Archivo etiqueta Built Environment
The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management meets this morning to discuss ‘Freezing the Federal Footprint’. This comes from an Office of Management and Budget memorandum that stated “ all Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act Executive Branch departments and agencies (agencies) shall not increase the total square footage of their domestic office and warehouse inventory compared to the FY 2012 baseline.”
The memorandum also states that “Each agency should work collaboratively with other agencies and GSA to find opportunities for smarter space usage through co-locations and consolidations.” Ha ha ha, woooha, maybe it doesn’t mean anything, and I can’t say how much power a memorandum has vs. an office action, vs. an order but certainly can effect those depending on the largess of the GSA for a living. One wonders if the GSA ever moved forward with the GSA BIM IDIQ, that could have given them a solid assessment of properties they have etc. BTW did anyone ever make a dime off that? I found out the hard way that getting the award and having it funded are tow different things, so I guess it looks good in a frame.
Yoinks, so much for market capitalism. California with AB 1103 ( Commercial Building Energy Use Disclosure Program
Rulemaking) legislated mandatory energy benchmarking into existence for non-residential buildings. Energy bench marking is to be done using
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking system.
A building owner shall comply with this article according to the following schedule:
(a) On or after January 1, 2013, for a building with total floor area measuring more than
50,000 square feet.
(b) On or after July 1, 2013, for a building with a total floor area measuring more than 10,000
square feet and up to 50,000 square feet.
(c) On or after January 1, 2014, for a building with a total floor area measuring at least 5,000
square feet and up to 10,000 square feet.
What impact does this have on LEED EB? If any? Is anyone using LEED EB? I was talking to an owner; raises funds, buys buildings, etc. and the general consensus of any green, LEED, sustainable, initiative, at least for him, was does it add value to his portfolio in the short term as they have a much shorter window of ownership. However, with this mandate and benchmarking we might have something completely quantifiable to reflect the price of a building from an operational point of view. And it’s an Energy Star rating like the one you find on your new refrigerator. While there might be plenty of flaws, as the benchmarking seems pretty rudimentary, it is a first step. So the government mandated it and while that seems a dirty word these days, mandate; it’s here, deal with it. I deal with the market as it exists and until I can afford to have a phalanx of lobbyists to create a market that way I want it, I deal with what’s in front of me. And right now, it’s mandatory Energy Auditing.
How will the software makers respond, if at all, to this? How about, can I have push button energy star rating on my building please? Brief search turns up Melon Power, which coordinates electricity usage and your submission to Energy Star Portfolio Builder. I have not tested it but yes, we want an app for that! Not buried in the subscription pack of Green Building Studio. Fact is, could be a wonderful Lead Generation Tool. Fact is, all these companies Autodesk in particular buy these companies and stuff them into their AEC package, so although the price might stay the same, you are getting more ‘value’ per install because of everything else that’s stuffed into it. But software usage, cost per seat, software as a service? That’s a rant for another day.
For now, there’s a new law of the land in California, and if it’s like the weather, it starts on the west side, and moves east.
So there is an excellent article recently posted on the Smart Planet titled The buildings are alive: in biology, designers and architects seek answers , well worth the jump and the read. Essentially it focuses on how the built environment is incorporating designs from nature for better efficiency. From cooling techniques of termite mounds used in the Eastgate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe to bioluminscent paint that could provide free lighting.
Eastgate Centre uses fans to move cool night air through chambers under office floors, which can be sent through the building during daytime heat. The building is cooled at one-tenth the cost of structures with old fashioned, energy-sucking air conditioning.
Lighting giant Phillips released details of their new bio light. Essentially ”a wall of glass cells containing a live bacterial culture that emits soft green light by bioluminescence.”
“Professor Neil Spiller, an architect and the new head of the University of Greenwich’s School of Architecture & Construction, said the research team was looking at methods of using responsive protocells to clad cities in an ethical, green and sustainable way.” ’We want to use ethical synthetic biology to create large-scale, real world applications for buildings,” he says. Such cells could be affixed to buildings to capture carbon and they envision creating buildings that are carbon negative.
This notion of how to do things has spawned a whole new field of architecture” Biomimetic Architecture. Also how do we create building built of more recycled material and material that is recyclable. Why not take our cue from things that have evolved over millennia to adapt to their environment or been designed through divinity. Either way you look at it: good choice.
Autodesk digging into the Built Environment : Augments ‘Reality Capture’ Stable by acquiring Alice Labs
80/20, the amount of construction projects that happen in the built environment vs. new construction, at least here in Boston and this is usually the case across the globe, maybe not 80/20 but having the majority of construction happening in the built environment. So if you’re Autodesk and you have all this great software, you can no longer presuppose the data, you are going to have to capture it somehow.
