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Green Building Blog

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

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

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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 HVAC, ASHRAE, energy efficiency, Energy Savings, 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 HVAC, ASHRAE, PACE, energy efficiency, Energy Savings, Energy Audit, Recommissioning, Energy Use Index, Building Energy

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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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Paying for Energy Upgrades May Be Easier Than You Thought

Thu, Sep 08, 2016 @ 03:02 / by Jim Newman posted in Green Building, PACE, Energy Savings, Energy Audit, Building Energy

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How to Qualify for PACE Financing and Finally Implement the Energy Conservation Measures You’ve Been Dreaming About!

Do your tenants and customers complain about air quality and the physical work environment? It often sounds like this: “I’m too hot,” “I’m too cold.” Or worse, “There’s a funny smell and I think it’s making me sick.”

4_bad_work_environments.jpgYou fix and you fix and you fix - the vents, the windows, the HVAC. But the improvements are slight and they don’t last long.

And you’ve noticed that your energy bills have nearly doubled over the last few years. 

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5 Reasons You Should Invest in Energy Efficient LED Lighting

Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 04:17 / by Guest post by Dustyn Ferguson, www.myledlightingguide.com posted in Green Building, energy efficiency, Energy Savings

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Maybe you’ve heard that LED lighting is the wave (pun intended) of the future. You may have also heard that LED lighting is expensive.  While upfront costs may be higher than what you’re using now, in the long run, LEDs come out ahead in several areas.

Here we’ll provide five solid reasons your facility should invest in LED lighting. Hopefully they will help you determine if making the switch is truly the best thing for your facility as well as gain management approval when approaching them about funding the upgrade.

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