It’s often a given that most new commercial buildings incorporate at least some energy and water efficiency initiatives into design, construction, and operation. But since the majority of commercial office facilities in the United States are existing buildings, greening “old” office buildings is just as important. (According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, 72% of U.S. commercial buildings are more than 20 years old.) (more…)
January 20, 2015 | 0 comments
January 13, 2015 | 2 comments
As a facility and its systems age – or as usage changes – it’s not uncommon for building performance and energy conservation to slip. Thermostats become out of calibration, occupancy sensors may not work correctly, and heating and cooling may be occurring at the same time. (more…)
January 6, 2015 | 0 comments
In late 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that existing multifamily facilities now qualify for ENERGY STAR certification. (Previously, only new multifamily facilities could apply for certification.) As of November 2014, ENERGY STAR has officially certified the first 17 existing multifamily properties in the country.
So why did the U.S. EPA decide to offer ENERGY STAR certification to existing multifamily housing facilities? Research indicates that multifamily properties can become up to 30% more efficient by 2020 simply by reducing the amount of energy they consume. (more…)
December 30, 2014 | 0 comments
These posts resonated most strongly with you based on website traffic; below is a recap of each blog, starting with the most popular article of 2014. We’ve also included links so you can revisit the posts.
December 23, 2014 | 2 comments
Demand response programs reward commercial building owners for reducing energy usage during times when electrical grid demand is highest. Instead of generating more power to keep up with peak loads, utilities ask participating buildings to make immediate reductions to energy use when needed – whether the adjustments are automated or done manually.
Schneider Electric says that demand response programs in commercial buildings can earn back anywhere from 5% to 25% of annual electricity costs. But not only does a demand response program prevent strain on the electrical grid and reduce utility bills from electricity companies, it may also avoid brownouts and blackouts. (more…)
December 16, 2014 | 2 comments
HVAC systems are used continuously in commercial buildings. In fact, HVAC systems account for roughly 41% of total commercial building electrical usage – almost double that of any other building system – according to Alliant Energy. (Air conditioning alone represents 45% of the total peak energy use.) This obviously increases monthly utility bills, but also presents a big opportunity for regular energy savings. (more…)
December 9, 2014 | 2 comments
The first building to achieve the WELL Platinum Pilot Certification from the International WELL Building Institute has been identified: the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh.
This facility was also the first to meet the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, achieving Net Zero Energy Certification. (Not to mention its LEED Platinum and Four-Stars Sustainable Sites Initiative certification.)
How did they do it? The Center for Sustainable Landscapes focused on an integrated design process that involved evaluation of end-users’ needs, along with charrettes between the project team and staff throughout the process. (more…)
December 2, 2014 | 5 comments
Understanding how high-performance window film works and what it can offer to commercial buildings is the first step in deciding whether it will be an effective energy-efficiency option for your organization. But even after you learn about window film’s benefits, it can still be challenging to know what type will address your building’s unique requirements. (more…)
November 25, 2014 | 5 comments
November 18, 2014 | 0 comments
Earlier this year, the U.S. Green Building Council announced a dynamic, interactive way to display the performance results of green, LEED-certified buildings: the LEED Dynamic Plaque.
This electronic display unit lets you control who can “see” how the building is performing, whether it’s through the dynamic plaque on the wall that guests may view, or via occupant-accessible software. (more…)