Autodesk put another arrow in their ‘built environment’, ‘as built’ or soon to be trademarked “reality capture’ quiver by acquiring Alice Labs. As reported in Graphic Speak, Autodesk Scoops up 3D point cloud innovator Alice Labs. And if you go to the Alice Labs website, all you get is a splash page saying they have been acquired by Autodesk, and no press releases from Autodesk either. Why not? Autodesk is like the borg, well I can’t comment on the assimilation part, but as far as sucking up cultures within their universe, no problem. So why not let people know.
The small team, closely related to ongoing research at technical universities in Delft, Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium, has previously released Studio Clouds, an innovative 3D laser point cloud editing technology that offers plug-ins for Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya modelers, and uses a proprietary game engine for fast manipulation of point cloud data…Behind the application is the Mirage Nova Engine (MNE), said to be capable of handling billions of points with ray-trace visualization quality. NME also offers a photogrammetric tool, offering an affordable way to generating high fidelity point cloud models from photographs. MNE is designed for 64-bit multi-core architectures and can take advantage of graphic card acceleration for maximum speed. -Randall – Graphic Speak
Either way, Autodesk is interested in getting you working in their software whether it’s for new construction or the the built environment, designing retrofits or modeling New York for gameplay. If it’s a 3D environment they want to put you in it, and Autodesk wants to be the transporter…Kirk Out <end cheesy Star Trek word play>
The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change. The world needs entrepreneurial leadership to create a post-carbon economy.
The War Room’s unique approach focuses on bringing together successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy experts, researchers, and thought leaders to focus on market-driven solutions. -www.carbonwarroom.com
Anyone who read the times article yesterday and from their own web site saw that these guys are putting a wrapper around Retrofits , from the engineering to the financing that can be sold as bonds with a 7% return mainly paid from the savings incurred from the retrofit projects, has to love this approach. It puts people back to work, it saves energy and dollars, and it provides a return on capital for those invest in it, awesome. One has to imagine that more financial institutions looking to bundle, promote, sell new products is going to love this. From ‘green’ investors down the line. There’s a job recovery program for you.
When speaking of the Built Environment, many people, including myself take an economic impact view of the building, that is existing buildings take up the majority of resources so how can we design/retorofit these things to be more efficient, more efficient means less consumption, means less operating costs all good things. So being late August and having the opportunity to read exciting things like, The Case Study of CALSTRS Headquarters, West Sacramento CA you are reminded of the more holistic approach to building design. The building was awarded LEED Gold and is in the process of qualifying for LEED EBOM (Existing Building Operating and Maintenance) so they compare it to other buildings in energy performance, however, also taken into account were the following factors:
Thermal comfort and overcooling
Occupant controls for energy and comfort
Constituent input Landscaping
So how about taking into account the comfort and happiness of the occupants. I have to say “speech privacy” was not in my list of concerns until I read it about it here, but noticing that “the CalSTRS building has a smaller amount of square footage per occupant than the average for office building(s)” in this survey I guess it should not come as a surprise. There was also a complaint of ’over air conditioning’ on the North Side of the building. I would have to imagine that controls are in place to manage North/South orientation and the design of HVAC systems, if not that would seem to be glaring oversight during the design of the system and building since they would essentially be two different environments. However, it seems to me if you can quantify happiness, can you build it into design software? Honestly, with the advent of software, any software, it’s not only to automate tasks, but also get the knowledge of users into the software, hence making everyone more productive. So if you can put variables in like # of occupants into the design, assigning them SF can we have software suggest break out room for speech privacy, maybe this stuff is automated and in software and I am too dense to have discovered it, hell for all I know it’s a sub menu in Revit I have not discovered but automating what could be common sense, now that would be something.
“Hey Jim what’s up with putting a smiling cow image on this blog post?”
A) That’s a very cool picture
B) I was thinking happy environment, happy people and in this case happy environment, happy cow.
The study was conducted and published by the folks at the aptly titled, CBE (Center for the Built Environment) at UCAL Berkeley.
With PointKnown’s introduction of PKNail and PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology) utilizing a Leica Disto and Rand Technologies recent press release announcing the ability to manipulate and manage laser scan, point cloud data within Revit the opportunity and tools to capture existing conditions continues to grow. Combine that with the growing need to capture existing conditions for energy modeling and retrofits and you can see an industry emerging, not just using it for special circumstances but start capturing existing structures in 3D/BIM for uses that range from space planning, facility management, energy audits and beyond.
