Posts Tagged Green

Department of Energy (DOE) Launches New Blog : Energy Blog : Yawn? : BIM

As reported by Katherine Tweed from GreenTech Media and picked up by Wired the DOE Launched a new blog. (Man, this new media everybody ‘borrowing’ and ‘sharing’ content gets tough to footnote).   Alone, generally, this should be met with a collective YAWN.  However, as a thread of the whole fabric it adds strength to the perception and reality of the move to a sustainable future and the real investment that is happening around it.   And get this from a post on July 23.

…Cindy Regnier (from the) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory… works on several projects, including two that are Recovery Act-funded: the new User Facility for Low-Energy Integrated Building Systems test bed and the Commercial Building Partnerships initiative)…is helping to select dozens of new and existing commercial building projects from around the country to receive technical assistance from the national labs to achieve 50% energy savings in new construction and 30% in existing buildings. Each building will have energy-savings measures validated and evaluated from energy and cost standpoints, all with the goal of developing and promoting energy efficiency measures that can be easily deployed throughout the industry.

So not completely dull, and if you keep an eye on this project you might find out where the government might focus more efforts for existing buildings, techniques, tools, products, etc. For example, I wonder what technologies and assistance Ms. Weigner might be deploying herself.  Cindy give me a shout.

The blog itself is available here

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Using BIM for Sustainable Design

Good article in Architecture Week titled, strangely enough, Using BIM for Sustainable Design, I guess we’re getting that horse out of the stable again, but this is it.  Like AARA funds and the stimulus package put every paver and asphalt layer in the US back to work, sustainable design and retrofits are and will be it.  Eddy Kryiegel, the author, goes on to elaborate the ease that option analysis and energy modeling that comes with BIM.

In the case of energy modeling and its relationship to BIM, there are three primary steps involved: modeling the building geometry, adding building loads, and performing the analysis.

If you compare the time it takes to perform each of these steps for the same building type across a variety of analysis packages, you will see very similar results. During years of integrated practice, I have found that more than 50 percent of the overall time needed to perform an energy analysis is consumed by modeling building geometry.

Adding building loads accounts for about 35 percent, followed by less than 15 percent to perform the actual analysis. By simply being able to reuse the model geometry and transfer the building design from the BIM model to the energy model, we can reduce the time needed to run an energy model by almost half.

The traditional process of energy modeling within our own office typically takes a couple weeks. Using the workflow established with BIM, we can now perform some types of energy analysis in half the time, do twice as many as before, or make energy analysis available to projects that would normally not have the fee to support the endeavor.

A) If a project is started in BIM more services can be offered whereas they were too expensive the traditional way, and B) with option analysis you can find ways to make your building more efficient, demonstrate that with positive ROIs and have the analysis and design pay for itself.  Just keeps on getting more compelling, like the Lebron laugh-a-lympics televised special, no strike that, like Lindsey..strike that, like having your cake and eating it too. 


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CALGreen is Coming : More Markets for Energy Analysis : Green Building : #BIM

Signed in 2004, mandatory in 2011 Executive Order  S-20-04 set in motion a whole new set of building codes to reduce energy purchases by 20% by 2015.  I included section 1 and 2 in their entirety below.

1. That the state commit to aggressive action to reduce state building electricity usage by retrofitting, building and operating the most energy and resource efficient buildings by taking all cost-effective measures described in the Green Building Action Plan for facilities owned, funded or leased by the state and to encourage cities, counties and schools to do the same.

2. That state agencies, departments, and other entities under the direct executive authority of the Governor cooperate in taking measures to reduce grid-based energy purchases for state-owned buildings by 20% by 2015, through cost-effective efficiency measures and distributed generation technologies; these measures should include but not be limited to: 2.1. Designing, constructing and operating all new and renovated state-owned facilities paid for with state funds as “LEED Silver” or higher certified buildings; and 2.2. Identifying the most appropriate financing and project delivery mechanisms to achieve these goals; and 2.3. Seeking out office space leases in buildings with a U.S. EPA Energy Star rating; and 2.4. Purchasing or operating Energy Star electrical equipment whenever cost-effective.

Not only that, within the Executive Order their is a provision for CALPERS (the California Pension plan and huge investor) are ‘requested to target resource efficient buildings for real estate investments and commit clean technology funds to advanced sustainable and efficiency technologies.’

You can jump the new building codes home page here.  With the GSA requiring a BIM on all new building and major renovations and now California requiring Green Building Practices in all their public buildings the increase in new technologies related to building will continue to grow.   To completely beat the dead horse into submission, not that a dead horse needs to be beat any more, metaphorically speaking, but…sustainable retrofits,  say it again…

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Government Green : Sustainable Retrofits Redux : #BIM #AIA #LEED

So post yesterday was how I and I am sure everyone is starting get bombarded with this message so today in my inbox from USGBC I get these stats.

  • Much of the $787 billion in federal stimulus money supports green retrofits of publicly owned buildings at the local, state and federal levels.
  • The federal government alone owns and operates some 500,000 buildings.
  • The federal government has a 28 percent greenhouse gas reduction target for federal operations by 2020.
  • 30 percent of all LEED projects are government-owned

And they are holding the USGBC 2010 Federal Summit, May 18-19 2010 in DC

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center -   Washington, DC

Next thing I will look into are the top 10 items in sustainable retrofits.  As always input welcome.

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40% of Energy Use Comes From Buildings : States Adopting Tougher Codes : BIM can help

According to the EPA buildings are responsible for up to 40% of all energy usage and carbon dioxide production, because of the increasing need to decrease energy usage and the US carbon footprint more stringent building standards are being put in place based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with some states adopting stricter standards.    Each state energy code is available here. Massachusetts had adopted one of the stricter standards and just wading through the stuff makes your head spin, I got sidetracked researching it by a thread discussing compliance concerning a sunroom and if it had to be added to the total exterior wall footprint of the house, and then there were tables with insulation factors, etc.  To add to the madness there is the HERS (Home Energy Rater System) system developed through energy star, and the ResCheck Suite developed by the DOE that ‘helps’ with home compliance.  Maybe you’ve started laughing by now or more likely crying.  All of this is well meaning but will take even more specialists to wade through it, understand it and comply with it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were plug in components for energy analysis with BIM software..wait a sec, they got that, and then run scenario analysis so you can see what modification or additions you need to make to comply to this new and evolving standards, have the software figure it out so you can design and build.  Use a swiss army knife instead of a spoon.


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Is green the color of recovery for architects?

This is the title of a recent article in the Boston Business Journal.  “Once the money starts to flow, architects will be busiest retrofitting existing buildings to meet current environmental building codes and industry standards for energy efficieny, as cost effective alternatives to building from scartch,” said Nancy Jenner director of the Boston Society of Architects.

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Building Green with BIM : Existing Conditions

I wondered ho much of the green movement would get sidelined due to the tanking economy, and how much acceleration LEED certified projects will continue to get.   Regardless of LEED though going green is proving to be cost effective, so effect on the bottom line are always going to get noticed.  BIM allows option analysis from an energy perspective.   You can perform solar analysis, heat gain/loss, options to replace glass with low-e, double paned, or triple paned, and run your ROI on a project by project basis.  What is the payback by re insulating  or  upgrading the power plant is much easier calculated with a BIM.  A recent article by Karl Heitman in the REournal goes on to say that you need to take into account the “embodied energy” in a building and that it would take 75 years of LEED Platinum Certified Building to repay the loss of tearing it down.  So need to refit and reuse, create great projects with your existing conditions.

How you can capture existing conditions in a BIM format?  So far, not so easy.

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