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Green Building Blog

IAQ and COVID - Moving from What Now? To What Next?

Thu, Aug 27, 2020 @ 06:34 / by Jim Newman posted in IAQ, ASHRAE, indoor air quality, COVID-19, bi-polar ionization

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Three steps to take now to improve Indoor Air Quality in the Age of Coronavirus.

People wearing masks at work.

Whether your building is open, opening soon or closed until next year, you are behind if you’re not already planning to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) at your facility. (See “Why Good IAQ Matters in the Age of COVID-19.”) If you made changes to improve safety back in May or June (as we transitioned out of total lockdown), new information, products and tools that we discuss here may mean you’re looking at making changes again.

The good news is that there’s a lot of useful information out there. Some of it, however, gives conflicting messages. (See “100% Outside Air - Is it Really One of the Best Solutions for Flushing Buildings?”) Don’t jump in and grasp at the first shiny penny. Study the options, talk to experts, and then do what makes the most sense for your people and your bottom line.

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Three Coronavirus Prevention Techniques for Your Building - a Comparison

Tue, May 19, 2020 @ 05:27 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, ASHRAE, indoor air quality, BOMA, coronavirus

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As those of us in the building management and maintenance field prepare to “re-open” buildings, the health and safety of our tenants, guests, patients, staff and residents remains top-of-mind. Soon the general public will leave the comfort and safety of their homes where they have been limiting human contact for weeks, and venture out into the world with other people.guy with cold

We must be prepared for them so they can feel safe when returning to shop, work and play in “the new normal.”

Nothing about building maintenance will be normal – perhaps for quite a while.  Every commercial building in the US and probably in most industrial nations, is now taking – or should be taking – extra precautions to ensure safety. People should feel safe going back to work, and building owners and managers must enact measures to both ensure safety and prevent, or at least minimize, potential litigation.

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Bring the Way We Use Power Into the 21st Century

Wed, Sep 05, 2018 @ 03:51 / by Guest Post by Klas C. Haglid, PE, RA, CEM, BPE posted in Retrofit, ASHRAE, Building Energy, Internet of Things, Energy

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This past June, Klas Haglid of Haglid Engineering attended the ASHRAE Annual Conference in Houston, TX. I always recommend attending these kinds of advanced learning events. They will help you in your job and your career! I did not attend this year as I was speaking across the state at the BOMA International Conference and Expo in San Antonio. So while I could not be there in person, I am grateful for the other industry leaders like Klas who attend and share their key takeaways with us.
                                                         - Jim

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Why Your Energy Star Rating May Go Down in 2018

Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 03:05 / by Jim Newman posted in ASHRAE, Energy Audit, EPA, Energy Star

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And What You Can Do About It in 2017

The good news is that EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager is getting a much needed data update.

The bad news is that it may cause some Energy Star scores to go down.

How Portfolio Manager Works

ENE_prt_v_c.jpgAs you probably know, Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) is a well-known and widely used program for comparing energy use among existing buildings. Building owners and managers use ESPM to see how well their building performs with regards to energy use. The ESPM rates the building on a 1-100 scale against buildings of similar size and use. It also takes into consideration climatization so that buildings in different climate zones can be compared with each other. 

Energy Star requires a score of 75 or better to earn Certification. For details, click here. If your score is below 75, or you would like to see a higher score – and lower utility bills – consider implementing some low-cost or no-cost Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) with relatively fast paybacks. Other ECMs might be more expensive with long paybacks. In that case you may want to consider alternative financing, such as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE (Click to learn how PACE can help you.)

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Is Energy Star Going Away?

Tue, May 02, 2017 @ 03:05 / by Jim Newman posted in IAQ, bEQ, Building Energy Quotient, ASHRAE, Energy Audit, Building Energy, Energy Star

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Note: Since this was article was originally posted, a budget passed Congress that does not significantly reduce EPA funding. So we believe the Energy Star Program is safe - for now. It’s good to know, however, what else is out there from the private sector, for example, ASHRAE bEQ as is discussed below. Our industry needs to be well-versed in all the options, not on a just-in-case basis, but on a what’s-best-for-the-customer basis. (updated 5/10/2017)

Since its inception in 1992, the Energy Star label has gained tremendous popularity, and today thousands of products (mostly small and medium home appliances) sport the Energy Star logo. Use of this program, run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE), had saved $362 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 2.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere. If this program goes away, as is being proposed by the current administration, we risk losing many of the gains that have been made.

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