While it has been reported and analyzed that some of the biggest frustrations, time sinks and expenditures is that lack of interoperability between software, and redundant efforts between disciplines, that is creating the same thing, many times for each discipline the advent of BIM authoring tools like Revit, and ways to combine and work with them can help firms and individuals reduce rework and create more opportunities for their design and construction work; looks like a win all around. And with these technologies firms can start on existing structures in BIM and Revit and have all the benefits.
Excerpts for the release below:
“The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report’s recommendations into action – giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades.” said Vice President Biden. “Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy.”
“The Home Energy Score will help make energy efficiency easy and accessible to America’s families by providing them with straightforward and reliable information about their homes’ energy performance and specific, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that will save them money on their monthly energy bills,” said Secretary Chu.
Under this voluntary program, trained and certified contractors will use a standardized assessment tool developed by DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to quickly evaluate a home and generate useful, actionable information for homeowners or prospective homebuyers. With only about 40 inputs required, the Home Energy Scoring Tool lets a contractor evaluate a home’s energy assets, like its heating and cooling systems, insulation levels and more, in generally less than an hour. That means a homeowner can see how their home’s systems score, regardless of whether a particular homeowner takes long or short showers or keeps their thermostat set high or low.
The following states and municipalities are participating in the pilot program: Charlottesville, Virginia; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Minnesota; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Indiana; Portland, Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Eagle County, Colorado. Learn more about each of the testing locations along with details on how to participate in the Home Energy Score program.
Consumers can apply for up to $25,000 in PowerSaver loans through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which expects that 24,000 homes will qualify during a two-year pilot program, according to USA Today.
This home energy retrofit program follows a $5 billion weatherization investment that was part of the stimulus package last year. Another effort is Home Star, nicknamed Cash for Caulkers, which would provide rebates to consumers for investing in energy efficiency retrofits.
How does this effect BIM users/developers, etc.?
Commercial deployment will be huge and has more robust documentation and reporting needs, plus these firms getting into it will need to have better tools, etc as the race begins to fill these needs and to differentiate themselves from competition, imagine a 3D BIM model with all the reporting built into it. I have to imagine the plug ins are already under development. Additionally, did you notice the certification needs recommended for this. Strap it on, let’s get back to work.
Greening the Built Environment : Autodesk joins IBM’s Green Sigma Coalition : IBM Flexing its Market Power Muscle : BIM
Quick jumble from IBM to BIM and it seems a lot of threads are coming together between IBM and the AECOM community. Smart Buildings and Smart Cities, IBM and Dassault, IBM Maximo, etc. How this comes to grind with LEED, and EnergyStar initiatives , etc remains to be seen but there is quite a roster to this invite only list. Charter members include: Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, ESS, Cisco, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and SAP but nothing like owning the process and selling services, hardware, software, product to achieve Green Sigma. The process itself :
“Combines real-time metering and monitoring with advanced analytics and dashboards that allow clients to make better decisions that improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce environmental impact.”
IBM goes on to outline the validation process which is, you guessed it, validated by IBM. How this differs from LEED which:
… is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Now I am a capitalist so increasing shareholder value is something I take to heart, sure there’s a lot more in the mix than that and who am I to take IBM to task for flexing its market power muscle but aren’t we talking the same side of the coin only IBM wants to own the coin too. One could argue that Green Sigma is the practical application of LEED principles. That should keep respective communication departments off my back. Regardless of who owns the process the end goal for each is laudable, and now proven that ‘green’ is good business.
As reported by Lauren Browne at Connect Press IBM brought Autodesk in for its expertise in modeling and the built environment.
“It occurred to IBM, that it would make sense, given that the built environment requires multiple layers of solution sets including hardware, software, services, financing, etc. that no one company could do this (tackle greening the built environment) in isolation. And if they did, they would be handicapping themselves.” - Emma Stewart, Senior Program Lead, Sustainability, Autodesk.
This could help explain the Photofly and PointCloud tools expected in the most recent release of Autocad but if you start doing the math, +$400 billion in sustainable retrofits, +75% of construction done in the built environment you understand why the big guns are out.
So the GSA took the lead and states are starting to follow. Wisconsin announced that on all addition and alteration projects that require $2.5M or greater that a BIM is required. With this announcement they also released there own set of guidelines. Interesting note is that both the GSA and Wisconsin are platform agnostic and refer to software as BIM authoring software or discipline specialty software, and that it must be IFC compliant.
So when does the movement around IFC begin like Linux?