally more than 100 times - higher than outdoor pollutant levels {and} have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health."

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What’s Preventing You From Having an Energy Audit?

Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 02:53 / by Jim Newman posted in Energy Audit, Energy Savings, HVAC, PACE, ASHRAE, Recommissioning, Building Energy, Energy Use Index, energy efficiency

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Energy audits are one of the best ways to discover money-saving opportunities in an existing building. A commercial or industrial energy audit, also called an energy analysis, will identify how much energy a building uses, how efficiently it uses that energy, and where changes and improvements can be made that will impact both the occupant comfort and the bottom line.

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